Eddie’s had them, I haven’t. The Trots are a definite feature of holidays taken in places where the water supply gets used for just about everything except drinking. Happily, Mr Ed firmed up after 24 hours of what was, at one point, pretty much a breakneck canter.
We celebrated by going horse-riding at the Ubud Equestrian Centre. It was an hour’s Hiace ride away from the hotel, which is also apparently in Ubud, which makes Ubud a vast sprawling metropolis of carved teak shops and tourist cafés. Our driver Putu – which means ‘first born’, so there are plenty of Putus in Bali – told us there were 12 million tourists visited the island in 2016 (4.5 million international tourists and 7.5 million domestic) for an indigenous population of only 4.25 million. That’s like the UK getting 180 million tourists… blimey. Suddenly it explains all the teak shops.
Anyways, here we are entering the world’s most elaborate doorway to a riding stables ever. Pretty much all the houses are in courtyards like the one above, with separate buildings for living, eating, sleeping, cooking, washing, arranged round a spotless, and often tiled, open space, pecked with chickens in wicker bell baskets. I’m terrified of horse riding but mainly because it makes me look such a prick.
But I’m not the only one…
We ambled along rice paddy paths, being overtaken by incredible slow mopeds carrying children, bags of rice, chickens, even the guy who was leading us’ father. You can say what you want about the Knights but we ain’t natural horse people.