We had been planning to hike the Rose Valley, but decided, for a change of pace, to do it on horseback, instead. So, Saturday morning we drove over to “Dalton Brothers Ranch” (really) and joined a young French couple and a woman from California for a two-hour ride.
Besides our little group, we had a guide from Uzbekistan; his dogs followed us the whole way.
We went up into the hills, then down the other side into the Rose Valley.
The horses seemed to know their places in the line-up; Dale’s was always the first one behind our Uzbek guide.
All the horses were Anatolian (Turkish) mares, except mine, which was an Arabian. Our guide surprised us by taking us across the Rose Valley to the village of Çavuşin…
…where we stopped for tea behind the Basilica of John the Baptist…
…while our horses grazed at the base of the “mushroom rocks” that Mehmet had pointed out to me just the day before!
After tea, our guide had me switch horses; mine had a bad hind leg and was losing her footing. After the Arabian, riding this Anatolian pony felt like my feet would scrape the ground, but she was a good horse and carried me better than I expected.