Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Vacation Recap Three -- Costa Maya and the Horse With No Name

Like most women I know, there's a little girl living inside me who never got a pony for Christmas. So when my husband and I were deciding on an excursion for our stop in Costa Maya, I conjured up my best "the kids will LOVE this" line and convinced him to sign us up for horse back riding. Yes, this manipulation was woven before the Branch of Doom in Cozumel AND the Unfortunate Breaking Incident in Belize.

Costa Maya is a relatively new port in Mexico, and had I known that right there on the port were several bars and a few pools, I might have opted for a nice, relaxing day with my friends Dos Equis and Corona. Instead, I hopped on a bus and went beyond Costa Maya to a horse ranch.

I looked so damned cute this day. I was wearing these little Ranger Bob shorts with a white tank top. I had a good tan, with a bit of a sunburn on my left shoulder (damn if I never learned how to properly face the sun). I was wearing a cute little cowgirl-fashionista straw hat. This should be the best day. My foot was only slightly sore from the zip lining fiasco, and I was getting ready to mount me a horse in Mexico! (Save the pun, LoveBug, save the pun.)

The Real Live Mexican Cowboy Tour Guide Dude told us to separate into two groups: experienced riders, and dumb asses (hey, I speak some Spanish, okay... I know what he was saying in his brain.) I chose the dumbass group and drug my husband and children into the line with me. I know they're trail horses that have been lobotomized, but I figured better safe than sorry. God, that makes me laugh just thinking about.

So we get our horses assigned to us. We are told to love on them, but let them know we're in charge. We're told they all have no names, and we can call them whatever we want. I wrapped my arms around my horse's neck and whispered, "You are Bob, the mightiest trail horse in all of Mexico." Then we were off.

The horses walked nose to ass for miles and miles through the Mexican wilderness. Occassionally one would stop to eat a bush. Okay, occassionally Bob would stop to eat a bush. So I would firmly kick him, and he would break into a little trot to catch up with the ass in front of him. I loved it when Bob pretended to run like a real horse. It was exhilerating.

About a mile from the end of the trail we reached a clearing. The Real Live Mexican Cowboy Tour Guide Dude told us we could again seperate into two groups: those who wanted their horses to walk out the rest of the trail, and those who wanted to run their horses to the end. Well, I had already bonded with Bob, and I knew he wanted to run, so I joined the line of dumb asses again. When I got there, I noticed my dumb ass kids had also joined the line. I also noticed that all of the "experienced" riders had opted to stay with the walkers. No, apparantly I cannot take a hint. Apparantly being eaten by a branch and being pummelled by a treehouse were not a strong enough hint either.

So we took off. I gave Bob a gentle kick and said, "Run, Bob, run! You're free! No, seriously, Bob. Run. Bob, this is embarrassing. The other trail horses are way the hell up there. Come on, you stupid shit, run!" But Bob barely broke a trot. Then I remembered the Real Live Mexican Cowboy Tour Guide Dude told us we could take our lead rope and whip the horse on each side of the neck if he was being stubborn. I hated to whip Bob, but he was obviously not understanding my particular dialect of Spanish. So I gave him a gentle thwack thwack, coupled with a gentle kick, kick, and that mother fucker took off running.

I'm screaming "Hell yes!" to the wind as it whips through my hair. All my troubles are leaving me behind. I pass my husband and catch up to my step-daughter, and Bob's still running. "Whoa" I say to Bob to slow him down. I pull back on his reigns. Bob keeps running. I notice I'm a little floppy in the saddle. "Whoa!" I yell to Bob as I reach for the reigns which are slipping through my hands. Bob keeps running.

My husband said it looked something like this. My left leg went up in the air. Then my right. Then both of them. Bob keeps running.

As I'm flying through the Mexican sky, heading towards the Mexican dirt, I think to myself, "Hell yes, this is going to hurt." I hear my step-daughter scream my name from far away.

My son says it went something like this. "Somebody fell off their horse!" he hears. He doesn't even look around. He just says, "Shit. It's my mom." At least someone in my family was taking notes.

I'm lying face down in the Mexican dirt. I'm thinking that perhaps lying here is not a bad idea. I sound like that stupid newscaster chick who fell off the grape-squishing platform and got the wind knocked out of her. I hear someone say, "Are you supposed to get off your horse?" I hear my husband say, "I don't know, but I damned sure am." I wait with a mouthful of dirt for my knight in khaki shorts to come to my rescue.

The Real Live Mexican Cowboy Tour Guide Dude and My Knight in Khaki Shorts reach me at the same time. They roll me over and I say, "I'm fine" but it sounds like "NGH-ugh nugh nnt." I'm on my feet. I don't look at my arm. Or my leg. The Real Live Mexican Cowboy Tour Guide Dude says, "Why didn't you pull the reigns back! I told you to stop if it was too fast!" Now, I know some Spanish, but I don't know how to say, "Fuck, Dude, I was too busy falling off the horse to take notes on why I fell off the horse," so I just say, "I tried." He says "That's why we call all our horses 'Gringo Killer', Senora." They help me onto my husband's horse so I can ride the rest of the trail. I pass Bob on the way, snacking on a bush.

So I got a free Corona out of the deal. They used it as an oral analgesic while they attended to the cuts and scrapes I put up here a few months back. I thought that was the worst of it, but it would be three weeks before my ass stopped hurting. Apparantly the larger part of me broke the fall.

This is Funky, and that is all.