the horse & rum shop

Going through the archives and I came across this shot of me in Guyana. The horse had been used to pulling a dray cart and had never been ridden before, but he soon got the hang of it, so I rode him around Leguan Island for a while.

Things went well until something startled the horse, probably a snake, and the horse bolted with me on his back, for the place he knew best, which was the local rum shop where his master spent most afternoons. Guyanese rum shops are a bit like the saloons one sees in old westerns, they are made of wood, they have swing doors on the outside, and hard men drinking even harder liquor on the inside. Not content to stop outside, the horse galloped through the doors and burst into the saloon where he ran amok looking for his master with me still hanging on the best I could! Tables were turned over, chairs broken, good liquor spilt, and tough men jumped out of windows to save their lives. Eventually I got the horse under control and tied him to the rail outside, and went back into the bar to order myself a well deserved rum! Fortunately, the guys in the bar thought it was all quite funny so we enjoyed an afternoon of laughs and rum. I am now told that even to this day some of the old guys from Leguan Island Backpart still tell this story and laugh - I do too - and one day I will go back to that rum shop - without the horse.

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