Sunday, November 10, 2013

Palmetto and the Carriage Ride

The Carriage ride in Charleston was great.  I know ... I know, that's for tourists.  But hey, that was us. 

  We had the absolute funniest and best informed guide with the Palmetto Carriage rides.   Don't get me wrong the houses and sites were interesting too,  but Dave and I had already "ponied up" to visit six historic houses with the Preservation society one evening and we delved pretty deeply into architecture and the history of the old homes both in Charleston and all the way through the South.   So the carriage ride was more for the fun of it. 

What was really interesting to me was the Carriage tour industry itself and how that operates.  We used a company called Palmetto after the tree which features on the flag of South Carolina.  Our  carriage mules were named Hit and Run , were brothers, and were inseparable from birth…. although constantly fought throughout the ride.  

These guys reminded me of our Mules, as they are also nipping each other .

  The Palmetto tours are pretty careful about buying old work horses and mules and taking them out of circulation to the countryside to graze for several months at a time.   They say that the absolute weakest work horses are the Clydesdales only made famous by Budweiser and never used in Charleston because their lack of stamina.    After every trip the horses' temperatures are taken ... yeah, like you imagine….up the yin yang,   so the company can make sure the teams are in good health and not too overheated or ill. 

 Here's how I saw it… oh was it supposed to be about the houses, the churches and the cobblestone streets?

the French Percheron, a good sturdy worker

Why not some chickens to keep the horses company

As this sign says…. they have a live webcam in the barn, the animals average 18 weeks a year on the farm , the company goes through 2000 horse shoes a year , 60 tons of feed etc. etc. 

 It sounds alright to me but then I am not a horse. 

Ok, here are some views of the streets of Charleston: 

This roof looking very French, wouldn't you say?

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