By Larry Davis
On Friday we rode five horses from the small mountain town of Magdalena to Pluma Hidalgo. We arrived at Rancho El Regalo in Coyula at about 8:30am and loaded the five horses into the truck. We then loaded all the saddles and gear into two more vehicles and proceeded to drive north of Santa Maria Huatulco to the road to Hagia Sophia. We unloaded the horses at a river crossing, saddled up and proceeded on a three-hour uphill ride. The road past Magdalena is passable by car, if you don’t much like your car; however, the scenery is spectacular. The climb is fairly gradual but never-ceasing, as Pluma is approximately 4000 ft above sea level. The change in flora and topography is amazing as trees are now several hundred feet tall, and the land now features steep ravines and three waterfalls.
At times you appear to be looking straight up at the communication tower in Pluma and straight down at Magdalena. The most spectacular waterfall is several hundred feet high and the temperature drops below 23° C (73°F). Some of the coffee fields are almost vertical and I would need danger pay in order to pick beans. Our horses are in great shape; however, it was a serious workout for both horse and rider. We created quite a sensation in Pluma as sane people do not normally ride horses up those mountains. We ended the day giving the local kids rides and finally loaded five tired horses back into the truck. A big thanks to my wife Jenn and my buddies Pancho, Pepe and Chico, who continue to humour me even when we run out of beer.