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A Ride To The Stars

May 1st, 2011 | By: randman | 4 Comments » | Posted in FrontPage, Tourism

The air felt crisp and fresh as I let go of the reins and turned to grab a beer out of my saddlebag. I popped the top and took a long swallow while underneath me my horses breathing started to slow as he relaxed after galloping the last few hundred yards to the top of the mountain.


Looking out over the sweeping vista of Medellin with the sun slowly setting and the lights starting to come on in the city it occurred to me that this was one of those moments in time that I would look back on in the future and think, “yeah, this is how life should be”.


It occurred to me that this was one of those moments in time that I would look back on in the future and think, “yeah, this is how life should be”

The evening started a few hours earlier as our group of 4 met up with the novia of one of our amigos who graciously drove us out to the stables in La Estrella. It was about a 30 minute drive from El Poblado and was on the outskirts of the city.


La Estrella is a semi rural community with a lot of horse farms. We stopped to get beer and water at a small market and continued up the narrow winding roads to our destination. Upon arrival we were greeted by Mario, the owner of the horses and the guide for our adventure.


After a few questions about our level of riding ability, Mario assigned us horses and we proceeded to mount up and get going. We put the beers and water in the saddlebag, Mario strapped a homemade boom box onto the back of his horse, cranked up the ranchero music, and off we went.



Relaxing After A Tough Day At The Office

We rode through the outskirts of town looking at the views, getting used to the horses, and listening to Marios music. It all seemed kind of surreal but yet very cool. We slowly rode out of the town gradually going higher up the surrounding mountains. After 20 minutes or so Mario had us stop at a small bar on the very edge of town.


Actually “bar” does not really give an accurate picture of this establishment. It was more like a beat up shack, with a couple of rough looking locals sitting at a table out front pounding beers. We stopped the horses out front and the friendly proprietor came out to greet us with a tray of generous aguardiente shots and water chasers.



Shot of Aguardiente For The Road

Now I’m thinking that I don’t know if this is such a good idea, mixing hard liquor and 1000 lb animals. Mario sees the look on my face and gives me a smile and a wave of his finger and says to me in spanish “to help you relax a little”. All right then, what the hell. We suck back our shots, wave good bye to the friendly bar keep and we’re on our way once again.


As we go higher up, the road we’re on gradually changes from paved to dirt and eventually we turn off onto a wide path going up the mountain. The air is cooler, the views behind us are getting better and better, and between the gentle rhythm of the horses strides and the aguardiente we are feeling pretty relaxed and really enjoying ourselves.


All of a sudden Mario slaps his horse with the reins and it takes off and our horses take off after him. We’re really moving, the wind is whipping our faces and it feels great. After a bit we slow down and spend the next hour or so alternating between walking, trotting, and a little galloping.


Horse Running

Riding Through The Horse Farms In La Estrella

The countryside is beautiful and we’re really out there now. I have to admit that I had fleeting thoughts of rounding a corner and running into a group of guerrillas or narco traffickers. But those thoughts were short lived and I just relaxed and got into the whole scene.


After a time we reached a stopping point pretty far up the mountain. It was some type of cabin with bathrooms at the back. We got off the horses by a fence and looked at the spectacular view of Medellin below us. The sun was setting and the lights were coming on in the city and we all just relaxed, drank a beer, and hung out for a while.


It was starting to get dark so we mounted up and headed down the mountain back towards town. The ride back was leisurely and mellow as we talked and rode. The horses knew they were on their way home and went along at a nice pace without needing much encouragement. The night was clear and the moon provided enough illumination to light our way. It was as pleasant and relaxing a time as you could have.


Night View

Night Falls Over Medellin

On the way back we rode right through the main town, and for me that was the least enjoyable part of the ride. Lot’s of cars going past, people on the sidewalks partying, horses a little spooky with all the noise, and I was glad to get out of there. It felt good to get back to the stables.


We got back to the stables, dismounted and gave the horses to Mario and his wife who turned them out. Mario got us a taxi and we said our goodbyes, paid him, thanked him for a great time, and headed off to finish a great day with dinner in Sabaneta.


Despite the fact that our legs and butts were sore as hell for a few days afterwards, all of us had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat. The whole trip was a bit more than 4 hours and was a great way to see some areas a bit off the beaten path in a more unusual way. For those with a little sense of adventure this is a highly recommended way to spend an afternoon in Medellin.


** A hearty muchas gracias to our amigo PavlovsDog for several of the awesome photos that accompany this article. Good stuff and good times!


Tags: , | Category: FrontPage, Tourism

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4 Responses to “A Ride To The Stars”

  1. PavlovsDog says:

    I just LOVE this new feature article! Been there – done that LOL

    However, as a new website shouldn’t you be giving credit to the photographer who actually shot and submitted those awesome photos? ……just checkin’ LOL

    BTW, if you want more great photos please feel free to contact me at any time

  2. PavlovsDog says:

    muchas gracias y por favor asegurate de escribir mi nombre correctamente LOL

  3. VagoPaisa says:

    A medicinal shot of aguardiente is always great for the nerves. Enjoyed the article.


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