Meet a Globetrotter: Carolyn Francis - Horse Riding Holidays and Safaris

Meet a Globetrotter: Carolyn Francis

The Patagonia Trail, Argentina , The Kimberley Ride, Australia

I had been keeping an eye on Carolyn’s Instagram account for a while and as she kept posting the most brilliant photographs of her globetrotting adventure through Argentina on The Patagonia Trail, I just knew I needed to introduce her to you. So my wonderful tribe of globetrotters, here’s Carolyn’s story about how horses have shaped her life and the reason she signed up for an authentic Argentinean experience!

What is your day job?
I own and run 2 guest cottages. This includes cleaning, laundry and setting up and managing bookings etc.

How have horses influenced or changed your life?
Horses help me achieve a sense of peace and calmness in a crazy busy life. They encourage me to take a breath and relax. I love being around them.

What is your earliest memory of horses?
My parents moved to Newcastle in the very early 1970s for a short time, I would have been about two or three years old and I remember that the baker used to come around in a horse and cart to deliver fresh bread. I would hear him coming up the road and run out to greet ‘Star’, the biggest, blackest horse I had ever seen. The baker used to hoist me up onto Star’s back and let me sit for ages whilst I petted and spoke to Star, telling him how much I loved him and that one day I was going to own a horse just like him.

What was your childhood pony called?
I was lucky enough to own a black stock horse mare called Tia Maria.

What does riding or being with horses mean to you?
When I’m riding, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world – to have this gracious animal allow me the pleasure to be one with.

What have horses taught you the most?
Without a doubt – patience.

What was your first Globetrotting ride?
I was lucky enough to ride The Patagonia Trail in Argentina.

What made you take the plunge and sign up for a Globetrotting holiday?
I kept stalking the Globetrotting website and wishing that it was me going somewhere, anywhere… I really needed a break and was wanting to go alone and reconnect with me and not to have to worry about a companion. And I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I had already signed up for The Kimberley Ride in June, but I just had to get away sooner than this. Argentina just ticked all the boxes for me in regards to adventure, scenery, type of riding and remoteness. So I just took a breath after contacting Kate, who informed me that there were a couple of spots left in late January, and ticked the box that said “Sign me up”. I am so happy I did.

What Globetrotting rides have you since completed/planned/dreamed about?
I am super excited to be looking forward to The Kimberley Ride in June this year. I am also contemplating The Maasai Mara or Mongolia next year. The rides in New Zealand look awesome as well, and maybe hubby can tag along… not too sure about that though! HA HA. You can tell that I’m hooked!

What is your most memorable Globetrotting moment?
It would have to be riding The Pass of Tears on The Patagonia Trail… it looked as though there was literally no track at all to follow along this ridge line, with the wind howling about us. Jakob dismounted and went for a scout up ahead to investigate the track before we all traversed it. It was thrilling, exhilarating and slightly frightening all at the same time. But to be on the backs of Jakob’s amazing and surefooted horses made it all too easy. The scenery was spectacular, with mountains going on forever and ever. Oh and the food was pretty memorable also, as well as the Malbec and our accommodation.

Why choose this type of travel, as in exploring a new place from the back of a horse?
It’s off the beaten track, away from thousands of tourists, you are with like minded people… the list goes on and on. The best way to travel!

Who is your favourite safari horse of all time and why?
I enjoyed riding three different horses on this ride, but am embarrassed to admit that I cannot remember my favourite’s name as it was Argentinian. All I can say is that she was Jakob’s chestnut mare who he uses for endurance races.

A tip that every globetrotter should know before going on a ride…
Be prepared that you will have the time of your life and nothing short of that.

Finish this sentence – Don’t leave home without…
Your bandana or scarf – great for warmth, dust protection and sun protection. Also your sense of adventure.

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