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Endurance.Net Home 2007 Al Andalus: Day 2

Day 4 - 14/05/07 - Lynne Glazer

We'd decided this would be the last day I hung with Michael as he was more interested in the vet check and I needed a way to be on trail. And he had work to do he would have stayed in the hotel for, but with a broadband PCMCIA card and cell phone, he was willing to work in the car while I drove. Yep, my turn to rock and roll, drivin' a stick for the first time in many years. I had the GPS and driving directions to give me a clue. We left Granada province and entered Málaga via major highway to Archidona, the first of the pueblos blancos (white villages) set into the hillsides, and man, there were some steep streets in there, only as wide as our subcompact. Very few left turns in Spain, it's all about the "roundabouts". My Spanish vocabulary was good enough to understand spoken directions for the most part, such as "go xxx distance, then take the second right on the third roundabout?", but tough to ask questions. I got over my dominant tendency NOT to ask for directions (such a male trait, eh?) and asked, when needed. And I only terrified one driver, in a roundabout.

The hills were covered with either olive groves or gently waving grasses, so picturesque. We never got truly lost but we did get turned around in the busy town of Antequera. I enjoyed the driving and it wasn't long before we'd driven outside of town and found the finish.

Another beautifully laid out finish and vet area, on a warm windy day. I wore my "Mary Poppins" hat, as Nacho dubbed it, which is very photography-friendly. The control vet staff for this ride was experienced and sociable, and treatment was via a mobile treatment van staffed by vet students from the university in Córdoba daily (and Pablo Trigo a couple of the days.) Head vet Francisco is also the head of their program. There are many photos of the vets in today's gallery.

I took a lot of tack photos on this day of as many saddles as possible, and crewing sequence shots and group photos. And realize I left out two bib colors and got one wrong! Red for organization and black for officials, yellow for the commissioners.

Typically the second a horse comes in, the rider dismounts, tack is quickly removed as the horse gets a bunch of water from as many as 5 people, each assigned to a particular area. They don't scrape off the water; I queried Francisco about that and he says that studies since the Atlanta games one have shown the differential in temp to be inconsequential.

As soon as the horse's pulse is down either with heart rate belt or handheld, they're off to vet in.

During the awards, Manuel Narbona of Jérez, who'd won the tandem, asked his dad and Michael AND his horse to come up on stage and be recognized for their contribution to his success. Well, the horse stayed in front of the stage.

Carmen Campos, in 3rd tandems today, is 13 years old?there are a few other juniors competing, but she's the only one competing solo.

Carme Mashou had ripped a calf muscle on the second day, I believe, and continued to compete despite the pain?she rides the dark grey muscled gelding "Pinkfloid", and her daughter Ivet the spotted gelding "Puso", a great looking team--their horses held their weight very well over the course of the competition.

Today's stables were a 5 minute walk up the road towards the golf course. They had been set up outside a 17th century church which is being renovated. This ride was full of surprises and this was one of them, the ride meal was in different rooms inside which were largely yet untouched. I was so fascinated that I had a plate in one hand and the camera in the other, and surely was observed as a little obsessed. The food was magnificent, and ride manager Nacho made sure to bring me a bowl of gazpacho, "pura crema", he called it. It was just exquisite.

I abandoned Michael to his bodywork and caught a ride up to the golf course's 4 star hotel with Nacho, Carmina and Rosa. We came around a curve to find an accident between motorcycle and car, and the motorcyclist was Soto! Off they went to the hospital in the driver's car, Soto insisting he was pretty much fine.

The fantastic hotel had wifi in the lobby, inoperative in the rest due to some sort of problem. We had a sit-down dinner scheduled for 10 that night, which meant there was not only time to get some work sorted, files transferred, etc. but also for a siesta! I could live here easily?national sanctioned naps, and I'm a night person, happily typing this report at nearly midnight and not ready for bed.

Soto had broken his collarbone and made it to the dinner at the golf clubhouse! He is the master of ceremonies for the daily awards, and for this event too. Afterwards many of us went to the hotel's disco and I think we closed the place. I loved watching some of couples do traditional dances, so expressive and graceful.

And morning meant only finding a ride with someone to Rónda, for the day off and where the next stage would begin.


1 - Marisa Bote - Trajines - 4:33:26 #27 (pairs)
2 - Gerard Cobo - Deria - 4:39:55 #3  (pairs)
3 - Oriol Llorens - Croscat - 4:42:54   #12 (trio)
4 - Carmen Masnou - Pinkfloyd - 4:46:21 #2 (pairs)
5 - Carolina García - Aliada - 4:46:21 #24 (pairs)
6 - Sarah Hobbs - Década 50 - 4:49:40 #17 (pairs)
7 - Iris Janowski - Eritrea - 4:52:21 #25 (pairs)
8 - Alejandra Dachs - Eriço de Masferrer - 4:54:39  #11 (pairs)
9 - Manuel Narbona - Pussa Turismo Jerez - 5:18:05  #42 (tandem)
10 - Roberto Campo - Candomblé - 5:18:53 #8 (pairs)


1 - Manuel Narbona - Pussa Turismo Jerez - 5:18:05 #42
2 - Francisco López Maeso - Red Express - 6:01:46  #37
3 - Carmen Campos - Capri CP - 6:04:13  #43
Lynne Glazer