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“It began on a winter’s day when my wife took the kids camel riding here in Switzerland,” said Heinz, with a twinkle in his eye. “Why camels, I asked, when we’ve got a stable full of cows?”

Heinz may have been joking at the time, but he soon realised he was actually onto something. Today, cow trekking is part of Heinz and Doris's approach to organic farming at Bolderhof in Hemishofen, in the canton of Schaffhausen.

I arrived on a warm, hazy morning and was introduced to brown-eyed beauties Umbra, La Paloma and Oklahoma. I took to La Paloma instantly and, after a quick briefing, I was helped onto her smooth back. It wasn't as bumpy as a camel and considerably slower than a horse. I tried to keep La Paloma on the path and away from tempting meadows full of grass. In vain. Yet, slowly but surely, we picked our way through fields of sunflowers and down to the banks of the Rhine. Cow trekking is not only a unique way to explore the Swiss countryside, it's slow travel at its finest.

Kerry Christiani lives right by the German-Swiss border and is the co-author of Lonely Planet Switzerland.

This article was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Magazine.

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