Archive for the ‘trail riding holidays’ Category

Yuletide Greetings

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

I hope you enjoy reading the below message from one of our fabulous providers in North Devon.

I hope you are all well and enjoying life and having fun with your riding. The summer was lovely here, the going perfect the sky clear so we had some wonderful views, great canters and leisurely picnics. I hope you all enjoyed your summer too.  The horses all seemed to have fun with the better going and are now enjoying their time off. We are starting to look for a couple of new horses for next season so the older ones can do a bit less.

Next year we are trying something new to help keep costs down for you, make the riding a bit easier for horse and rider and give the riders time to do some sightseeing should they want to.  Our holidays will consist of fifteen hours riding per week, full board with picnic lunch for six nights at just £695pp. 

We have noticed that some of our guests have given up riding for various reasons, we are happy to take non riders and would love to see you again even if you aren’t riding. There are lots of things to do round here, from walking our fantastic coast paths, to swimming in the sea (if you are very brave.) There are stately homes to visit, cute villages, two interesting local zoos, wild woodland, the open beautiful open moorland, or you can just chill out with a good book.  If you would like to have a short ride the horses are happy to oblige.

We are starting our popular special bargain breaks from the 18th March or 1st week of March if the weather is good to the last weekend of April. These breaks include two nights B&B one dinner one lunch and two days riding for three hours per day (weather permitting.) Other meals/longer stays by arrangement.   

Amanda, Liz, Megan and I are still here but young Stef has left to do other things, she still pops up occasionally though. She has bought Kabrit our beautiful black arabian who she named Moss. He wasn’t really happy to carry people he didn’t know, so as he got on so well with Stef we thought it was better for him to be in a one to one relationship as it were.
I had a bit of a scare this year and had to have a tricky operation, luckily it all went well and I am now enjoying my recovery and can’t wait to get back in the saddle.

We look forward to meeting you all next year and hope you have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year.

North Devon Trail ride

Equestrian Escapes’ Horse Riding Holidays

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Equestrian Escapes’ Horse Riding Holidays

If you are looking for a holiday that is a bit different, and carries with it a sense of adventure, why not book a horse riding holiday?  Equestrian Escapes offers a wide variety of horse riding holidays, from Peru and Spain, Portugal and Italy, to the Uk and Ireland.  You can even take your horses with you on holiday, and learn new tricks together.  You can design your own riding plan to suit you from lessons, short hacks, half day rides to full day rides.

Riding in Berkshire

Accommodation is also varied, from pretty little B&Bs, to log cabin, quiet country hotels, to luxurious full board hotels and spas.

Here at Equestrian Escapes we are happy to discuss your perfect holiday.


Friday, May 14th, 2010

My Father used to love old buildings, and whilst growing up my parents used to take us around old broken down ruins and French Chateaus often tumbling down the hill side.  The usual scenario would be that we would be driving in some remote area of France, a grey wreck would be seen in the distance and Dad would decide THAT would be the picnic spot.  So, the usual climbing through thorns, and having to route around for the odd dock leaf because of stinging nettles everywhere, would ensue.  This could take a while, but Dad was dedicated.  Upon arrival, as it were, you were then made to perch on some mossy damp stone that had once been a chimney, and marvel at the arches as you munched on your bacon roll.

So, now that I was married, I thought it would be nice to stay in a proper castle.  And where better than Italy?  It really was a delight to feel the warmth of the place, and not have to zip your Musto right up to the top to prevent wind chill.  The surroundings were a complete sensation, and the castle was sheer luxury.

The Perfect Italian Castle Retreat

The beaches were as beautiful as advertised and not crowded so it was such bliss to canter along, before having the most delicious lunch.  Whilst I was thinking this could not get better, the vineyards stretched out before us, and the whole setting was breathtaking.  And that was only day one!

The most amazing holiday I have been on, a real experience, and something I would certainly suggest to anyone who is passionate about beautiful scenery, good food, luxurious buildings and above all, horses!

Many thanks, Jan Richards

Equestrian Charity

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The Brooke horse and donkey charity works to save hardworking animals, and the communities that depend on them.  First launched in Cairo, the Brooke charity has grown, and now prevents the suffering of over 700,000 animals a year.  Such a charity needs all the support available, and relies on people like you to give generously to this very special cause. 

Why is this charity so special?

Their commitment.  Brooke charity realise the relevance of these animals to those who cannot afford other modes of transport, and need these animals to support their own families.  They are used in the transportation of water and building materials, much of which is done over harsh terrain.  These communities clearly love these animals and rely on them entirely, but simply cannot afford them the care that they need.  With very little money for their families, the horses come a close second on their list of priorities.  At Brooke, the horses come first, to provide them with the care that these communities cannot give them. 

What extent of care is given to the animals, AND the communities?

Through the charity, communities are educated in general care of their horses.  For example, in remote areas people believe in painful myths to cure the animals, which do more damage than good.  The Brooke charity work to stop these ‘cures’, and teach simple methods of avoiding lameness and other everyday problems such as exhaustion, malnutrition and dehydration.  Taking care of the horse means taking care of the community.  Extensive training is given to the animal’s owners, for example farriers, saddlers and feed sellers.  What the Brooke charity have also taken into consideration is that through helping these animals, and teaching people about them, one can bring communities together through their work.

Where will my money end up?

The money goes where it is needed, and it shows.  Today, the Brooke charity reaches communities in Egypt, Kenya, Nepal, Israel and the West Bank, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Jordan and Guatemala. Indirectly, the money goes to these poor communities who rely on these donkeys, horses and mules for their living.  A healthy animal results in a healthy income, whereby the community can then take care of both the people and the animals

Who are the people working for Brooke?

These people recognise the importance of these animals for communities.  They also strongly believe in the animal’s rights, and its value.  These people are well trained vets, ambulance teams, blacksmiths, community workers, but most importantly animal lovers!  Each horse, mule or donkey is treated with individual care to meet its needs.  These people then help to raise awareness and the level of welfare within communities, but we need your help too.

How do I donate?

You can visit The Brooke via the Equestrian Charity link below.  The Brooke charity is a prestigious and valuable society that has been recognised for its dedication.  That is why, at Equestrian Escapes we ask you to donate one pound to the Brooke charity, and for every pound we will match it.  Like many animal lovers out there, we value these animals and feel that they are entitled to a better way of life, and for the communities that rely on them, a better standard of living.  Go to Equestrian Charity to donate now, alternatively just contact us.  Thank you!

 “Working to help horses, donkeys and mules – and the poor families who depend on them”

Donkey trouble

The girls hear how this donkey was involved in a road accident but is now making a full recovery thanks to the Brooke

Our cyber horse world

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Equestrian Escapes has duely noted the absolute need for businesses today to play the 21st century game. Cyber space.  The optimal goal is not what you may think… money, money, money. But to deliver a great service or product, and using the web in its different ways is most vital in finding your perfect customers. Because they are out there, and they are looking for a product that will make them happy. So is the nature of our capitalist, consumer ruled soceity.

So how is Equestrian Escapes using the web today? And how can you be involved?


This is the headquarters of Equestrian Escapes on the web, if you will. It was the first website we launched and has managed, over time to help us build a loyal following of happy customers who can easily browse our itineraries at their lesiure whenever they want. has been up and running for three years now. Click on the link above to read about our extensive list of horse riding holidays.

This photo appears on the E.E. website

Equestrian Escapes to Bournemouth


This is the blog you are currently reading. We have written over fifty full length articles describing our itineraries and a wide vareity of other things. Our blogs are written mostly by our staff but we have included articles that have been volunteered by customers and friends of Equestrian Escapes. For example we have had a number of talented writers take us through each step of their holiday and kindly let us post it as an article, with links, onto our blog. has proved to be an invaluable source when it comes to letting people know what we’re up to both on the scene, and behind it.

3. Horse Riding Holidays Equestrian Escapes on Facebook

This Fan-page on Facebook is a little base that we have recently been using to let our friends, family, colleagues and fans gather in one convenient address to hear about recent news and events. We have been using facebook to alert people to our newest of holidays and we upload our favourite photos of horses that we have taken in the UK and abroad. At the time of writing this article, our facebook page has 157 fans.

4. Equestrian Hols on Twitter Twitter Bird

This is our most recent cyber venture. Twitter, brought into the limelight by the likes of Stephen Fry, is an extremely popular internet communication site and a massive forum on which people can write short notes to the Twitter world and their own accumulated “followers”. Followers are people who have selected your account, for example Equestrianhols and decided that they want to be alerted whenever you post something new. We only began Tweeting here at Equestrian Escapes a few days ago but already have double figures of followers! Click on the link above to visit our Twitter page and start following now.

Beach walking

A great day to enjoy the sandy coast


Folkd is an article sharing site on which a long standing friend of Equestrian Escapes has been taking his own time to write occasionally. Eduardo a friend of Sarah Caplan has been contributing to Folkd under the amusing alias of EduardoHorseExpert. Click above to browse his short descriptions and links.

6. Hot Frog

This is a directory of UK based businesses. Each registered business has a page on which it can sumbit articles about their product allowing the reader to have an incredibly close look at what it is they are interested in. Most sites do not offer this attention to detail and this is why Equestrian Escapes has laboured to put a few very select holidays onto our page within its listings.

7. Ezine Articles

Ezine is another article shraing website. Our correspondant on this one is none other than Richard Mark who has occasionally dipped in a dropped a line on a recent holiday or travel experience. He regularly travels with Equestrian Escapes. Click above to go directly to Ezine and read his articles.

Check out Equestrian Escapes’ Horse World on our main site. It has all sorts of horsey information and some great photos.

Equestrian Escapes

Friday, January 29th, 2010
Another sun soaked day

Almeria coastline

With 2010 well underway and a wider list of destinations available for Portugal, Equestrian Escapes has embraced the new year. We have high hopes for the coming months, with plans to add a list of riding holidays and short breaks to France in the near future.

We still aim to deliver a tailor made experience, focused around riding, involving equestrian culture and breathtaking scenery. Our Riding Holidays have already won the acclaim of more than happy customers. Horse enthusiasts return time and time again to experience what they have already learnt to be a reliable source for new and exciting breaks, short trips and full blown holidays.

If you would like to plan a longer vacation abroad, we recommend adding two trips together and we will create a new combined itinerary just for you.  For example, take the Short Break Mountain Trial Ride in Spain. A four night, three day exploration through the forest tracks, ravines, valleys and bridle-paths of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And following straight after, either drive or take a two hour train to the Epona Equestrian centre near Jerez. The Epona Trail and Train Riding Holiday is a great chance to hone your skills in both riding and dressage. Remeber this is an example, you could switch these around, use completely different holidays, in different countries if you wished.

Check out our other recent news article on New Year Horse Riding News 2010

Memories of a warm Tuscany, prompted by the big chill…

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Seven days in the sun seems like a far and distant time from our little frozen island. However, the trip left such a firm imprint on me that I can recall it clear as day. A Medieval Castle Tour of Tuscany! I remember stepping off the plane into the warm nostalgic atmosphere of Tuscany. This same relaxing ambience is responsible for that special place where I hold Tuscany in my heart. A trip I shan’t forget soon, nor willingly.

The Adventure Begins

On the first day we were transferred to the magnificant castle in which we were due to stay for the start of our holiday adventure. The food there was sublime, and accompanied by a fine red wine which complemented the meat well. As we had spent the majority of the day travelling I was extremely tired and retired early, keen to be well rested to make the most of the next day.

After a hearty breakfast we set out on our first ride, destination Lake Bolsena! Having heard about the lake’s particular beauty, the way it rests in the heat of the land, a hub of life and ripples, I was keen to get going and arrive already! But the wait was far from lenghty and my impatience soon quashed. They say time flies when you’re having fun, but I don’t believe the heat permits this rule in Tuscany. Everything’s a little slower and you have time to really soak in your surroundings. We trotted along some ancient tracks trodden by many a steed and these old routes led us to the lake… and it was not a disappointment. To the extent that I acutally stripped down to just my shorts and swam for a while. What a nice change it was from my life at home. Drifting in a lake in Tuscany!

Time Flys By Once Your Settled In

The very next day we visited another lake, this one formed inside a volcanic crater with traces of human settlements from the pre-etruscan era. Having passed the lake we cantered up a tree lined path which later revealed some stunning views over the land. Having completed another great day of riding we returned to the castle for some serious chow.

Over the next three days we toured Sorano, every moment viewing scenery that stands as a testament to the sheer age of the land. For instance the paths weaving their way through the towering ancient rock. Cut by ancient man in a time long forgotton.

The path less trodden

All this was broken into perspective by a few healty picnics and the occasional rest stop. Each night staying in an ancient castle or fortress. The castles were really a highlight of the trip, their architecture was astounding. I couldn’t help but think back to my first trip to Portugal, an expertly planned venture organised for me by Equestrian Escapes who later became my standard go to tour operator whenever I wanted a mixture of relaxation and riding.

All Good Things…

Having departed Sorano, we moved down and up the other side of the Stridolone Valley, past an ex-convent and into the heart of the Tuscany countryside where we spotted pheasent, deer and the occasional wild boar! With that we returned to our proud castle for a final meal and good nights sleep. Departing in the morning was ever so painful and I’ve felt a longing to return ever since. Truely a favourite of Castle Riding Holidays, a unique and timeless trip.

Medieval Castle Tour

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009


The architecture is bold, it describes the period it was built in with expertise

Castles in Tuscany hold a reputation among historians around the world

We have recently returned from a new tour in Tuscany, Italy. We are always looking for tours that are just a little bit different and the Medieval Castle Tour certainly fits the bill. During your holiday you will be staying in two medieval castles and a fortress. The first castle we stayed at was a splendid 17th century castle complete with a fairy tale turret. The riding is suitable for intermediate to advanced riders and you spend about four to five hours in the saddle each day. The scenery is spectacular as you follow ancient tracks and pass through vineyards and around the hillsides. The horses that we rode on The Medieval Castle Tour were a mixture of haflinger, appaloosa and maremanno, they all had excellent temperaments and looked after us very well! One highlight of the castle tour were the lovely picnic lunches laid out on the hillside and in shady glades. The horses were happy to graze quietly while we rested and prepared for the afternoons ride. All too soon we came to the end of the medieval castle tour and retuned to our starting point. We celebrated with a farewell dinner and said farewell to our new friends. This was one of my favourite historical riding holidays.

Or if you fancy something a little closer to the coast… read about the Beginners Beach Ride in Andalucia.

Mountain Trail Ride Spain

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Cantering along the very edge of a rocky ridge in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, I feel more emotionally free and physically vital than I have in months. My grin must be five miles wide and London seems a zillion miles away. I realise that I’ve really missed riding and hadn’t even been aware of it. Being in the mountains and riding along narrow tracks, with sheer drops inches from the horse’s hooves, and up very steep, incredibly rocky terrain intensifies all my senses. It also lends me a wider perspective – literally and metaphorically. I feel like a teenager at the best pony club camp in the world. Rock-climbing horses: who’d have thought it?

I am on a week-long horse riding adventure holiday in Andalucia and I’m having the time of my life with the sun on my back and a sturdy steed between my legs. It is day three of the stunning La Alpujarra trail ride arranged through . I can’t remember having this much good, clean fun since spending all day, every day at the stables messing about with my ponies as a young teenager. Horses, laughter, fantastic food and wine – all my favourite things, combined with the incredible mountain surroundings, make this one of the most exciting riding holidays I’ve ever been on.

Dallas, our guide – yes, it’s her real name – is exactly the kind of person you want heading up an expedition like this. Cool, calm and collected and a total dudette to boot, she has been guiding horse riding holidays on top-quality Spanish horses in La Alpujarra – the name given to the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada where she grew up – for more than two decades. I’ve done loads of riding over the years and I can unequivocally state that I’ve never seen a group of better-behaved or more impeccably schooled horses than these. The trip is not suitable for weak riders, the unfit or the especially faint-hearted.
Dallas’s brand of fun can be fast and furious and you must be able to control your horse at all paces, as well as walk while leading it for up to 30 minutes at a time over terrain too steep or rocky to ride on.
Our group of ten meet at a prearranged point in Malaga airport, ready for the two-and-a-half-hour transfer via air-conditioned minibus, away from the Costa del Sol and up into the mountains. With two men and eight women, the group is a very mixed bag as far as age, nationality and previous riding experience go, but the laughs are instantaneous as we share horse stories and discuss what we should expect from this trip.
We arrive in Bubión, a pretty, white-painted village perched high on the slopes of the beautiful Poqueira Ravine, and are shown to the Casa la Sevillana guest house. A comfortable, seven-bedroom rural bed and breakfast, it is popular with the many groups of walkers and mountain bikers who also visit the area. We meet Dallas for dinner at a restaurant down the road and dig into tapas, cervezas and some truly delicious local cuisine. The first night reminds me a bit of first nights at ski chalets. Everyone drinks too much over dinner and then gets stuck into the Amaretto. A few tall tales and unsuitable stories later and most of us are New Best Friends by the morning. I can tell already this is going to be a fantastic mountain trail riding holiday.

After a huge continental breakfast, we’re picked up and taken to Dallas’s stables ten minutes or so up the hill. The bus is uncharacteristically quiet as we all stare out of the window at the spectacular landscape and awe-inspiring scenery. I’ve never seen anything like it. A lot of people say that the real Spain is to be found in these mountains and I’m beginning to see why. This place is so far from Alicante and Torremolinos, it might as well be on Mars. It’s rural and peaceful and all the horses look so fit and happy that I can’t believe my sheer good fortune when we get to the stables.
I am allocated Laurel, an Andalusian gelding with a huge dappled bottom and the softest grey nose. I’m told he is ‘sensitive’ and that I should ‘ride him properly’. I can’t help but feel a tiny bit nervous. As the rest of the group are given their horses, we all mount up and get ready to go. Striding away from the stables, it is immediately evident that all these horses are fit, sure-footed and very responsive to the correct signals. Laurel is a real pleasure to ride. (In fact, by the end of the week, I am so seriously in love with Laurel that I try to talk Dallas into selling him. She won’t.) Who would of thought i would find love on a mountain trail ride in Spain.

We set off east, riding through an ancient land of pine forests and alpine meadows, wooded valleys and gorges. We take old bridle paths and steep inclines, trotting, cantering and hill climbing through Moorish terraces and chestnut groves. We stop for lunch, tie the horses to trees and sit down on a carpet of pine needles. Huge homegrown tomatoes and lettuces appear from saddle bags and are sliced up in front of us. Fantastic locally baked bread, cheese and olives are offered around. Chorizo and salami are laid out on a log. Olive oil, salt and a few bottles of red wine make an appearance.
It’s the ultimate picnic: horse blowing on my neck, beautiful mountain in front of me. A total dream of a riding holiday.
We climb and climb, until we reach the broad forest track which leads us to Trévelez, the highest village in Spain and famous for its cured hams and river trout. We’ve covered 26km today, a marathon that takes us about six hours. I feel slightly saddle-sore, but happy, as we lead our horses through narrow, winding streets. We arrive at the village stables, where we untack and give the horses a shower before settling them down for a well-earned rest. We’re expected to tack up and groom our horse every day, although assistance is available if required, and our luggage is taken ahead for us by one of the team.

We enjoy a few beers and a whole lot of tapas before spending the night at La Fragua, a family-run hotel situated in the old quarter of the village. The hotel is small but comfy, with fabulous views across the mountains from each of the south-facing bedrooms. I don’t know whether it’s the mountain air, the exercise, the wine or the great beds, but I sleep like the dead every night and am ravenous for breakfast each morning.
After a brilliant evening spent squealing with laughter (this is a very sociable horse riding holiday and the hilarity never stops) in a cosy restaurant serving great local food, complete with hanging hams, we collect our horses and set off up a very steep and rocky path. I realise halfway through that I suffer slightly from vertigo. Mountains not being my natural habitat, I’ve never noticed it before. There’s nothing to be done, except carry on and put my total faith in Laurel. This is when I realise just how good these horses are – not one of them puts a foot wrong. We have another fabulous picnic lunch en route and then begin the rough descent into Bérchules, where we spend two nights in the lovely Hotel Los Bérchules. Its incredible chef serves up delicious pork tenderloin one night and grouper with garlic and chilli the next. Aside from lovely rooms, the rustic hotel has a wide terrace with terrific views across the Bérchules valley and a garden with a pool. Perfect for relaxation after a long day in the saddle on this riding holiday.
Bérchules takes its name from the old Spanish word berchel, meaning ‘mountain garden’.
On the fourth day, we follow ancient Moorish bridle paths through terraced orchards and
fields before stopping for lunch by a river. We return to the village along one of the Sierra’s wide forest tracks; cantering more than on any other day, we cover an astonishing 38km in about seven hours. These horses are beyond fit and I’m beginning to feel more toned and healthy myself.

Leaving Bérchules, we descend to the river Guadalfeo and head west back to the village of Trévelez. The landscape changes abruptly as we leave the alpine-like Sierras behind and ride through terraces of olive, almond and fig trees. After lunch the path commences the gradual descent towards Trévelez and we dismount to lead the horses for about 40 minutes as we approach the ancient village from the other side.
Day six is a shorter ride. We take a forest track through pine and oak woods back to the stables. The views across the Contraviesa mountains and the Mediterranean beyond are breathtaking. We have a late lunch in a restaurant in Capileira and spend the rest of the day exploring the village before heading back to our original home from home – the Casa La Sevillana in Bubion. Dinner is not included this evening, so a few of us head out for yet another raucous meal in a local restaurant. Jamón serrano, fat olives, fresh anchovies and calamari, marinated pork, steaks, shoulder of lamb, grouper roasted with chilli and garlic, pork tenderloin, and cheese of all kinds. We don’t have one bad meal the entire week.

On our last riding day, we set off from the stables to explore the more inaccessible parts of the Poqueira valley. The Mulhacen – the highest mountain in Spain – forms the backdrop as we canter through wisps of cloud, the scent of pine heavy in the air. This valley is claimed to be the most beautiful in La Alpujarra and I don’t think I’m the only one with tears in her eyes as we say goodbye to our horses. It has been the most intense week of physical activity, social bonding and great thinking time. None of us want to leave.
The morning after I get back, I wake disoriented from a dream in which I am cantering up a dusty track towards a bright, white-painted village in the Sierra Nevada. The blissed-out grin on my face vanishes, as I realise the click-clacking is actually the sound of my upstairs neighbours stomping about on their wooden floor. I lie in bed, pine for my horse and long for the mountains. I feel really quite sad, full of nostalgia for the scent of thyme and mint crushed underfoot and the softness of Laurel’s nose. One thing’s for sure: I haven’t had such a blast of a week in a very long time. I’m booking another horse riding holiday very soon.
This spectacular horse riding holiday can be booked through Equestrian Escapes (, which also offers a selection of other great riding holidays around the world for all riding abilities.

Horse Riding Holiday Spain

Friday, September 11th, 2009

A horse riding holiday in the mountains is one of the best ways I know to relax and unwind whilst taking part in my favourite pastime! This summer I chose a horse riding holiday Spain in The Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain and I wasn’t disappointed. We rode fabulous Andalucian horses that are both sure footed and willing making this riding holiday one of the best to date! We met up with the rest of the riding group at Malaga airport and chatted eagerly about past riding holidays as we made our way up the mountains in our private minibus. The group gelled immediately and after dinner that night, it was clear that we were about to experience an equestrian holiday of a lifetime.

It was love at first sight when I met up with my mount Laurel the next morning, his handsome head and soft brown eyes beckoned me to join him on a voyage of discovery along the narrow paths and tracks that lead from one white washed village to the next in the breath taking mountain scenery on this horse riding holiday Spain. As we rode through the wonderful village communities Laurel and I held our heads high, proud to be a part of this traditional mountain lifestyle. They say that a picture paints a thousand words so take a look at the above pcture of my wonderful horse riding holiday Spain which was arranged via Equestrian Escapes. They offer a huge range of riding holidays both in the UK and abroad and the website has many original ideas for tailor made equestrian holidays. If you can’t find the horse riding holiday you are looking for give them a ring and they will tailor make a riding holiday to meet your every requirement. Equestrian Escapes specialise in riding holidays Spain but now have a fabulous range of horse riding holidays in the UK for a smaller budget.

What’s included on this horse riding holiday Spain –

7 night’s accommodation in shared twin rooms
7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners
Return transport between Malaga and Bubion (guests must arrive no later than 15.30)Horse riding and guides
Luggage transfers and support vehicle

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