Well, we got all packed and loaded up to the gills for six weeks in Portugal – I never thought we’d get it all on. It took some organisation, but we did! And we left on Wednesday morning at horrible o’clock – 2am and caught the 6.50am train on the Eurotunnel.
It was a very good journey down, no dramas, no excitement, no stress. Well, apart from the weather. That was pretty horrendous with the rain and the wind. At one point I thought the rain was going to come into the lorry – it was hitting the roof that hard it was like nails being hammered in! In fact, it was so windy – we were actually stabled and parked up by this time – I rang my Dad Steve and asked if the trailer could actually roll over in the wind! It was that bad. I honestly felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and we were going to be picked up and swept away to somewhere totally alien!
Nonetheless, we got through it. As I was driving and to be kind and give the horses an easy journey, we did three stops over four days and got here on Saturday at 8am stress free apart from the weather.
By the time we were set up, got the horses settled, tidied the lorry, got the washing done, etc, I didn’t actually get to bed until 9pm – and I honestly don’t know how I was still standing up.
The lorry did us proud and got us here without incident. Now the old girl has a bit of break and some recovery time before she has to take us all the way back home again.
The trot up was all done and dusted on Tuesday and we start jumping on Wednesday – just two classes on the first day to break us in gently.
We travelled six horses down here – five for me and one for Darragh Magner who is with us – and I ride another two for Jude Burgess that travelled with him.
Wish me luck and I’ll tell you all about our first week next time.
Photos courtesy Laura Mantel