Day 348 – 14th December – The Easy Way for an Early Start

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I made a decision today to take the stress out of an early start at the airport next year. I’ve done the very early start where you leave the house at an unearthly hour to get to check in and having a look at the cost of parking for a week, the additional cost of a hotel was so little extra that I decided to go for it. It will be nice to just trundle up the night before at my own speed, sleep well and not worry about sleeping through an alarm clock and end up being awake most of the night instead. In the end I went for a hotel that was slightly more than the cheapest option because of the travel to the airport. The option of a bus that is only every 30 mins and taking 30 mins to get to the airport didn’t appeal, especially as it would still be an early start. However the Heathrow POD only takes 5 mins and is meant to turn up almost instantly. I’m hoping that these two options will be a much more civilised way of starting the holiday.

Day 289 – 16th October – Upgrading

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I had a first today, and at my age, firsts are not that common! I often book holiday flights to the ranch quite early on so that I can get the best deal in terms of using air miles. Given my chosen airline often has only four seats available with air miles per flight, it can be a ‘rush to the departure gate’ as it were to get in there before they are taken. This time I decided to look at something slightly different and noticed that with the Premium Economy flight home the difference was only an extra £70 and some extra air miles. Given how badly I had slept on the way home last time I thought I would take the plunge. I’ve also had to pay to reserve the seat given how few there were on the flight, but that still brings the total to less than paying full price in Economy both ways. While it’s a while off I’m looking forward to experiencing the difference.

Day 273 – 30th September – Washed Out

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Continuing the riviting theme of usual photos, my washing machine is a good summary of the day as having arrived home it has been busy with two weeks of clothing that need the Arizona dust washed out of them. It’s also a good metaphone for how I’m feeling as I didn’t sleep much on the transatlantic flight home due to other people on the plane. I’m feeling totally washed out which will be a combination of the end of the holiday and the jetlag. I’ve already fallen asleep twice on the sofa while doing the washloads.

 

Day 270 – 27th September – Pinning things down

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Having been busy riding I have got around to picking up my visit pin for this trip. I think its fair to say that 11 visits in 6 years makes me a regular and my 12th is already booked. Before the end of the visit, so will my 13th. Currently I see no reason to stop as I’m still enjoying it as much as ever.

 

Day 268 – 25th September – You have 14 seconds to comply

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I’m now back at the ranch that I have visited a number of time, White Stallion Ranch, and have been able to do what I consider one of the highlight activities of the week, team penning. In a group of 4 friends we had some wonderful runs and I was allowed to cut a number of times as others didn’t want to. We were lucky enough to have a totally blistering run and managed to pen the cattle in 14 seconds from the time we got to them. It’s not quite my fastest time, that being 13 seconds but everyone was delighted with such a wonderfully quick time. We don’t get to keep the trophy as it was donated by a guest for photo opportunities, but it was nice to have been winners.

 

Day 267 – 24th September – The Town Too Tough To Die

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The Town Too Tough To Die is the decription that Tombstone gives to itself and given our location and having a bit of time between our last ride at Tombstone Monument Ranch and our first ride at our final ranch, it was worth a short visit. Tombstone itself is a proper town that people live in, and then there is the tourist area that consists of the main street, some museums, tours, shows, shops and bars. The highstreet has been wonderfully maintained and a number of buildings are clearly still the original, if not most of them. We stopped for a drink and meal in Big Nose Kates (she was Doc Holliday’s companion) and then had a quick stroll up and down the road. The merchandise wasn’t quite my cup of tea, but I’m glad to have been and seen some elements of what the wild west really was like.

Day 265 – 22nd September – What a reaction

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Today hasn’t been a great day. Moving on from Rancho De La Osa to our next ranch, Tombstone Monument Ranch, near Tombstone unsurprisngly, I’ve had some sort of allergic reaction. I suspect that it has come as a result of the downpour a couple of days earlier that has suddenly put a load of plants in bloom all at the same time. My eyes have been stinging to the point that it’s been difficult to keep them open and even closed they have been weeping and are red from having to be regularly wiped clean. Thankfully there was a supermarket en route and I was able to pick up some medicines (eye bath and antihistamine) and that seems to have started to solve things. By tomorrow I should be back to normal based on progress so far. Thankfully although there has been discomfort it hasn’t stopped me taking part in the horse riding I came here for.