Catalan Culture and Beach Trail - Staff Review
By Rachel Presnail, March 2010
After working for Unicorn Trails for only 3 weeks Wendy informed me that I was off to visit our hosts in Catalonia. Although I had ridden since the age of nine I had never been on a riding holiday, so I was both excited yet unsure of what to expect. It’s all well and good reading about a trip on paper but nothing beats actually experiencing it first hand.
The next morning we had breakfast while Julian and Birgit, our guide, talked us through the route and what to expect. It was mid March and Catalonia had experienced heavy rain in the past few weeks. Being typically unprepared with my ‘it’ll be alright’ attitude I expected to be fine with just a light raincoat and half chaps – I would soon regret this!
The sun came out on the 4th day and it did not disappoint. Birgit was an excellent guide and pointed out landmarks and fauna as we went along. The sunshine allowed for long lazy lunches for the rest of the trail with plenty of red wine, cheese and bread. I expected to return a few kilos lighter due to the long hours in the saddle, but due to the quality and quantity of the Catalonian cuisine this was not the case! My favourite lunch of the week was after a ride through the forest, and as we approached a clearing by an orchard Manuel had set up a picnic table where he served chicken fajitas with home made guacamole and hot coffee.
Day 6 started with a gallop along the deserted beach before starting the journey back to base. Another boutique hotel was our accommodation for the second – to - last night of the holiday with the horses grazing in the back garden. I had dropped my camera earlier in the day during a long canter, which resulted in members of the group having to dismount and help me look for it, and therefore I owed a bottle of cava at dinnertime due to the ‘Champagne Rules’. I didn’t mind though and I’m pretty sure the other riders didn’t either!
Upon our arrival back at the farm we said goodbye to our horses before enjoying a few beers and the last sun rays on the veranda. There were more guests this evening who had booked the short break and the party atmosphere soon had us knocking back the Barcadis. The perfect end to a great week.
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