At this point, I need another hand to count on my fingers the number of times that I have been horseback riding in St. Lucia. Time and time again, I’ve shared this romantic activity with none other than my sisters and other family members. I must say, however, that this time around had the most scenic view.
Planning this excursion was a walk in the park. I suppose I shouldn’t be the one talking since my sister was the one that organized it. Basically, it required a call to be made to a friend of a friend.
Locating the initial access point was not difficult. Yet, the ride from there to the stables was dreadful. With a low car with all seats filled, the unanticipated rocks projecting from the unpaved path grazed the bottom of the vehicle on more occasions than I would prefer to share. In all actuality, I am sure the drive approaching the stables was no more than a mile and a half. At the speed of roughly 10 miles an hour (max), it felt equally distant to the opposite side of the island.
Fast forward: I park the car. We sign documents about the company not being liable in the event of harm. I can’t recall how much this excursion cost, but I remember it not exceeding $53 EC/person (oddly precise, as if I remember the exact price, my memory…). Slightly more than $20 or so US. I guarantee that this is the most cost-effective while giving the best adventure and most time allocated to riding. Worth every penny.
We initiated the process of selecting which horses would best suit us four. With a few swaps here and there, we were ready to ride.
With a rough and rocky course ahead, we gradually advanced to the peak of the semi-steep hill overlooking the beach. Unfortunately, at the time, but fortunately now, my horse was the slowest. Everyone went, and we were a ways behind. It was then that I shot this beautiful, concise video.
Believe it or not, the above video reveals the track we used to make our way down to the shore. The horses knew the route and casually carried us through the opening of this steep downward trail as we disturbed the leaves, stems, and other forms of nature that marked up our skin and abruptly struck us.
There were instants where I held my breath as the horses nearly collapsed because of the inconsistent paths. With the sudden disappearance of visible walkways and pavement, I was tense. Most of the time, the horses were unfazed, and the concern was one-sided, with me on the other end. Nonetheless, there were moments when my horse unexpectedly stopped and refused to continue because it was afraid. Of course, I, too, was frightened. Following some rough riding, we began to take a peaceful ride through the rainforest on these beautiful creatures. See the visuals below:
The journey to the beach was breathtaking. And candidly, if we had only done this the entire time, I would not have been mad at it. Approximately 15 minutes passed before we reached our initial stop. Unfortunately, I cannot identify the park name that housed a piece of history. Though this outdoor venue is utilized for concerts and similar events, this land was owned by enslavers in the 1800s. Evidenced through the old machinery, I have difficulty understanding how I feel about our black population celebrating occasions where our ancestors were murdered, beaten, raped, and struggled. The notion of reclaiming and possessing land where we once underwent so much pain in every imaginable aspect is liberating on one front. At the same time, I question if anything should ever be celebrated there. Is it disrespectful? I don’t know the answers, but it is not something I will settle on anytime soon. Let’s continue…
After stopping for a few moments to take photos, we decided it was time to resume. Another 10 minutes or so passed as we trotted through. The soil beneath us turned into sand, the sound of palm trees blowing in the breeze turned into the sound of tides colliding at the shore, the aroma of fresh air turned into a mixture of salt and seaweed.
As we approached our exit to the beach, one of our guides picked coconuts to quench our thirst. But, my excitement quickly dampened when I began to notice the debris that lined the perimeter of the beach. It was clear that this is not a popular destination, so that would not account for the pollution. This side of the island is located on the Atlantic Ocean. The massive amounts of debris in this body of water wash up on many shores, but this was the first time I visualized it. The most random objects were set aside as if somebody tried placing them semi-neatly to be far enough away from the water. Of course, the conversations of human consumption, waste culture, and neglect of the planet we claim to love is entirely too dense to even begin to touch on. It was a physical realization and put these issues into perspective.
Fast forward beyond my awakening: we settle on the beach and hop off of our horses. They tie them in the area that nearly causes an eyesore. The horseshoes grazed the piles of seaweed. A cutlass emerges from thin air, and another one of the guides is dicing off the tops of the coconuts so my sisters and I can quench our thirsts and dig for the jelly.
I did it for the optics, the flicks, the gram. Growing up forced to drink coconut water and eat coconut jelly daily has created this aversion to the taste of this fruit. Still, I sipped to satisfy my thirst.
So much beauty was on this beach used as the Atlantic’s dump. My sisters and I attempted to race on our tall horses, who had no interest in going fast with anyone other than their owners.
Although I was a little disappointed that we did not go in the ocean while the horses swam with us on their backs, I understood. This was an activity that I got used to. Despite some issues in the past, part of me looked forward to it. But, it wasn’t the environment for them to swim.
In total, roughly 45 minutes were spent on the beach. Dipping our feet in the water, to fooling around with the guides, it was time well spent. Following our beach time, 20 minutes or so was allocated to making our way back up to the stables.
The total amount of time we spent on this excursion seemingly exceeds the amount of time we have spent on it in the past. I’m no expert, but as I’ve exaggerated previously, I have done this half a dozen times or so. Compared to the past, there were startling differences in favor of this new location. 10/10 recommend.
Side note: I didn’t share the company name in this blog post as it remains unknown. If you’re interested in using this company, let me know, and I’ll get in touch with their contact information.