By Alexander Watson
This was a last-minute holiday. I really needed to escape my troubles and bad weather of December in the UK and decided to go on holiday on a Friday and could hardly believe it but I was on a plane the very next day flying to Mexico! It was all thanks to the hard work of this site's editor, Jo Stanford, who managed to find availability with Calbalgatas La Sierra.
Having enjoyed wonderful riding holidays in South Africa, Equador and Botswana I was struggling to think of where my next holiday could take me to match or surpass these experiences which were truly remarkable.
Mexico? I was not sure what to expect as my English education lacked any mention of Latin America and UK TV seems plagued by stereotypical adverts of cheap readymade Mexican food products.
My other slight fear was that holidays are never as good as they look or say they are in brochures - but in this case I was totally wrong - Jo's description was perfect. This destination is a must for anyone who wants to see a beautiful country far away from the litter, polution and busy depressing lifestyle that news agencies such as CNN as so keen to depict.
10/10 - perfect climate (70 degrees, blue skies and sunshine, with chilly nights by glowing sitting room and bedroom fires), great companions (four great ladies who all loved life and their horses), spectacular scenery (mountain upon rocky mountain of pine forest)and horses that were well matched to their riders and challenging terrain.
Never have I met such perfect hosts as Pepe, Lucia and Georgina who really made the holiday for me. A dedicated (calm, unflappable, professional and friendly) couple who make sure all their guests feel fully at home and no request is too much. Pepe is a handsome Mexican gentleman who is dedicated to not only looking after his family, horses and guests but also is keen to make sure his government looks after its national treasure - their beautiful environment.
Sadly illegal logging was all too apparent but Pepe makes sure that the powers that be are aware that someone is keeping a watchful eye on this local destruction and keen to see it regulated. Until you have seen with your own eyes the speed at which trees can be felled and large earth roads appear from nowhere you cannot understand how truly fragile our environment really can be.
Fed like kings on endless varieties of excellent local Mexican dishes from dawn to dusk I wrote off any attempt I had to lose weight on this action-packed riding holiday. Also I endulged in a few lenghts of the pool each evening to relax my aching muscles and as night arrived and Mars and Venus shone down above the bubbling hot plunge pool, time stood still as I tried to make space for the large tasty evening meal ahead.
Local Mexicans welcomed us gringos with a warm smile and wave while getting on undisturbed with their life of growing, harvesting, preparing and dining on the their local crops, chickens and Turkeys - a far cry from our materialistic driven lives here in London.
Mexican wildlife = countless flowers, birds and trees - all covered by speciality books that can be found in Pepe and Lucia's library. It was a memorable and perfect week that I would thoroughly recommend to anyone.