One morning we ride out before dawn, putting nothing but a cup of hot tea in our bellies, with promises of a bush breakfast awaiting us. After a couple hours we reach a broad short-grass plain with plenty of trees at one end for shade. There, the camp staff already have food ready.
I’m famished and not ashamed to be the first at the table. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it and I always prefer that someone be me. There are platters mounded with crisply browned sausages, crackling bacon, steaming home-made bread, cheerful fried eggs whose orange yolks give the sun a run for its money, heaps of cool, sweet slices of melon and pineapple. Bowls of strawberry and apricot jam keep company to a simmering pot of gluey thick porridge, and its companion: a sweating pitcher of milk kept fresh in a bowl of ice.
We eat more than we should, as do the horses busy grazing around us. Two horses have the sad dut of being tied to trees so the rest will stick around. It’s a perfect display of herd mentality which we all quickly learn to follow. It takes only one rider stretching out on a cot for a nap for us all immediately to follow suit. A full belly will do that to you even if it’s only 10 in the morning.