6 Feb 2020, 6:42am

Comments Off on Chronicles of Spain, 1966 – Horse carriage ride

Chronicles of Spain, 1966 – Horse carriage ride

Chronicles of Spain, 1966 – Horse carriage ride


(bodhisattva connotes a being who is ‘bound for enlightenment’; a person whose aim is to become fully enlightened.)



Horse Carriage Ride

By Kate Chamberlin



While each Spanish town and city along our route with Estropezia, held special sights, sounds, and smells unique unto itself, Seville is one that stands out in my memory.

Arriving in the late-afternoon, we procured over-night accommodations in a youth hostel, then, toured the city. We stopped here and there to sample various local food vendor’s wares, toured several museums, and, eventually, needed a bathroom.

We entered one bar a little way down a side street, off the very busy main street, thinking what bar doesn’t have a rest room?

The bar room/restaurant had a few tables and numerous men seated at the bar. An ambiance of friendliness with the ubiquitous smell of stale wine and fried tapas in oil permeated the air. The vociferous chatter and laughter ceased as we stepped in. Small, dark eyes watched our every move as we approached the bar. In our uncertain Spanish, we asked where the ladies’ room was located. The bartender nodded, grinned, and indicated it was behind the building. We exited the building and went around to the back

We opened the door and gasped. The stench was thicker than the walls and stopped us in our tracks. Upon closer inspection, we saw two shoe prints painted on each side of a hole in the floor  of a 3-foot by 3-foot “closet. There were urine stains all over the floor and the very thin walls. We suddenly decided that we didn’t have to go THAT badly, especially if we would have to hold up our skirts to squat over the mess on the floor. We covered our mouths, held our noses and backed out of the “rest room”. There was an uproarious laughter from the men at the bar on the other side of the wall.  It occurred to us that there might have been a peep-hole providing entertainment for the locals.

Two of the girls wanted to return to the hostel to sleep; however, another girl and I weren’t quite ready to call it a night. They took the car back and we walked from club to bar to night spot until it was rather late. The hostel had a curfew, after which the gates to the property were locked.

We thought we should get there pronto, so, we walked up to a horse drawn carriage. It was a beautiful little carriage drawn by a handsome, brown horse about 12-hands high. I asked the grandfatherly driver, who was sitting with his teenage grandson at the reins, if I could pet the horse.

He said, “Si. Si, Senorita.”; which started a conversation where I explained how I used to ride my neighbor’s horses when I lived in Riverwoods/Deerfield, Illinois. He asked me if I’d like to ride his horse. Why not?

Fortunately, my full skirt provided ample coverage as the teenage son gave me a leg up onto the horses back. Quick as a wink, he vaulted up to sit right behind me.  His grandfather chuckled  as my friend sat in the carriage and the boy clicked to the horse and flicked the reins. We made it to our hostel just in time for curfew.

It was the exuberance of youth that made me do it, but, my unlady-like behavior would have thoroughly embarrassed my Mother. So, I didn’t tell her.



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