After a long passage at sea, it was due time to go ashore and experience the island we had journeyed to see, Nevis. The crew split up into two groups. One was going on a twenty-one mile bike ride around the entirety of the island of Nevis. The other was mounting horses and going on a trail ride through the heart of the island and along its beautiful beaches. I elected to go with the horses. After we dinghied to shore, we were immediately shuffled into some vans that were bringing us to our various destinations. My group of eight reached the stable and after Collin, Bret, Ben, Dominique, Keeley, Bridget, Brooke, and I stepped out of the cab we were greeted by John, the owner of the stables. It was a small area, with a couple of dusty paddocks surrounding a central mounting area where eleven horses of various shapes and sizes stood flicking flies in the bright Caribbean sun. John was an older fellow who moved to Nevis where his family was from after living in the states for a large portion of his life. We sat on the porch of the office and waited as John gave us each a horses name. After he called the horses names we were sent to our animals. He called my horses name, Mareina, and I walked across the paddock to where she was hitched. She looked pretty old and gaunt, with longer hair than was needed for the temperature. I climbed aboard her back, worrying if she would be able to support my weight. She didn’t seem to notice the new load that had graced her narrow shoulders and walked forward. As we were walking John pointed out that she was also missing an eye that had been taken by an unruly tree branch ten years previous. She seemed happy enough, though. After everyone had mounted their beast we set off. We rode through back woods trails, passing cows and monkeys. We rode down by the water as the waves splashed across the hooves. We then went up through the villages. It was interesting to see the varying demographic of poorer citizens to wealthy tourist homes. After around an hour and a half of riding, beautiful views, and interesting tid-bits about the islands history, we returned to the stables. After that we had some time in the main town of Nevis, Charleston, in which some grabbed something to eat and others did some shopping. From what I was told about the bike ride around the island, it sounded like it was no easy task. For twenty-one grueling miles the second half of the students peddled up steep hills and bombed down narrow passes. After nearly six hours of biking they finally returned with legs of jello and souls of fire. After, we all returned to the boat and proceeded to shower and prepare for a night out at Sunshines. The boat is a-bustle with everyone getting ready to chill out and get to know each other better. Until next time parents and friends, this is Will signing off.
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