After a lazy breakfast on the patio we meandered our way down to the beach again (with a stop at a convenient store to get sunscreen) and we were shocked to see that the number of people had more than tripled from the day before. We also learned that we had been extremely lucky in coming to Matalascañas this when we did because this weekend was opening weekend…so if we had been here a week earlier absolutely nothing (hostels, restaurants, etc.) would have been open. For lunch we had a delicious picnic on the beach that consisted of bocadillos with chorizo, cheese, and fresh avocado, fresh fruit and carrots, and Spanish peanuts.
In our room there had been a sign for horseback riding on the beach so we decided to call and see if could make a reservation for that afternoon. It was very easy to communicate to the man on the other end of the phone that we wanted to make a reservation, however the majority of the conversation was him trying to give me directions to their business location….in a town that didn’t have street names. After about 10 minutes of trying to understand his thick Andalusian accent (which is comparable to a southern accent in the U.S.) I told him that I understood and decided to just leave a little early to consult a map or person on the streets.
We arrived at the stables around 3:40 and by 4:00 we were out on the trails! The beginning of the ride was relatively flat but before long we started to climb the dunes. When we reached the top of the dunes, the view was breathtaking! To our right was Doñana National Park and to our left the beach and ocean. As we descended down to the beach my horse decided it would be a good idea to start galloping down hill on the sandy path…not my idea of fun, but it was exciting! Once on the beach my horse was determined to run free, which I was fine with, however Kelly’s horse was not going to allow it. Every time my horse tried to gallop past her, her horse would cut us off. So mine eventually decided to walk super slow and then gallop to catch up to the group. The entire time we were on trails with plants on either side, Kelsey’s horse would stop at every other flowering plant to have a snack and when we got back to the stables his mouth was literally stained green!
|Kelsey coming down the dunes to the beach.|
|Kelly riding on the beach.|
Getting off the horse was probably the hardest thing I’ve done in a while. We were all so sore from being in the same position for two hours and my quads and knees did not want to walk at all! As we made our sore walk back to the house we were passing the bus stop and I thought ‘Oh, that girl waiting for the bus looks like Erin (a girl in our program in Sevilla), but it couldn’t be her.’ But as we passed the line we realized it was her and a whole group of our friends from API! We were all equally shocked to see each other…they thought we had flown to some random city and since we had never heard of this beach city we were surprised that they had found it too.
Once back in our room, we decided that to prevent any repeats of the previous night we would shower and go out immediately for dinner. Unfortunately all of the restaurants on the beach had already closed again, but we easily found a place in the town center and had delicious seafood. We started off with mini-clams and bread, then a delicious ‘revuelto’ that had shrimp, ham, asparagus, and mushrooms cooked with scrambled eggs, and finally tiramisu for dessert. After dinner we decided to walk around to try and find some form of nightlife and our suspicions of no functioning discotecas was quickly confirmed. We decided to call it an early night again and explored the world of Spanish television, which never ceases to amaze me at what content is acceptable for public television (i.e.: an IKEA commercial that would have been rated R if it were a movie in the U.S.).