As I run a comb through my hair in front of the bathroom mirror, Kyra’s head appears from behind the door for the third time, ‘Do you think shorts will be fine? I don’t want my thighs to burn’. She is the worlds most indecisive human. ‘I’m wearing trousers but I think you’ll be ok!’ I shout as her head disappears. I let out a small laugh; I already know she’s going to wear the shorts; I usually know what she’s going to do before she does. We leave the hotel room and make our way towards the car. ‘Jason, should I change, or will this be fine?’ I hear from the back seat, ‘Trousers are usually recommended, but you’re good. I turn around so she can see my face as I gloat.
We arrive at the Sandy Hoofs St Lucia stables, get saddled in and set off, one horse behind the other in a well-practised formation. I become annoyingly self-aware of my fastened heartbeat, but as the horse takes me along the rugged overgrown path leading towards the beach, my nerves start to subside. We climb up a viridescent hillside that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and I take a deep breath. For a few moments, no one says a word. There seems to be nothing like the experience of looking over a breath-taking landscape from an elevated level. Any thoughts that have been rattling my brain for the past few days, quiet down.
As soon as we get to the beach, you can feel the horses’ collective eagerness set in, and our group suddenly consists of four adults and six extremely large and excitable children. Jason gallops across the beach, and when Kyra’s horse suddenly follows his, her eyes widen with fear, and I laugh so hard my stomach hurts. Our guide climbs a tree that towers at least 10 metres above the ground to find us fresh coconuts and then takes each horse in turn for a swim into the ocean that glistens endlessly before us. We sit and watch on the warm sand under the shade of palm trees. There’s no one else here; the only sound is the ocean crashing into the sand and the slurping of coconut water. I hope I always remember the pure bliss of this quiet moment when I get back to a city that never sleeps.