What to do in Banff day two...

The next morning, bright and early, we enjoyed coffee on our private balcony before we made our way down to breakfast, where our order was taken promptly, coffee was delivered hot and fresh, and the food smells wafted invitingly from the kitchen.


After a good bite to eat, we were ready to tackle our day and first up was some good old ranch riding, cowgirl style.

I love horses and ride all of the time at home but the Carnivore had never been near a horse, so convincing him to give it a try was no mean feat. But all credit to him, he bravely agreed, despite his wariness. For someone who has done all manner of adrenaline fuelled activities, I reassured him that riding a horse was probably quite low on the thrill seeking scale.

We arrived at the paddock to be paired up with our horses – Clint for me and Gordon for him – before hopping up into the saddle. I’ve never ridden western style before so I had to quickly forget some of my usual techniques, like holding the reins with two hands and kicking on. It was amazing seeing the beautiful scenery of Banff from horseback and got some great wildlife sightings on the way, as we climbed higher into the hills through thick forest trails.
Soon we reached a wide and fairly fast flowing river but rather than turn around, we were told we were going through it! Finding the shallowest point, which came up past the horses bellies, we picked our way carefully through, holding our breath in anticipation.

Clint and Gordon were old pros though and navigated the river without a by or a leave. Although another member of the group at the back was having quite some trouble convincing her stead, which led to various shrieks and comedy calamities.  It was so much fun that we got to do it on the way back as well.
After a long mosey through the hills and past the beautiful Fairmont Chateau hotel, with its iconic turrets standing out against the skyline, it was time to head back to the corral and say goodbye to our trusty nags. Even the Carnivore said he enjoyed it and would do it again, so I can’t wait for the next time we can go trail riding together.
The rest of the afternoon passed in a blur of sightseeing and some gorgeous food at the Fairmont hotel, consisting of the best French onion soup and grilled cheese I think I have ever tasted.  After a long walk around the grounds and snapping some pictures of the amazing views, and we heard the romantic story of how the Fairmont came to be.
We were shattered and ready for a long soak in the tub with a hot chocolate and baileys. Bliss. After languishing in the bubbles for what felt like an eternity, we lit the open fire in our room and looked on mesmerised as the flames licked at the freshly chopped logs.

Have you ever done a trekking adventure? It was a massive bucket list tick for me.

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