Well after finding ourselves in Chile with no idea what to do with our last month we ended up on a 32hr bus (?!) crossing 3 countries (Chile/Argentina/Paraguay) to try to find a volunteering place with horses and a pool for the last month of freedom!
After a slight detour to a conservation project with a load of hardcore scientists who had no aversion to angry wasp stings/mosquitos/scorpions in their shoes/frogs in their bags we found ourselves in Caacupe. A city outside of Asunción with a heavy German/Austrian influence and a huge church where every year people from all over South America make a pilgrimage to, some on foot for miles and miles.
We ended up as workaways on the last part of the trip so free bed and food in turn for 5hrs work a day. So horsey heaven for me! 13 horses to work with, round pen, riding arena with barrels and little cross bar jumps, rides around the property and palm trees and sunshine on hacks out. Oh and a pool to relax in when I wasn’t riding a horse! Unfortunately it wasn’t so much fun for John who doesn’t like sweating profusely from waking up to going to bed, shovelling horse poo and wee, picking up weeds or cutting grass as to be fair what are his gains……but luckily for him (and unluckily for me!) it was only 2 weeks.
Stella is an Austrian lady who owns the complex, she has pigs, cows, ducks, chickens, dogs and horses as well as 3 homes which are rented out to people as holiday homes as her income. The whole set up has rather opened my eyes to the possibliltes of living in the sun and riding horses everyday and still being able to afford to live!
Apollo a beautiful but nervous pinto boy-
Canela (who I called chilli for the whole trip) was a very sweet baby girl who I fell a bit for as she was just very clingy but so sweet. Other babies were Chilli, Gina and Aladdin who all got groomed, in hand schooling and cuddles.
So I got to play with horses all morning then hang out in the pool in the afternoon before hopping on again in the evening for a schooling sesh at sunset. Certainly an eye opening experience as to what is out there and what is possible. I have no doubt I’ll be back! (John not so much…..!)