If you’re sitting in an enviable position with this upcoming silly season where you don’t have any family or work commitments to abide by I might have the answer. Fancy boycotting the ho-hum of Christmas and New Years to lose yourself on a far-flung Globetrotting ride?
I’ve spent my fair share of Christmas days from the back of a horse and celebrated the coming of a new year under a star lit sky and there is no better way to spend this time of year.
If you do have family or work commitments some of the rides I’ve listed below have departure dates either side of Xmas and New Years.
Here are my picks –
This is one of my all time favourite rides and one of the first globetrotting trips I cut my teeth on. I signed up for the Gaucho & Glacier itinerary which is a ten day horse riding expedition that gravitates around the UNESCO listed Torres del Paine National Park. In terms of scenery imagine dramatic glaciers, wildflower filled paddocks and jagged mountain ranges that render you breathless. You’ll be riding alongside the baqueanos (Chilean cowboy) who know the country inside and out, mounted on the Criollo, one of the oldest quarter horse breeds. The rides in this part of the world start in October and go through to March, ride price begins at $4999 per person for ten days of riding. Great value! I’ve sent a bucket load of globetrotters to this part of the world who have returned home vowing to return. I recommend the Estancia to Estancia itinerary for those that would prefer a hot shower at night, a fire in your room and a comfy bed. These are luxurious you’ll LOVE if you’ve spent a day in the Patagonian elements where the rain and wind can swoop on you at a moment’s notice. Even though it’s summer in Chile, Patagonia can be brisk and the weather can change at a blink of an eye.
In the same continent but across the border lies a very special estancia that can only be accessed on horse. That’s right, you can’t drive into this estancia which sits in the shadows of the Andes mountain ranges in Patagonia, Argentina. With 100,000 acres as your riding playground days will be spent working alongside the gauchos, mustering the horses in every day and generally disconnecting yourself from the outside world for a moment in time. The estancia is open from November through to March and has a 7 day minimum stay required due to its remoteness. And it’s $350 US per person, per night.
So when people ask ‘what are you up to for Christmas?’ You nonchalantly answer, ‘I’m riding a horse for seven days through the Delta in Botswana where I’ll weave through herds of giraffe, swim my horse across flood plains and eye ball an elephant,’ – do you think they’ll believe you? I’m thinking no. I couldn’t think of anything better to salute the new year or toast to Saint Nick by riding a safari horse through the water meadows of Delta. December and January is a great time to visit where the daily rate is cheaper and you have the option to choose between a 5, 7 or 10 night safari. Before you start organising your flights, you need to be an intermediate to experienced rider to complete this – confident at a fast canter.
If you don’t feel like dusting off your passport, we have one closer to home. The Tassie Tiger Trail, which is a 5 day, 4 night itinerary has a departure date of December 10 to 14. We already have three globetrotters booked, the ride price is $3100 per person, there are only three spots left. With Quamby Bluff as the backdrop, your hosts Jeremy Ford and Jen Clingly will have you exploring never-ending forestry trails which traverse through country side, alongside waterfalls, through 300 year old rainforest, part of the famous Tasmanian Trail.
This five day, four-night Warrior Trail is not your normal, run-of-the-mill beach ride. Firstly, your backdrop is the raw and unblemished Pakiri beach. Picture pearly white sand and calm, turquoise waters kissing the dunes. You have ample opportunity to canter the horses up the empty beaches and then cool your horse down in the briny sea. It’s common to see pods of dolphins playing in the surf break and is one of the highlights of this riding itinerary. We all know beach riding can get tiresome after a couple of hours, thankfully this ride has a wide range of landscapes that you’ll explore. Each day differs from the next where you’ll ride through secluded dunes carpeted in wild flowers to pea-green countryside sprinkled in wooly sheep and beehives to crossing translucent rivers with sandy bottoms. We have spots available in December and February for this culturally-rich ride.
So there it is – five superior rides to choose from – where you can escape the run-of-the-mill (oh so boring) Christmas and New Years festivities and traverse the globe on horseback.