Week One

Hola everyone! Wow, so much has happened in the last week I don’t know where to start. I would like to make small posts more often, however the ranch doesn’t have internet- nor electricity for that matter. So, I have to make my posts on the weekends when come to town. The ranch or “finca” is amazing. The buildings are rustic, most all the work is done on horse back- it’s like stepping back in time a hundred years. At night, the thirteen employees and I dine on a long wooden table in candle light then hang out afterwards for the evening entertainment which is usually listening to someone play the accordion. The days start at seven, we have a piece of bread or some crackers, drink some yerba mate (it’s like tea) and then go gather the horses. There are about 40 horses or so and they all get chased from the pasture into a huge corral where you get to pick your ride for the day- if you can manage to rope it that is. Then we gather cows that are scattered throughout the 40,000 acres of brush dense. And this is no ordinary brush- every last thing out there is designed to hurt you. The brush its self is nothing but thorns that snag and and rip your clothes and skin, there are deadly poisonous snakes (I saw a corral snake the other day), and thousands of these little bugs called hehenaes, which are like a no-see-um on steriods that leave a blood blister under your skin when they bite and they itch much worse than mosquitos. I made the mistake of going out with no chaps one day and the brush nearly ripped the jeans off my body. I love it though- working with the gauchos is great. They are all amazing horsemen and despite the fact that I usually don’t have a clue what they are saying, they keep me laughing all day with their humor.

On the weekends we come to town and I stay at Martin’s house which is actually an old hotel in the small town of Chicoana (pronounced chi-quana). Here we resupply for the upcoming week out on the finca which is about an hour drive. Well, I have a lot more to say but it’s almost 1am and I have to be up for work at 6:30 so I have to cut it short. I will make up for it next weekend. And I finally have photos to post! Take care everyone, thanks for reading!

View from the main house- pastures and crops below

Condor Valley ranch as far as the eye can see!

just a few of the herd

Almost everything we eat is from the ranch

Went to a doma (rodeo) which was awesome!

Tati- the head gaucho giving his son some advice before his bronc ride

Martin- the foreman

This is how you load a stock wagon, Argentina style.

chewing coca leaves

Cattle drive

letting ’em buck in the corral

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