Saturday, May 30, 2009

horses, dogs, steaks and those wide open spaces

By far my favorite part of this trip to Mendoza was the day spent out of town in the foothills of the Andes on an estancia.... The estancia's gravel "driveway" was at least a twenty minute ride through sagebrush and rocks... the tour company that organized this trip had helped the gaucho who owns the estancia build the two buildings below.... you can see that the thatch is of a courser all of us tourists pile out of the vans ready to jump on a horse and GO...the gaucho and his helpers very subtly slowed us all down, has us mingling with each other, getting our bearings, first readjusting each horse's gear, then slowly matching a horse to a person, talking a bit to each person.... Then we all set off for a great trip.

the small rustic barbecue shack for the tourist horse riders. us two oldies and two dozen plus less than thirty year olds all had a perfect time. my absolute first time on a horse. the horses are so well trained and easy that i became stupidly confident in the first ten minutes. but no injuries. jamye, the experienced rider, was very kind about not laughing.

look out clint eastwood, we're a comin'.

could have brought this cute dude home.

the gaucho's home had chickens, very hairy pigs, cattle, goats, stock pens, the works near the tourist campsite.

not too bad for a beginner.
(when dave first tried to get on his horse, all of him with over to the other side. luckily the goucho was there to stop him from landing on his head. after that he did great for a "virgin.")

and, the more seasoned, experienced look.

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