Thursday, August 11, 2005

Michelle's Ride to The Hermitage

The Ride to Hermitage – Day 1 – morning, 10:00 a.m.
Halfway around the globe and I am having problems with passports, photo identifications, and language issues. Url, my guide, says everyone here speaks English, not to panic or worry. Right. It sounds like English, but comprehension eludes me.

Day 1 – evening, 7:30 p.m.
Some one named Shari staked a message to the ground near my tent about photography with instructions on how to load and pack pictures for my ride to Hermitage. The directions seem easy, will try them in the morning.

Day 2 – morning, 6:13 a.m.

Went to load my pictures and they were simply blank spaces. Heading out this afternoon to check on my passport status and find an Internet café. Url says there is one in town called the Soul Food Café, and they will help me, but I could be a problem. Url’s English isn’t that great. I’m sure he meant I could run into problems. According to the map I was left, it’s a rocky road I have to follow.

Day 2. – evening, 5:03 p.m.
Plans cancelled due to inclement weather. Road impassable. Received a telegram from Heather with alternative suggestions to picture dilemma and my passport problems. The directions she sent seem easy.

Day 3 – morning, 7:45 a.m.
Passport accepted. Photos denied. I have decided to travel without them and simply use the powers of observation to record this journey. Will paint pictures with words. Feeling optimistic. This afternoon I will have URL contact the stable to reserve my ride.

Day 3 – afternoon, 1:30 p.m
Message from Enchantress, a reminder to bring a wig and a costume.
Message from Url to meet him at the stable at 4:30 p.m.

Day 3 - late afternoon, 4:47 p.m.
It seemed a little odd to pick a horse from a photo album, but Url said that’s the way it is done here. Under the black stallion’s picture was the name, Nightmare 3. I questioned Url on the horse’s disposition and he said, ”No, Michelle, no! Nightmare 3, he rides like a dream. He is wild, but gentle, with a mane that flows like a legend, and hoofs that will spark as you gallop the rocky path to Hermitage. He is simply named after the ghost horse Casper rode on cartoon-TV.”

Day 4 – mid morning. 11:22 a.m.
Arrived at the stable at 5:00 a.m. No horse. Except for an old, gnarled, apple tree of a man sitting in the shadow of the barn, everyone left for the Amazon Warrior site far up the mountain late last night. The place was deserted.

Day 4, noon.
The old man arrived at my campsite with a two, long-eared horse wannabe’s, a complaining miniature donkey named Jimmy Carter and her baby, Georgia Plain. Eyeball to eye ball, Jimmy Carter and I spoke simultaneously, “There’s no way in hell I’m riding a braying jac…” Jimmy Carter’s ears fell backwards. She punctuated her opinion with two back leg kicks. Georgia Plain ran away, bawling.

Day 4, night, 9:55 p.m.
Arrived back at campsite to find two saddlebags of carrots, a bent wood walking stick, and a reeking business card dumped by the cold ashes of my campfire.

Day 5. twilight
Wandered into Hermitage, pictureless, leading a braying jackass and her baby.


At 3:54 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Wow, Michelle, rocky journey. But you did learn a valuable lesson. NEVER piss off a donkey. You're lucky my Agnes wasn't around. Glad you made it, and your word painting is going marvelously.

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Anita Marie Moscoso said...

What a day is right!

Don't worry, things are looking up from here...I can feel it.

Anita Marie

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...

Welcome Michelle, looks like you would like a visit to the Bathhouse to see Hadrianio - it never closes like the restaurant, funny about that, welcome, welcome, Imogen Crest, Hermit.

At 3:26 AM, Blogger Heather Blakey said...

Congratulations Michelle! You made it! I'd be very kind to those donkeys and give them extra carrots because you may just need them to get to the camp of the Amazon Queen.


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