On March 23 and 24 we had the opportunity to go out with Rey on one of his newly established company's trips. Rey had been doing trips prior to this but has only recently started his own company. We got his information through our hosts at Tierra Libre. He has a number of trips outlined or he can create one to suit. We wanted to get back to the three waterfalls (La Iguana, El Venao, Las Golodrinas) but the four hours of horseback riding intimidated us - we have only gone a few times in our lives. Instead, he hired a taxi to take us into the mountains. We were then going to walk to the waterfalls and have lunch with the local Salto family.
The ride in was UP into the mountains in our 4-wheel drive taxi truck. When the road got too rough and steep, and the stream beds too rocky, we got out to walk. I thought, with our custom trip, that we were doing some little trail hike to the waterfalls so I wore my flipflops ... WRONG. It was a challenging hike for sure. On the third rope descent I decided I was putting myself at too much risk and opted out. We were miles from any possible help if I slipped. When the rest of the group returned (including my 16-year old daughter who was the first to go the distance!), we went back to the first waterfall to laze about in the swimming hole. It was refreshing and welcomed.
We then walked back to the Salto's to have a fresh lunch with the family. The mom and dad sat around with us for awhile. Our food was fresh as they grow everything right there, our hosts were patient with our limited Spanish (Rey acted as interpreter as his English is quite good) and the 'dining area' was clean and comfotable. Lunch cost us $2.50 extra each and it was well worth it, and it included a fresh organic coffee too (yes, grown on the property too).
After our thank-yous and good-byes, we walked back to wait for the taxi. Rey called as we were leaving (everyone has cell-phones and there's coverage everywhere!) so we only waited a short time. Instead of the taxi, we had a bigger truck this time. The taxi truck did get stuck on one bolder when we were crossing an old stream bed on the way up. We had to sit or stand in the back of the truck but there were solid bars for us to hang on to. The ride, however, we sooo bumpy that we were slamming into them and had to use all our might so we wouldn't get home covered in bruises.
It was a great day. If you dress properly (follow Rey's instructions) and are ready for a long, bumpy road and a gorgeous, slightly challenging hike, this is a FANATASTIC outing. It cost us $20 a person as we had five in our group.
The next day, three of us went out on a horseback riding trip with Rey as well. For $10.00 each we went out for two hours. At the end, we were very thankful we hadn't gone on horses the day before. It was a rocky challenging path for the horses and one horse was so slow (maybe old and hurting??) that we had to keep waiting for my husband to catch up. The nice thing about this trip was the view of Tute from the top. I would have, however, prefered to walk it (even in my sandals). If you LIKE horeback riding and have lots of experience, this is a wonderful place to explore. If your knees hurt when you ride, and you don't like crossing swinging suspension bridges on horseback (I feared for our safety on this one), you might want to skip this!
I don't have Rey's information now that we're home but he does have a webpage (blog) and Facebook (?) account. He is a quiet but very friendly young man and I hope the business takes off for him.
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