A cut above! What an experience! The best of the best! You’ve heard these exclamations, but once you’ve been to Rancho Las Cascadas you’ll know what they truly mean! There are plenty of other great guest ranches in this wonderful world of ours. They may have excellent horses to fit any rider’s abilities. They may have interesting trails with beautiful views. Delicious food is expected of any guest ranch. Rancho Las Cascadas manages to bring it a step further in each of these regards, plus add in a whole new element – the culture of Mexico. This can’t be beat.
I had the pleasure of riding the entertaining Gigolo throughout most of my wonderful nine days at the Rancho. His entertaining side was on display any time we passed any new horse along our rides, keeping me completely aware of our surroundings the entire time. Although this may not happen frequently where most of us visitors come from, in the Mexican highlands you end up passing by plenty of animals throughout each day. Each time that we passed another horse, Gigolo lived up to his name, trembling with excitement and whinnying. This happened as we passed the many mares and foals or fillies that were tied to long lines out in the various fields that we rode through, many times at full gallop. It happened as we passed whole herds of animals, consisting of everything from horses, donkeys, cows, goats, and sheep, and tended by their masters who we sometimes caught playing on their I-phones, causing us to do double-takes since this use of technology was unexpected to see in that element. Gigolo whinnied to say his hello’s to the horses that we came across in the neighboring towns, reminding me to take in the distinctive look and feel of each one. As we crossed from property to property, passing through the walls painstakingly made from countless rocks, I’d take in the surroundings to see what friends Gigolo would come across next.
At lunch times, while Gigolo had a bit of rest, we were immersed further in the culture. One lunch was held at a tiny restaurant where we shared a table with the locals. An amazing treat on a different day involved a surprise picnic lunch in a local park, after already being surprised with a shot of tequila in the middle of a creek at the top of a waterfall – how special that was! A third lunch was in a true Mexican casa where we were treated as family. Although lunch times were unique experiences in and of themselves, I was always excited to hop back on Gigolo knowing that through his fun personality he would keep me tuned in to the details of the Mexican culture along our ride.
Since I was lucky enough to have been paired with Gigolo who showed me the true Mexico, horses whinnying will forever be dear to my heart – along with the greatest ranch I have ever experienced – Rancho Las Cascadas!
– Sabine Sander, San Jose CA USA
Entry in the RLC Photo Contest 2016