Experience, The Americas
Horseback Riding to Aquarries Waterfall
By Ruby Melton
It was our third day in Turrialba, Costa Rica and on the agenda was a 3 hour trek by horseback to Acquarries Waterfall and back. Girls going global was the reason I was there an amazing non-profit that I was more than happy to volunteer with as a chaperone, their mission was to explore inner city girls to the cultures of the world and they were about to get a serious lesson in horseback riding. We were the first group up and ready for an afternoon galloping along the trails. Our driver picked us up from our accommodations at Spanish by the River and gave us a short history lesson along the way. He even pulled over when we came upon a row of coffee plantations, and he grabbed a ripe coffee bean, peeled back the skin and showed us the process of how to make coffee beans. The idea of how many people drink coffee around the world and how it goes from a plant to your Starbuck’s cup astounded me. Once we arrived, we quickly abandoned the van and as we made our way towards our guides we saw our horses approaching us, gracefully, poetically. One by one, our guides helped us get our feet in the stir ups then up we went on the horse, easy as 1, 2, and 3. Surprisingly, the saddle was quite comfortable and not hard like I originally imagined and just like that we were off! We had a guide leading the way, another guide bringing up the rear and the girls filed behind one another, trudging along and taking in the magnificent views. Picture vast rolling green hills, trees that reach towards the heavens, birds chirping songs of endearment and a sweet tasting breeze kissing your cheek with every breathe. The girls were in awe of their surroundings and myself, I was holding on for dear life, trying to capture the moment, anything for the shot right? We trotted along on our horses through a small town, our driver mentioned that the inhabitants of the town were all involved one way or another in the production of coffee beans. We certainly caused a stir as all eyes were on us, 7 black girls from America. The houses were very moderate; the children looked on through doorways and dogs resting in the street as we passed through. A few of the girls felt daring and asked if we could go faster, the guide said if one starts running then they all start running and gone with the wind we were. It was a solid hour before we reached our destination and not a moment too soon! One by one we dismounted and tied up the horses to the trees then we followed our guide through a tiny path and there it was! I’ve never seen a waterfall up close, and it literally took my breath away, it was stunning! The only way to the other side was to cross the river, so we did. Thank God for the assistance of the tour guides or some of us might not have made it. I’ll admit it was quite a struggle as it rained only a few hours prior so you could feel the force of the water moving swiftly past you, but it was so worth it! Nature’s beauty never ceases to amaze me, it’s effortless, and it’s majestic and awe-inspiring. When you come to Costa Rica be prepared to always have your jaw hit the floor because it is truly a magical place to visit and you’ll feel right at home when you step off the plane. Everywhere you turn it’s as if the creator is smiling down at you, whispering softly in your ear to take a load off and stay for a while. If you’ve never visited this beautiful country I highly recommend that you do, book your ticket and go because “to sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon the verdant green hills is the most perfect refreshment.” –Jane Austin
Ruby Melton has a B. S. in Business Management from Delaware State University and is an avid language learner, volunteer, adventure seeker and travel photographer. She is TEFL certified and is currently transitioning from a life in the corporate world to a lifestyle centered around giving back, traveling and bringing awareness to photographers who are women of color worldwide through her initiative, Brown Girl With A Camera. Her additional hobbies include white water rafting down class 5 rapids, surfing and jumping out of airplanes.