The past month or so has been hectic as usual and equally engaging
in the spirit of adventure. In this issue of our Newsletter we bring you
highlights of some more private journeys and trips undertaken
and information on others yet to come.
Polo Plus Safari for Van Zanten
Over the past couple of seasons Barbara from Holland, had been communicating with us for a polo safari in India and finally she and her boyfriend were able to experience this in February, their determination paying off. Both seasoned equestrian sportspersons, with a hunter jumper background they sampled our “ The Maharaja and Maharani’s Polo Safari”. This comprised a full week’s polo clinic and then a luxurious, private tented camp in the mountains near Ramgarh Lake outside Jaipur.
Like those in the UK, with strictures on fox hunting, their introduction to Polo is proving to be a compatible replacement in terms of skills and challenge.
Their visit began in Delhi on their arrival with some unwinding, relaxing and sightseeing of Delhi’s Mughal monuments. After an early breakfast the next day, they drove with IJ to Jaipur, via the old Kingdom of Alwar, staying the overnight at Sariska Palace and exploring the jungles there , replete with Sambhar stag, spotted deer, wild boar, peacock, fox, langur monkey and macacque amongst others.
Photo: Tessa McGregor
The value added highlight to their trip was a two-day horseback safari, post Polo clinic.Driving out through the beautiful landscape of Rajasthan Barbara and her boyfriend were flabbergasted at the sheer luxury of the tents in the desert put up for them for just two nights. These came with complete carpeted flooring from porch verandah to bedroom and bathroom
The porch had lounge chairs and petromax lanterns, the bedroom also had a writing table and lamp and the bath had a flush toilet, ceramic wash basin and a bucket bath and hand shower. Two room boys were in constant attention. Local Indian meals were served and the rum and lime, or chilled beer helped wash down the dust of the day after the ride out through the river beds and past village fields, and old hunting towers.
The countryside had them enchanted, meeting native riders on their marwari horses and swapping notes or, having “chai” with the temple priest .
Dunwegs on Horseback in Rajasthan & Polo
Mr and Mrs Dunweg flew in to Mumbai and connected to Jodhpur, from where they connected immediately with the famous Marwari horses, an indigenous Indian with their inward curling ears touching at the tips. They were recommended the Kumbhalgarh Fort Ride, one of our classics, for their first week. Riding through the timeless and pristine countryside, far away from the beaten tourist tracks.
Beginning with a night at the Fort Chunwa Luni near Jodhpur their ride traversed through desert landscapes, dry river beds and acacia forests untill it finally reached the high Aravalli mountain ranges. The final objective being the Kumbhalgarh Fort, 3,000 ft above the plains with the outer walls spanning a 36sq km radius, atop the hill ridges that surround it.
The Dunwegs had asked for more than a week of horseback adventure so for their second week we arranged several days of stationary riding and camping, in the less travelled but picturesque Korta region of Rajasthan. The beautiful Marwaris led by IJ’s co ride leader Nirbhay Singh Deora through this varied landscape which finally rose dramatically from the plains at 600 feet above the sea to the heights of Kumbalgarh at 3,000 took the breath away in more ways than one! The last stage meant they had to dismount and lead their horses up a couple of kilometers over the ancient and worn flag stones, with macaque monkeys howling in alarm. A dramatic conclusion to the first ride.
After a brief overnight at Udaipur, they went to Nirbhay’s farm and stayed with him for a week experiencing local food, culture and the landscape of the desert. Camping out in luxury after all the fine fort palace stays , made a great experience for a night under the stars. And a bonfire at night.
From the 29th of March through till the 06th of April, England’s famous public (ie. private) school, Rugby School named after the town of Rugby, is sending a group of students from their polo team to improve their polo. IJ shall be personally taking them to Franshoek Polo School, South Africa, before he himself heads out to some interesting game lodges there, including Akeru, Tanda Tula and Ants Nest and finally the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Thereafter, IJ will be setting up trip platforms for equestrian and other safaris in East Africa before heading westward.
Incidentally, those interested in Africa should make plans now, as the season is coming around.
Intrepid Jack with IJ to lead a group of riders to beautiful British Columbia
Remember Jack Baxter, the youthful 84 years old from our last
Pushkar ride. Well, he and IJ are together leading a group of riders in
Beautiful British Columbia in August this year to Tepee Heart Ranch. To
The best of Canada’west - on horseback join us (only 3 spaces left) at Tepee Heart. Situated on a highland plateau at a height of 1300 m at the south-west of Williams Lake you will spend an unforgettable holiday far away from civilisation surrounded by wooded mountains. The ranch has been a base for Trail Rides to the isolated Chilcotin Mountains for more than 40 years. You ride the unique Tennessee Walker horse, a breed most suitable for the inexperienced rider owing to their gentle gait.
We explore Anvil Mountains and Groundhog Creek Valley on horseback. On our day’s ride to Sherwood Lake the rainbow trout are waiting for us – the record of 53 cm is still to be broken. During a day’s rest for the horses we explore the surroundings on foot, take photographs, hike and if we are lucky observe moose, deer, coyotes and … bears. When the weather is good it is possible to swim in the lake with the horses. A canoe for exploring the lake can be found at the landing stage.
sequel to our last November’s Tribal & Sand Dune Photo Expedition, Jim
Zuckerman of the Palm Beach Photographic Centre will be leading another trip in
Fall 2005 along with Maj Gen Surjit Singh. While the trip is more or less sold
out, we share some pictures from last years trip with you. Ask
for details via the form at :] Photo: Eliane Thweatt
Tribal & Photo Study Upcoming Trip
As a sequel to our last November’s Tribal & Sand Dune Photo Expedition, Jim Zuckerman of the Palm Beach Photographic Centre will be leading another trip in Fall 2005 along with Maj Gen Surjit Singh. While the trip is more or less sold out, we share some pictures from last years trip with you.
Ask for details via the form at :]
Photo: Eliane Thweatt
Once again the incredible Ride to Pushkar takes place in November. The Fair dates are 8-15th and so send us your requests for this, keeping a margin on either side for add on sights and side trips. Ask us for the program via
the form at http://www.horsebackholidays.com/irf.html
Photo: Eliane Thweatt
Finally, we leave you with the latest accolade from a prestigious visitor....
We hope that our paths will cross soon , in some exotic part of the world!