To recover from the previous days exertion we stayed off our feet as much as possible and rode the well kept horses morning and afternoon. The horses we rode were being trained for an upcoming endurance race and were in incredibly good shape, meaning they had no problems at all continuously cantering over the hills, in the valleys
and all through the beautiful terrain
as we made our way from the stables to the nearby Estancia also owned by the man who owns the explorer lodge. Despite this being out of the way of the average tourist/client the gaucho’s were impeccably dressed and clearly take pride in their presentation aswell as their horseriding skills.
We had a look into their shearing sheds which have apparently been converted to a butchery slash hanging room for slaughtered sheep as the constant decrease in wool prices has severely affected the once booming sheep industry in Patagonia.
We then shared Mate (pronounced Mah-tay), herbal tea-like drink, with the gauchos which was charmingly stored in the dried out and shaved skin of a fetal calf!!! It’s being held up in the photo below by our charming guide Pedro
Nevertheless (not wanting to offend those who were responsible for our safe passage back!) we suppressed grimaces and drank the full cup through the metal straw
(this was shared around to all in a particular order according to tradition) which really didn’t taste TOO bad, sort of like really bitter and strong green tea – with a hint of nutty flavour. The mate is a traditional Gaucho drink as the gaucho diet was composed almost entirely of beef and the mate is rich in caffeine and nutrients, balancing their diet. OOoo and fun fact which wikipedia just taught me! – Yerbe mate from which the drink is produced is a species of holly! (my name is spelt hollie but still, the coincidence made me smile). Back to our day, after the energy boost from the caffeine rich mate, we headed back to the stables past a lovely waterfall
and i got to pat the extremely tame month old foal 🙂
We then sat down to a the biggest BBQ we have yet to experience, this time set up in a purpose built indoor enclosure. I have to admit, the south american BBQ’s give those in Australia a definite run for their money! They certainly put alot more effort in, personally killing, skiing and preparing the lamb before cooking it for 2- 4 hours! It’s definitely worth it though, mmmmmm..
Feeling nice and full we again headed out with two other experience riders from Brazil, cantering all through even more spectacular scenery
Towards the end one horse was growing weary and decided to have a little sit down much to the fright of the rider!
It was a beautiful day and horseriding
and was the perfect activity to prepare me for the
mountain hike i did the following day!