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October 24, 2014 / angelavbolton

Adventures in Lanzarote

Angela and Bob, O'Connell Street, 1985

Angela and Bob, O’Connell Street, 1985

Three days, alone in a hotel room in Lanzarote, bruised and in pain. Thank God for room service.

That’s how my recent holiday ended up. All my own fault, of course, forgetting I’m not 20 anymore – flinging myself from an almost galloping horse left me immobile and helpless for the last part of my week away.

Been wise enough the first two days, just snorkelling and swimming. Then felt ‘I should DO something’, so booked a ride-out for my fourth day. This started off okay: was told we’d do a standing trot and thought that would be it. The terrain was hard with rocks, and having to go out on the road at one point was a little nerve-wracking, especially as a gardener turned on some machinery just as myself and ‘Peter Pan’ were passing. Pan shied immediately but it wasn’t a problem.

Then we did a gallop. I wasn’t too comfortable with that, not having ridden in years, and when it was suggested a second time I asked not to be included. However, Peter Pan – obviously doing this day after day – had other ideas, and took off like a shot. The dust was flying everywhere, we were at the end of the line, and suddenly I came down hard on the saddle: felt something in my back go and my legs had no strength in them. Knew I had to get off that horse, and managed to stop him for a second, but a second was all it was. Before I could dismount he was building up speed again, I’d lost a stirrup and knew if I fell off at full gallop, it could be very bad indeed, so before he got too fast I tried to jump clear.

Landing on my side was the best I could manage, but even that was excruciating. When the dust settled, the stables sent a car to pick me up, then they called an ambulance which took me to a medical centre.

So, later that afternoon when the hotel had picked up my pain prescription, I lay on the bed watching TV, covered in volcanic ash with pebbles in my clothing (I couldn’t shower, couldn’t move), a sling on my arm, and a bottle of rosé. This was how it was for the last three days of my stay – apart from having a shower, of course, which I managed eventually.

One week later, having staggered through airports wincing and groaning, I am black and blue, still having difficulty getting up from a lying-down position, but wiser for the experience. At least now I know what kind of holiday I don’t want.

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