At the end of my last day in Paphos, I went horseback riding! My hack through the hills began and ended at Eagle Mountain Ranch, which is adjacent to a wildlife conservation area and a traditional Cypriot village about five miles above Paphos.
The ride included incredible views of the Paphos coastline, a couple of good canters, and a dreamlike ride back in the twilight. My mount, Blackie, was easy going and fun.
A special part of the ride was getting to know Cleo who, with his girlfriend Irene, runs the horse operation. Cleo and Irene are Cypriots who were educated as civil engineers in Manchester, England — so they are super smart and, as Cleo said, “always trying to make things work.” Their ranch provides various types of training, including equestrian gymnastics and jumping, but specializes in therapeutic riding programs for children and adults with all types of physical and emotional disabilities. Cleo described the empowerment and joy of a child who does not have the strength to walk realizing she can make a 1000 pound animal move according to her instruction.
All of the 11 horses at the ranch are rescues. Blackie’s leg had been chained to a post so that all of the skin was gone by the time Cleo and Irene found him. With time and love, he eventually became the ranch’s most trustworthy riding horse. Several of the other horses are thoroughbred refugees from the track who had been neglected and abused when Cleo and Irene adopted them. All of the horses know they are loved and they are quite shameless about asking for snacks of the sweet carob pods from the local trees!
Cleo explained that the Greek word for horse, “alogo” means “knowledge with a different way of expression.” Listening to Cleo’s stories, it seems clear he understands their expression.
Love this and the rescued horses and therapeutic riding story! What a great way to end your stay in Paphos! Where are you off to next??
Tomorrow — Amman, Jordan — really excited about seeing Petra!
Kimmie…You look so happy and comfortable on your trusty steed. I so share your excitement and love for that experience, you know that! What a pleasure to travel with you. I always look forward to your posts. They have become mini vacations for me throughout the week. Love you bunches.
Hoping we can make February work! xoxoxo
It’s clear that horsies are becoming the central focus of joy in your adventure.
I am very happy for you.
Aww, you and Blackie are adorable together. Hope you find many more sweet mounts on your adventures.
Well Kim I just spent the entire evening catching up on your adventures! Really loving your writing, pictures and insights. You are doing some of the work for me seeking out vegan food choices😜. I did sign up for your blog but never got it in my inbox so Michele has been kindly forwarding the last week and before that telling me about you having no food for 3 days😳. It looks like falafels are in many places and that’s good to know. Also excited that horse riding is a possibility as well. You are a brave and kind person and I know this journey will be worth any hardships you find along the way. I’m glad there is a kinder gentler American out there making us all look a little wiser and calmer. Every American traveling sets the stage for the next one who comes along. Not to put pressure on you, but to let you know that you are the kind of person I’d like to follow after. Happy trails and I’ll be “listening”. My piece of advice would be to find as many fruit trees as you can and see if someone will let you pick from the source! 🍐🍒🍇🍓🍌🍊🍍🍋🍏 oh and go on a bike ride too. 😎
Thanks Dani! I appreciate the encouragement and I am planning at least one bike ride soon!
Yup, Kimmie ain’t doing sidesaddle. You go, go, go!