Every year, El Desfile A Caballo (Horse Parade) helps kick off La Feria de las Flores in Medellin.
My first horse parade was in 2010, and I had no idea what was going on, but I loved the atmosphere.
6,000 horses were walking through the streets, while thousands of Colombians and curious tourists partied and looked on along the parade route.
This year, I knew what to expect, and met up with Troy and Marcello at the Aguacatala metro station, near the start (and end) of the parade route.
I was retracing my steps from 2010, except this time, I was almost immediately propositioned to mount a horse. Troy and Marcello egged me on, and eventually I climbed into the saddle, to the delight of the mostly Colombian crowd.
I’ve been horseback riding a few times in Colombia, including to La Cueva del Esplendor in Jardin earlier this year, but this was different. I felt like everyone was watching…and they were!
There aren’t a lot of gringos who mount up for El Desfile A Caballo.
After a few minutes turning the horse in circles, I dismounted and thanked the man for offering me a ride.
We then continued to trace the parade route, stopping from time to time to drink a beer, eat some empanadas, and snap some photos.
I kept a tight grip on my camera the whole time, considering my Blackberry had been stolen by a pickpocket at last year’s horse parade.
We walked as far north as the Poblado metro station over the course of 2-3 hours.
I was feeling tired pretty early, so I walked home from there, leaving Marcello and Troy to continue enjoying the one-of-a-kind atmosphere.