Monday, May 01, 2006


The Cabalgata

Kevin participated in his first cabalgata yesterday with Raol and his family. A cabalgata, according to Angelo's AP Spanish 150 dictionary from Winter Park High School, is a cavalcade - which I assume must be a huge group of horsemen, because that's basically what the cabalgata was all about. It took place in La Lindora, a small village on the outskirts of Monteverde, before Los Llanos.

Kevin went to Raol's stable (El Refugio) first, to groom his horse. Joaquin, Raol's brother, and Don Enrique, Raol's father-in-law, were there already grooming their horses. Eventually, over the next 2 hours (we were early as usual by Costa Rican standards) the group consisting of Raol, his wife Leidy, son Brandon, brother Joaquin and friend Grady assembled, and finally left the stable for La Lindora around 12:30. They let Kevin lead the way, which surprised me. Catie and her friend Ryan and I drove to La Lindora and met them there.

The road down the mountain is very narrow, and so just picture it with cars and trucks loaded with horses lining the stretch on both sides that passes through the village. There were more horses than I have ever seen in one place, all of them saddled up and tied up along the road interspersed with the cars and trucks. The girls were hoping for cotton candy, but there wasn't any. The main attraction was chicharrones (fried pork skin) and lots of beer. They settled for chicharrones. A sound truck blasting music and announcing different aspects of LA GRAN CABALGATA LA LINDORA! added to the confusion.

Kev and the gang rode up around 1:00 p.m., and registered. All the riders got white signs with a number which they pinned to their shirts or trousers. Kev was number 155. I asked Raol if the riders had to leave in order and his wife looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Estamos en Costa Rica!". What was I thinking; chaos was the order of the day. The entrance fee of 6,000 colones entitled Kev to ride in the cabalgata, 3 drinks, unlimited chicharones, lunch and a chance to win a bull. The cabalgata finally got underway around 2:30, about an hour after the scheduled departure. The horses left in no particular order, in several stages. They rode for about an hour and half along little travelled roads and through farms in the area, and Kev told me that about halfway through a beer truck showed up and everyone stopped and had a beer. There was also a stop for lunch, consisting of ceviche (raw fish soaked in lime juice and cilantro) along the way.

The day would have been perfect except that Brandon, Raol's son, was kicked by a horse in his back. We don't know the whole story yet; Brandon was apparently in front of Kev, and had dismounted, when a horse kicked him. A passing bus took him to the clinica, and then later an ambulence took him to the hospital in Puntarenas. We stopped by the clinica to see if we could see him before they left for the hospital, but we just missed them. A nurse told us that Brandon's kidney was hurt by the kick. I've called his house several times today, but the number is always busy.

Update: Brandon is doing better. He is having some tests done to determine the extent of his injury.

I didn't take AP Spanish. I took two years of Japanese in college. I also took one Spanish class at Richmond and one at Rollins. I took French for two years in high school.
That is so funny; this AP 150 dictionary has been here for 3 years, and I assumed it was yours.
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