Travel Articles

Turkey- Cavusin Video

In this video clip from our adventures horseback riding in Cappadocia, Turkey, you'll see Cavusin’s old rock homes and churches, which are carved into a large cliff. To me, the structure looked like a bit like a dilapidated sand castle. We were able to ride up on top of the dwellings in this village, stopping below the St. John the Baptist Church from the 7th century. Above us there were cubbyholes carved into the rocks. These are what the locals call pigeon houses. They...

Turkey- Cappadocia Arrival

Today we traveled from Washington, DC to Cappadocia to begin our horseback riding odyssey in Turkey, a country which seems so exotic to me. Startling Europe and Asia, Turkey has a fascinating history and Cappadocia in particular has a fascinating history with horses. The word Cappadocia is said to stem from the Persian word, “katpatuka,” which roughly translates to “land of beautiful horses.” In Cappadocia, we will be riding with Ahmet Diler of Kirkit Voyage,...

Turkey- Cappadocia’s Dereyamanli Valley

Today, we had a wonderful time riding to various spots amid the bizarre rock formations of Cappadocia, Turkey. I rode a horse name Incion, a 9 year old white Arabian, who was a joy to ride and much calmer than I had thought that an Arabian might be. Ahmet, our guide, rode a eleven-year-old mostly Arabian horse named Avanos, named after the area town, and Hasan rode a five-year-old palomino Barb Arabian mix named Aeysuna. We rode on saddles that Ahmet got in Kyrgyzstan. The saddles have...

Turkey- Baglidere Valley

We continued our trek through with Ahmet through Baglidere Valley in Cappadocia, where there are skyscraper tall fairy chimneys. We gave our horses a break here to have lunch in the shade of a tree. There aren’t a ton of trees in this part of Cappadocia and the sun can be intense in the summer. I was happy to have cold water and lots of Turkish food for our picnic lunch on the trails. We munched on juicy melon, homemade bread stuffed with cheese- a type of Turkish pizza- thin...

Turkey- Avanos Market

We are based in Avanos for our riding in the area and staying at the lovely Kirkit Pension, where there is great food, live entertainment and a charming courtyard. Every Friday in Avanos, there is a large market where everything from fruits and vegetables to carpets to spices to household items are sold, so we took a break from the saddle to check it out. Ahmet took us fruit shopping. Now, this is a small town and the market was amazing and huge. The produce was beautiful. Ahmet...

Uruguay- El Charabon Cattle Drive

This morning the rain subsided at the estancia where we are riding, El Charabon, so we headed out for a cattle drive. El Charabon is a working ranch that raises cattle and Hampshire Down sheep. I rode a wonderful, smooth Criollo out to the far fields, where we five of us, including Jorge, me, Paola and El Charabon’s gauchos would gather cattle to move them to another pasture. Jorge let me borrow his wool poncho, which is what the gauchos typically wear when it’s cooler here...

Uruguay- Finca Piedra Introduction

We arrived to Finca Piedra at sunset, the perfect time to see Pedro the gaucho gathering the horses and taking them to another pasture. This is an estancia (ranch), where you’ll enjoy eating many of the products produced right on the farm. There’s wine from their vineyard, honey from their bee hives, fresh vegetables and fruits which they preserve to make jams and limoncello. They also raise sheep, cows, and horses. Run by a French and South African couple, Sandrine and...

Uruguay- Finca Piedra Horse Riding

Jason, the owner of Finca Piedra, Pedro, Finca Piedra’s gaucho, and I took off on our Criollo horses. I have never ridden a Criollo horse before and never in Uruguay, so had to adjust to the way of riding and the tack. The traditional style saddles here are flat and wide and covered with sheepskin, making them comfortable to sit on, but since they are so wide I also felt a bit unstable at first. I am used to American English and Western saddles that have a more rounded seat....

Uruguay- La Salamora Castle Ride

A castle in Uruguay, you might ask? Well yes. Just over the hill from La Salamora lies a stone castle built in 1928 by an eccentric lottery winner. Why he decided to build a castle amid the rolling grasslands of Uruguay surrounded by cattle is why I am labeling him eccentric. It is really interesting to see it in the distance (it looks like it comes out of nowhere) and ride around it. The castle itself looks far older than the 1920’s to me. It’s still privately owned but at...

Uruguay- Montevideo

We just arrived to the small South American country of Uruguay, after flying about three hours from DC to Miami and then 9 hours from Miami to Montevideo. I slept on the plan, thankfully, which I almost never do. Alicia, a guide to owns La Salamora, an estancia that we are visiting in Uruguay, met us at the airport. Alicia is a native Uruguayan woman with a magnetic smile and sure demeanor. She would be our guide for most of the trip and a great one, as she loves her country and knows a...

Uruguay- Morning Mate

This morning I enjoyed a drinking a morning mate with Alicia at La Salamora. No, not latte, mate, the national drink of Uruguay. Mate (pronounced mah- tay) is like a tea and to me it tasted like an oolong or green tea, if you have ever had that. It is strong and is said to keep you alert and awake. Many people in Uruguay drink it all day long. It is sipped through a metal straw called a bombilla. The straw has a sieve at the end and the cup is filled with leaves and then hot water is...

Uruguay- Torta Frita Recipe

Estancia El Charabon is a lovely working ranch in Rocha owned by husband and wife couple Jorge and Graciela Zuasnabar. Graciela is an artist, whose work populates the walls inside the estancia, giving it a unique, eclectic feel. We arrived in the rain to find Graciela, who gave us a tour and then presented us with a medley of decadent pastries and teas. We had one amazing pastry called Torta Frita, which I was told by several people in Uruguay is typically made on rainy...

Uruguay - Stone Cone Ride

Alicia and I headed to an area called Valle del Hilo de la Vida, the Valley of the Thread of Life, where there are a series of stone cones. The stone cones may have been created by native people over a thousand years ago, but researchers are not sure exactly why. The valley is thought to be sacred and hold a special energy. Before entering the valley, where we would walk to avoid disrupting the historic stone structures, Alicia and I had to first ask permission. Alicia led me to a...

Vermont Mountain Top Inn Driving

Well, the rain has put a damper on my plans to ride today. Since it rained all morning, the trails were too wet. So, we spent the morning filming inside stuff. I sat by the fire for a bit. Yes, it is summer, but we are in Vermont in the mountains on a rainy day, so a nice fire helps with the chilly, wet weather. I toured one of the chalets, which was great and would make the prefect party house. I wanted to move in actually. The Mountain Top Inn has over 30 rooms and suites in the...

Vermont Mountain Top Inn Trail Riding

We were lucky to have a beautiful sunny day at the Mountain Top Inn today. Located in Chittenden in Central Vermont, the Inn is small, but has all of the amenities of a resort. It's open year round with cross country skiing in the winter and lessons in dressage, cross country, trail rides, carriage driving, hiking, kayaking, canoeing and pontoon boats in the summer. The inn sits in an idyllic spot. It looks like what I would think of as Vermont with a lake and rolling hills covered...

Vermont UVM Morgan Horse Farm

Steve Davis, the Director of the University of Vermont Morgan Horse Farm, is a bundle of energy, whose passion for Morgans is evident from his handshake. We were joining Steve for a tour, and I was interested in meeting a foal or two. Steve took us over to UVM Opie, a three-month old bay colt, who will be auctioned off in UVM’s yearly raffle in October. After seeing Opie, I purchased 10 raffle tickets. Steve has been working at the UVM Morgan Horse Farm for over 34 years, so...

Wales Carreg Cennen Castle

Today we visited one of the most photographed castles in Wales, Carreg Cennen. This fortress sits on a high limestone cliff, overlooking the area farms. The views of the lush, green countryside are beautiful. It is an imposing spot for a castle. I decided to take my torch (British speak for flashlight) down the dimly lit hall that led to a pitch-black dungeon. It was really erie to walk the hall alone in the dark. I will tell you that I only got down a few of the stairs that lead to...

Welsh Countryside Ride

Today I headed out on my equestrian vacation in Wales on a Welsh Cob named Seren with Charlie Pollak, a long-time trekker, who has been leading riders in this rural section of West Wales for over 35 years. Charlie rode Top Gun. I was in for some great stories and scenery during my ride with Charlie. There are lots of other guests from the U.S. and Britain here at this Welsh farm to ride as well. A few of them come yearly, which is nice to hear. Leslie, who runs the riding center...

T Cross Ranch Fly Fishing

I am a beginning fly-fisherman. I've had one lesson in Wyoming prior to this at a place known for its great fly fishing, and I did not catch anything. The instructor didn't either, but maybe that's because I was talking too much during the lesson. Those trout are skiddish! This time Phil was taking me out for a fly fishing lesson and to hopefully catch fish. We began by practicing my casting technique out in the field, so that we wouldn't scare the fish down at the...

Wyoming Ranch Day One

I am happy to say if you are looking for an authentic dude ranch experience, I have just found a one. The T Cross Ranch outside of Dubois, Wyoming, is it. You won't find a spa here. Just a third generation ranching family, raising their fourth generation on the ranch, plus good horses, fishing, food and scenic landscapes. I started out riding with a group of about 10 other riders on Hank, a Quarter Horse. Mark took us around various parts of the ranch, including over to Beaver...

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