Timed our trip to Canada around the Calgary Stampede. It started with a huge parade through the streets of Calgary that went on for 2 hours and had 800 horses in it! Then we were off to watch the rodeo in Stampede Park, having first bought the obligatory hat and some boots that shouted “buy me” as I went past the shop! What an experience it was. Calgary was heaving with people, including ladies who lunch, first nation people, and everyone in cowboy hats and boots (well you have to don’t you!) The park had large fun fair, a sky ride and every unhealthy food outlet you could ask for. As for the rodeo, well….. who in their right mind would try and sit on a wild bucking and twisting horse or bull bare back? These cowboys can earn serious money but the risks are high. We saw one cowboy trampled after he fell off and the commentator said ” he’s talking folks, so don’t worry he’ll be back tomorrow” as he was stretchered off straight into an ambulance. Thought rugby players were tough but this is something else. They are marked not only on how long they sit on the wild twisting beasts but on technical merit too – bit like ice skating! Wonderful spectacle. It’s billed as the greatest show on earth and it came close.