Mexico - Rancho Las Cascadas
I like to think that I enjoy riding horses but the fact is that I am not suited to it. While on the back of a horse I tend to feel top heavy with a fear that I will, within a split second, be trampled under its hooves for having dared to get into the saddle. I have had a couple of bad experiences that taught me the foolishness of ever re-mounting a steed.
A colleague of mine suggested, while I was visiting Mexico City, that I should spend a weekend at a ranch in the countryside. Horse-riding could be tailored to the experience (or lack thereof) of riders thus providing a view of the rivers and waterfalls in the area.
A weekend at the recommended ranch, Ranch las Cascadas, was booked with a view to sitting on a slow, patient, well-disciplined nag. A car met me at the Sheraton Hotel Reforma. The driver warned me that the weather, already unusually raining at this time of the year, would not get any better so I had the option to postpone. I needed a break so decided to continue and a couple of hours later we arrived at the ranch north of Mexico City.
I did not meet the owner of the ranch, a Swiss woman, but was welcomed by a Canadian girl, Jenny, who had lived and worked at the Ranch for some years. I was shown around the ranch and to my room. The entire place, in and out, was decorated by brightly painted ceramic birds and animals. The main house had a lounge, a dining room for dinner, a kitchen where one could order or make just about anything, and a covered seating / dining area where breakfast and lunch would be served, and bar between the lounge and dining room that had a pool table, dart board, coffee, tea and wines and spirits – all available throughout the day.
The rain was heavy and rarely stopped. This gave me the perfect excuse to forego the pony-trekking feature of the weekend in favour of staying huddled in front of a warm fire. It was cold as well as wet, and the wine would keep me internally heated while I read about the local bird-life.
One group of visitors had decided to venture out on horse-back. Kitted out in two layers of clothes, boots and hats they seemed cold and wet as they left, and more so when they returned. It seemed that one of the horses, normally quite placid, had decided not to be today so I felt doubly lucky to have remained indoors, apart from a short walk to capture images of a waterfall when the rain stopped for a few moments.
The meals were very good. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were of traditional Mexican fare. Warming and filling.
I had a twin room on this occasion, and a family suite on the second occasion a few months later. Both were cosily and colourfully decorated in good taste.