Rambo lurched forward and reared up, quick and ruthless. I slid off the back of the saddle and somehow managed to land on two feet. He knew a hell of a lot more about climbing mountain trails than I did and if I was smart I would just sit in the saddle, pretend I knew what I was doing, and let this mountain-goat in horse's-clothing do the driving.
Rambo in a mellow mood.
Over the next few days our spirits got a bit closer: I could show off my English riding skills, but only when the other horses couldn't see us.
Mountain horses in Peru have a "butt-habit". Nose to butt in a train along a less than one-way rocky path zigzagging up the side of a mountain, down the side of a mountain. One mountain after another is a normal day's work.
Winding trails through the valley.
If there is no butt in front, then a full gallop ensues to find one. I came to find this out when I took a dismount with my camera in search of the "straight down into the 2000 foot gorge" shot. With one foot back in a stirrup, a leg hanging in the air, someone let the rabbit loose and we were off like Zorro. Waving my umbrella wildly with my left hand to gain some sort of balance I was never so glad to see a horse's butt come up in front of me as I was then.
Another mountain to cross.
Darrell gets the shot.
From every vantage within the Vilaya Valleys, Shubet commands the sky:
Each new view morphs to an ominous and mystical presence. Approaching from the south Shubet characterizes an Ancient Warrior in profile looking to the heavens.