I’ve been riding every Monday morning since I got here. It is a cherished couple of hours out of my week. My riding group is wonderful and there’s something to be said about riding down a beautiful palm tree lined beach with a tropical sun beating down on you. Our guide, Daniel, has even let us go out on our own a few times so I have gained more experience and confidence on a horse.
Such was the case today. It was just Sue and me, so Daniel told us to go on and he’d join up with us for the ride back. The weather was just perfect, with a cool breeze and fluffy white clouds. Our horses were chomping at the bit, so we loosed the reins, dug in our heels, and let them fly.
On the trip back, Daniel asked why we didn’t want to go back through the forest and I explained that it’s because of the mosquitoes. I then told him all about the mosquito-borne disease from Africa that has reached North American shores and is causing babies in Brazil to be born with little to no brain. We then talked about the cost of life in Canada and the shock I’m going to experience at produce prices. Sue can follow a little bit and we’d frequently break to have her repeat words and make sure she was following the conversation, and we’d do the same for Daniel with English words.
As we were nearing the end of the ride, we came across a giant green coconut right in the middle of the road. Daniel scooped it up. When we got to our hitching posts on the beach, he set the coconut on a stump he uses to help people mount the horses, pulled his machete out from under his horse’s saddle, and hacked at the coco until there was a drinking hole. Sue and I split it and we both raved at how fresh and cool and flavourful the coconut water was.
But Daniel wasn’t done! He then used the machete to split the coco in two and hacked off a bit of the husk to make a spoon. He then fed us the coco meat! I’ve never had green coconut meat before and it was marvelous. I’ve heard it described as slimy, but it wasn’t unpleasantly gelatinous at all, very cool and smooth and sweet and filling.
Such a special morning deserves a special lunch so I’m off to the beach for a beer and something shrimpy!