Years ago, I was sitting in a Boston bar when somebody said the word ‘chaps.’ The men all said in unison, “Oooh, chaps.” There was nothing sexier to these city folk than a woman in chaps. So, when my Ecuadorean horseback guide informed us we would need to wear chaps, I thought, “Oooh chaps, my city friends would be so impressed with my extreme sexiness.” When he mentioned the poncho, I tried to remember anyone ever saying, “Ooooh, ponchos.” Then, when a few in our group were afraid of the horses he asked us to wear our bike helmets. Once again, extreme sexiness had eluded me.
The get-up seemed a bit excessive when we mounted our horses. We were dressed for cool weather before the chaps and ponchos. I was glad once we started riding up Cotopaxi. Cotopaxi is Ecuador’s second highest point and one of the highest active volcanos in the world. At our highest point, my fingers and toes were numb from the cold. But my legs were roasty toasty. As it turns out, chaps have other purposes besides Christina Aguilera videos. They are like leg warmers for cowboys and us, wannabe Ecuadorean cowgirls. I’m not sure the bike helmet was as useful. Perhaps if I fell off my horse I would think differently. I can’t imagine falling off one of those horses though. If you’ve ever ridden horses or other animals trained to take tourists along a path, then you know they are usually so docile that getting the to move forward with any speed is often the problem. (The exception to this is ostriches, but that’s another post for another day!)
“Ooooh, chaps!” Here it is. A picture of my in my oh-so-sexy chaps:
We started and ended our journey at this beautiful ranch: