Waiting With Horses While Looking For Snakes

This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, December 11, 2007 was originally posted on December 13, 2007.

DAY 21:  One of the disadvantages to traveling alone (aside from the frequent loneliness) is that some tours or activities don’t come to be unless enough people are around to justify its departure.  As my luck would have it, I was psyched and ready to raft the Rio Cangrejal — a trip only requiring two or more people — but arrived with bad timing; a group had come and gone the day before, with no new prospective rafters in sight just yet.  And so, I had to spend a day waiting around for people to show up.

“Not much going on today,” Raoul the Dutch Boy said.  “Guess it’s a relaxing day.”  He and fellow Dutch Boy Jon were also moping around.  They had come with their own sport kayaks to paddle the river, but without local guides spotting them, they were staying dry — none of the guides were on the river that day.

Out of sheer boredom, the three of us just went for a short walk on the river road to see what we could see.  “I want to see a big snake,” the blonde eighteen-year-old Raoul said.  There were none to be seen on the main road — only village children, more men with machetes, a dead frog, and some unsupervised horses — so we climbed a barbed fence like a bunch of Hardy Boys to see what we could see in the bush between the road and the river.  Raoul went ahead but then signaled us to turn back.

“It’s an ant road,” he told us.  The makeshift path down to the river was crawling with red army ants, some carrying leaves many times their body weight.  “Let’s go before we get bitten,” he said.  We did.

“Oh, it hurts,” Jon said, an ant biting him from his flip-flop.

The drab day of such drab dialogue continued.  And so in the interest of doing something interesting, I went on a hike of solitude on the three marked trails on the eco-lodge property, paths that took me into the jungle wilderness of tropical flowers, butterflies, woody legumes, creeks, more butterflies, little waterfalls, frogs, and a view of the beautiful peak across the way.  I found a cangrejal (crab) of which the river was named after — but still no snakes.  Around me, the wild sounds of the jungle were filled not with the calls of birds or babbles of brooks, but by my own laughter as I listened to the hilarious audiobook to I Am America (And So Can You!) by (and narrated perfectly by) Stephen Colbert.  It’s laugh-factor was only outdone by Youth In Revolt by C.D. Payne, which I read when I got back to the lodge.

Soon, a truck pulled up with a group of three middle-aged folk from San Obispo, California.  “Hi,” I greeted them.  “Are you guys rafting?”

“We’ll see,” said the woman.

“I’ve been waiting here, waiting for people to show,” I said with a little desperation.  “I’m trying to do the full day.  So please, please come rafting!”

Their sign up must have triggered a chain reaction because soon two more couples arrived and signed up as well for the next day.  Udo the owner — still looking stressed with his wife and business partner away on the Mosquito Coast guiding a 5-day rafting tour — was busy on the phone with even more calls coming in from La Ceiba. 

After dinner, I sat out at the bar with new faces — Mark and Jennifer, a thirty-something couple from Calgary, Canada, and Sam the bartender/rafting guide — chatting over beers and shots, while the rhythmic sounds of Manu Chao and Xavier Rud put the lodge in a relaxed vibe.  Other trips were being organized behind the scenes, including one that caught my attention when it was within earshot:  a couple staying in La Ceiba wanted to go on the horseback riding tour along the beach.

“I wanna go horseback riding!” I told Udo.  And it was settled; yet another thing to do while waiting to hop in a raft — plus it got me another free night’s stay.  (The Omega Tours eco-lodge, for you readers using this blog as a guide, offers a free night’s stay with every tour booked.)

THE NEXT MORNING (Day 22, Part 1), Udo (looking less stressed then usual) and I drove to the fancy hotel in La Ceiba to pick up Mike, a fifty-something(?) American real estate developer originally from Oregon, who built luxury homes on the Bay Islands of Honduras, and his soon-to-be-wife Leslie, a middle-aged cougar retaining most of her looks as a former model, who was quite inquistive in nature.  Within the ten minutes of going from the hotel to the stables, she found out the gist of my entire life story on the road and in the States with a series of non-intrusive questions.

“And where do you live in New York?”

“Well, I was in on the Upper East Side, but I’m sort of in between apartments right now.”

“So you’re in transition?”


“Not a bad place to be in transition then.”

Mike was on a business call on his cell, but lit up when we got to the stables.  “I want the meanest, strongest horse you got!” Mike asked of Udo.  A bit of an alpha male, he used to wrangle horses in Oregon, doing anything and everything with a horse besides building houses on them.  (He didn’t mention bestiality, I should say.)

“You’ll have fun with this horse,” mild-mannered Udo told him, giving him a steed.  Leslie wasn’t as adventurous and asked for a kinder, gentler horse, while I got Caniso, a white horse that was just right.

“Now is this western saddle?” was the next question of the inquistive Leslie.  She and Udo started discussing styles of riding, which made me feel a little inadequate; at the peak of my horseback riding skills — playing cowboy in the Brazilian Pantanal — there were no technical terms other than “Hyaaah!”  But I was fine with my horse Caniso and was quite surprised at myself that I could ride with little effort — although much credit should to to Caniso, a great one-horsepower ride with great maneuvering response, even on turns.

Udo and a local stable boy led us on a trail through villages, marshes, and jungle terrain where we almost trot over a turtle.  On our ride, I rode in awe that the horse, a beast of burden for centuries, could nonchalantly just shit and piss while walking at the same time, even in mid-stride — a feat I couldn’t pull off, even if I tried.  Eventually the horses arrived at the beach, where we trotted, cantered, and galloped along the shore, with the waves of the surf just below our shadows.  To my chagrin, there were no remnants of the Statue of Liberty at the end of the beach — those damn dirty apes! — but instead we were met with ocean tidal crossings, some almost three feet deep, although the horses didn’t seem to mind provided you didn’t lead them into quicksand.  (In fact, Udo said when the water gets too deep, the horses actually swim, and the rider swims behind, holding the tail.)

The beach provided the perfect straightaway for us to take the steeds for a run.  Mike and I took our horses out for fast gallops along the shore — only for Mike’s horse to sink into some quicksand and fall forward with its ass over its head.  Mike flew off his horse with a fate almost the way of Christopher Reeve, but fortunately he was trained enough to jump and eject himself straightaway, so the horse wouldn’t fall on top of him.  “Whoa, did you see that?!  The horse’s ass was over his head!” he said, brushing himself off of sand.  He did it mostly to impress his new fiancee — that and by bragging how he could “take action photos” with his camera while holding on the reins with one hand.  Whoop de friggin’ do.

The horse tour was a great way to spend a morning, but the day had just begun for the soon-to-be-wed couple would join me and the others back at the lodge for an afternoon rolling down the river.  On the way back to the lodge, Udo spotted something on the road that might have made the previous day a bit more exciting: a red, black-banded coral (poisonous) snake, that slithered away into the grass.

“Hey, we saw a snake on the way here!” I raved to Raoul.  Perhaps the absence of the poisonous snake was a good thing the day before; that kind of excitement might have led to things more dreadful than merely falling down a horse.

Next entry: Rollin’ Down The River

Previous entry: BFFN (Best Friend For Now)

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments for “Waiting With Horses While Looking For Snakes”

  • GREETINGS FROM COSTA RICA… One more Honduras entry to come (the actual rafting I went there for).

    Hope everyone is getting trashed at company holiday parties!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/13  at  03:54 AM

  • Ah, another poo picture.  Its been so long since the last one.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/13  at  12:46 PM

  • snakes…why did it have to be snakes….

    what movie? grin

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/13  at  01:59 PM

  • Ah, I would have signed up for rafting asap!  I love WW rafting and I’ll be in Honduras as well.  (and solo - take that Let’s go guide!)

    OK, so I wouldn’t want to ever swim behind a horse while holding on to its tail.  Since a horse seems to pee and poo wherever it wants!  But I’m not judging.  I’m sure I’ve peed in the ocean a time or two myself.

    So you decided to bypass the Bay islands?  I am debating that one too.  I want a nice beach for my last week but I’m not sure Roatan is for me.  I want something more chill and the sight of a cruise ship might depress me.  Are there other nice beaches in Honduras?  I was also thinking of the corn islands in Nica but they might be too far for me..

    Posted by sara  on  12/13  at  04:37 PM

  • Sara-
    Do the corn islands!  They’re wonderful.  Eric…jealous…I LOVE Costa Rica.  It’s so EASY.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/13  at  05:02 PM

  • markyt: samuel l. jackson…snakes on a plane?

    sara: i was in roatan in november before i met up with erik in caye caulker, and it is definitely chill… maybe i was lucky, but i didn’t see any cruise ships (I stayed on the west end).  if you decide to go, the posada arco iris was tranquilo.  Here are some photos of roatan: http://picasaweb.google.com/auroralucida/RoatanHondurasNovember2007

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/13  at  05:16 PM


    E - your fear of snakes is subusiding?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/13  at  05:20 PM

  • Camilla - I just looked at your pictures - very nice!  And Sherie - yes, I really do want to go to the maize islands - I will have about 9-10 days after spanish class and my new years at lake atitlan.  It’s either beach, or a trek or both - it might have to be a game day decision dependant on the weather!  Noelle told me that Nicaragua has great beaches.  Oh, a hut, a hammock, sunset and a beer would make me so happy..

    Posted by sara  on  12/13  at  05:52 PM

  • I loved the Corn Islands - they’re very chill… I would love to go to Roatan at some point, though…

    I’ve heard that about the swimming behind horses, but I’ve heard about swimming beside them more - and holding onto the mane… Sounds fun, all of it, though. Love the photo of your shadow!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/18  at  04:02 PM

  • great range of Ed Hardy products. Ed Hardy Women’s Ellerise Lowrise Sneaker · Ed Hardy Women’s
    ed hardy jeans, ed hardy hoody, ed hardy shirt, ed hardy clothing, ed hardy cap, ed glasses, ed belts,
    women fashion shoes, men’s clothes. helping .perhaps you will like
    Ed Hardy
    Ed Hardy shoes
    Ed Hardy shirts
    Ed Hardy clothes
    Ed Hardy clothing
    Ed Hardy shoes
    Don Ed Hardy is an American tattoo collector raised in Southern California
    Ed Hardy Clothing,Christian Audigier,Ed Hardy Shoes,Ed Hardy Swimwear,Ed Hardy Hat,
    ED Hardy Caps
    Ed Hardy Sunglasses
    Ed Hardy Wallets
    Gucci outlet store online, numerous cheap Gucci bags, handbags, wallets, purses, totes, shoes on sale,
    cheap prices and authentic qualities
    gucci handbags
    gucci jewelryhfgj

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/09  at  02:55 AM

  • tgiu tyi Discounted UK Tiffany Jewellery Sale Outlet provides designer Tiffany Ring, necklaces and other jewelry in wholesale price. UK Tiffany specializes in
    Tiffany jewellery
    Tiffany Bracelets
    Tiffany Earrings
    Tiffany and co
    We have all kinds of Tiffany Jewellery, such as Tiffany Necklaces, Tiffany Rings
    Tiffany Necklaces
    Tiffany Rings
    tiffany jewelry
    Choose, buy and shop for on sale tiffany jewelry including Tiffany & Co Silver Necklace, Pendants, Bangles, Bracelets, Earrings, Rings and Accessories.
    tiffany co
    tiffany and co
    UK Tiffany Jewellery Sale Outlet provides designer Tiffany Ring, necklaces and other jewelry in wholesale price. UK Tiffany specializes in
    Tiffany jewellery

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/09  at  05:44 AM

  • Is your career important for your future life? Thence, do not try to get very cheap essays! Opt for the essays online company that will give guarantees that papers are composed by specialists. You have to be assured that you submit high quality essays!

    Posted by Danielle19Macias  on  11/11  at  01:04 AM

back to top of page


Follow The Global Trip on Twitter
Follow The Global Trip in Instagram
Become a TGT Fan on Facebook
Subscribe to the RSS Feed

This blog post is one of thirty-nine travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip: The Central American Eviction Tour* (*with jaunt to Colombia)," which chronicled a six-week journey through Central America, with a jaunt to Bogota, Colombia.

Next entry:
Rollin’ Down The River

Previous entry:
BFFN (Best Friend For Now)


Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.

Spelling or grammar error? A picture not loading properly? Help keep this blog as good as it can be by reporting bugs.

The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad.
TheGlobalTrip.com v.3.7 is powered by Expression Engine v3.5.5.