Day 14 – Horses again & Exploring

The address of our rental this week is Salambati 16. Salambati is the name of our village and we are the 16th house (out of 17). I decided to explore the vicinity this afternoon. All the houses have a field attached to them in which the occupants toil all day to produce fruit and vegetables*. Another feature of the village is a railway line, which runs from Slovenia to Pula (more or less the southern tip of Istria).

On the other side of the train tracks is the neighbouring metropolis of Smoljanci has about 100 houses (I saw a Smoljanci61). It also has a number of commercial enterprises: a small supermarket, a pizzeria, a bar, a hairdressers, a tennis court and a station. Residents appear to get around via the railway tracks, rather than the road. The villages are perfect.

All the local villages near us in England (all of which have many more than 100 houses) now only have the local pub. Dr Beeching closed the Railway stations in the sixties; other specialist shops closed in the 70s and 80s; large supermarkets put the miserable corner shops out of business in the early 2000s; and the local buses now run only once every week. It’s now almost impossible to live in the countryside (without a car). Urbanization in England is happening every bit as fast as in the Developing World.

Tilly and I were booked to go horse riding for the day today. There was 2 hour horse ride; a BBQ on the beach; then you swam with horses in the sea; finally a 2 hour ride back.

Despite what Tilly says, horse riding is a pretty miserable experience. Your legs are stretched in a pretty unnatural position and you get to bounce up and down on this fly-infested anvil of a surface. The horse largely does what it wants to do at the pace it wants to. Progression in riding means that you get to go faster (which equates to you getting pounded harder and more frequently by the horse). I’m not a fan.

Lorna had invented this great excuse of hurting her knee a couple of days before, and Nancy is much smarter than her eight years and had declined the once in a lifetime opportunity. They drove to the beach for the BBQ and the swim part.

Yes, the scenery was pretty special and – from a car – I wouldn’t have seen it. Also, we would never have found this beach. It reminded me a lot of one we had stayed in last Christmas in The Philippines. Very quiet and met Lorna’s requirement for a holiday destination (no British people).

Overall though, the trip was not a success. The smallest of the horses (the one with the Napoleon complex) decided to bite Tilly in the stomach. The pharmacist later said that the bite marks and punctures were about the size of a small horse (ie, it covered most of Tilly’s stomach). The horses clearly did not want to swim, and – as I was helping Nancy off her horse in the sea – the largest of them trod on my left foot.

This evening we watched Crocodile Dundee in LA, a really sad excuse for a film**.

I’ll write again tomorrow.

*Little of this vegetable produce seems to be sold in the supermarkets. We’ve had a real problem getting our 7 a day this week.

** film poster quote “a film”

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sarah Maguire on August 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Hope foot, knee and tummy mend soon. Is poor Nancy lumbered with nursing you all?


    • I think everyone is fine. Just done the first half of a run and my toe is normal. There might have been an expletive or two when the horse first trod on me….Lorna’s knee is better too. Tilly’s tummy is of most concern. The next stop is horse related, so it had better have recovered


  2. Posted by Marilyn Bishop on August 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Dad: AH! What a sad time you are having – probably time to move on! Hope you enjoyed the swim – the water here is warm enough to tempt me evenn.


    • Hi Dad. This is our longest stop, and we definitely like the 4 night stops best. That said, Istria is very nice. Very Italian feel to it. Food is excellent and prices low.


  3. I’m just nit-picking but you said 16th house out of 16th a few blogs ago and now there are 17! Was a new one JUST built?


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