Argentina
Departamento de Colón

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8 travelers at this place:

  • Day3

    First, Argentina: Criollo Horses!

    March 7, 2019 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    After about two and a half years, I returned to Argentina—a prelude to my trip Chile—to see my friend Carlos Sanchez ride competitively for the last time in the national semifinals of criollo horsemanship. He has won endless competitions on the local and national level in Argentina; now, because of the age limit imposed by the Association of Breeders of Criollo Horses, this was his swan song. I joined his wife, Rosa, son, Hugo, daughter, Blanca, and son-in-law, Simon, in the small town of Jesús María, an hour north of Córdoba in the center of the country.

    The competition was a four-day affair, with four main events: morphology (judging each horse’s conformation) two events of set movements, and one two-part event called “corral de aparte.” I am more a fan of the horses than of the events. This breed is exquisitely agile, as you will see from the videos I have included in the photo section, and of great beauty, intelligence and endurance. I got to watch them every day for hours and hours: a horse-lover’s heaven.

    I did take some time to revisit one of the Jesuit estancias, ranches which supported the Jesuits’ ever-amazing teaching and settling efforts. A block of these estancias and the churches connected with them make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For more information, click on this link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesuit_Block_and_Estancias_of_Córdoba

    And then, I was back with Argentines! In Jesús María I rediscovered the charm, the articulateness, the conversational abilities and—let me say it again, the CHARM of these people. When I opened my mouth, my strange accent in Spanish was apparent—a rewardingly excellent conversation-starter. I had many interesting encounters as a result. So nice to be back!

    Please enjoy the pictures. If you leave a comment, please sign your first name, so I know who you are!
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  • Day53

    D7 Dragoman- Top of the world

    April 12, 2017 in Argentina ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Again by 10 in the morning we were ferried to the horses. Unlike yesterday it was a misty day, giving an eerie feel as we set off in a line. I jumped onto Sinpatica and with growing confidence she didn't push her luck with all the snacking today and listened maybe 90% of the time. She even chilled out in the middle of the pack for an hour or so before marching her way back to the front.

    As we made our way higher and higher the size of their estancia became aparent as it streched out for miles around us. At an open field we had a chance to canter and it was exhilerating to fly through a few fields whilst also holding on to the saddle for dear life!! We continued until we reached "top of the world", the highest point in the estancia. The mist had cleared and you had a 360 breathtaking view of the estancia and the valley below.

    Returning to the Dragoman camp, we had a few hours to relax and have supper before wine tasting with Kevin. He poured 4 different wines, while passing around little bottles with smells as part of a competition to see how many we could get right. They were smells like fruits and incensce that you would expect in a wine bouquet. I was apalling and only got 3 right. He handed out prizes for our riding. I won most improved rider and Charlotte the best rider. We recieved a nice bottle of Malbec! Izzy had the best nose and won a bottle of champagne! With an early start we retured to bed, very sad to be leaving this wonderful little haven in Argentina.
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  • Day51

    Dragoman D5 The Estancia!

    April 10, 2017 in Argentina ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    A quick breakfast in the hotel (very poor compared to hostels!) we again started towards the Estancia. With clear blue skies, we could see the mountainous terrain which was lurking in the mist yesterday. Stopping for photos we pulled up next to a swooping circle of condors, massive birds that glide effortlessly through the sky.

    After lunch (empanadas of course) we stopped, seemingly in the middle of nowhere at some gates. No signpost but the guides knew their way. We trundled down a narrow bumpy road for 10 minutes before rounding a corner to the sight of pretty white buildings with terracotta roof tiles. Two elderly horses were wandering around and a host of chickens.

    Waiting for us was Bea, with riding boots and a beret hat she looked the part of a gaucho. Greeting her in Spanish she quickly said hello back ahe was from England. Handing us a lemonade each she gave us a tour of the estancia and explained her role as the manager.

    About a mile from the main house, our little huddle of buildings are the home of the owner and arw used for Dragoman trips aftert over a decade of partnership. With a BBQ area, kitchen and games room we had all that we needed. We set up camp in the field in front with views of green hills and birds of pray swooping above.

    I left James to set up camp as I was on cooking duty. With David in the lead, Bob and I chopped onions, garlic, ginger, carrots and pepper to make a ginger chicken curry. It had a massive thumbs up from everyone.

    At 8 we met in the games room, tonight a pair of local men were coming to entertain us with local Gaucho music. They were called Willy and Charlie and were such showmen. Charlie looked to be in his late 50's with shaggy grey hair and a bit of a paunch. He had a powerfull voice, and on doing a cover of the rolling stones, did a great Mick Jagger impression. Willy was younger, had two gold front teeth, he could play 3 drums at once, wih his hands would be a blur. A talanted musician he could also play a pipe and a small guitar instrument traditional to the area. A few hours later and very happy after a few glasses we rolled into our tents.
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  • Day51

    Dragoman D6 Goucho riding and Asado

    April 10, 2017 in Argentina ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    At 10 o clock we were bouncing around the back of Bea's pick up truck, being ferried tobthe main house for horseback riding. The main house was grander in stature, surrounded by stables and sat in beautiful surroundings, this is where you can come stay for a riding holiday for £150 a night.

    We were geared up with helmets and introduced to our horses which they had matched according to our riding abilities. I'm a complete begginer and I was matched to a beautiful mahogany mare called Sinpatica, which means kindness. She was a very gentle, if greedy horse and would listen to my commands about 70% of the time. She loved to be at the front of the pack so if I tried to drop back she ignored me.

    In South America you ride in a different style to Britian (not that I would know). You hold the rains in one hand only, using pull back for stop, and gently pressung the rains against their neck for turning. A kissy noise would make them start and kicks to go quicker, or in my horse's case to tell her off for eating.

    We rode for an hour and a half in glorious sunshine. Our hostess Bea was born in Kenya, grew up in Britain and had first come to the estancia as a guest. She returned as a guide and then persuaded the owner to take her on as a manager.

    Returning to the mainhouse we had a lunch of empanadas with salad before returning to our part of the estancia. With the sunshine continuing I sunbathed and enjoyed a book while watching the chef for the night prepare the asado (South American BBQ). James and Izzy played football with the pack of dogs. They have three collies (Hagis, Clyde and Gilly) and a labrador (trumpet) along with two strays.

    At 7 we were rounded up served wine and we sat down with Kevin the owner of the estancia. Its been in his family for 3 generations since they emigrated from Scotland. The main buisnessnes is still cattle rearing but he and his brother looking to further their income started riding holidays on the side. Trying to get their venture off the ground they went to a travel expose in the UK to attract attention. As a small stall no one paid attention until the founder of Dragoman came for a chat. He explained that between Mendoza and Salta his trucks had nothing to visit and their estancia sounded perfect. The rest is history as Drago trucks have been visiting the estancia for 16 years, around 25 trucks a year. Their riding holiday buisness picked up with time but the dragoman partnership helped them on their way.

    We were fed well that night with ribs, beef, sausages and chicken. We ended the night in the games room making our own music, trying to accompany David's digerydoo.
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  • Day40

    Córdoba X||

    January 5 in Argentina ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C

    Heute geht's für mich weiter. Ich schreibe hier nun meine Gedanken über die letzten sechs Wochen auf. Naja also vor sechs Wochen war ich noch in Oldenburg und ziemlich traurig. Gleichzeitig hab ich mich auch auf die Zeit gefreut, aber die meiste Zeit war ich wohl doch einfach nur traurig und wollte nicht wirklich los. Nachdem ich mich dann doch von allen verabschiedet habe, war ich im Flieger erst noch traurig,aber als ich dann in Madrid am Flughafen saß, wuchs die Vorfreude. Dass ich in Buenos Aires für ein paar Tage war, kommt mir vor als wäre es in einem anderen Leben gewesen. Es ist schon so weit entfernt. Es war alles super schön und dann wieder nach Córdoba zu kommen, War erst total komisch. Bzw meine Gefühle waren ganz seltsam, ich hatte igwie gleichzeitig Angst und Vorfreude, aber im Endeffekt war die Zeit so so so so toll und meine Gefühle haben sich regelrecht überschlagen. Über Traurigkeit, dass ich jetzt doch schon gehen muss über ein tiefes Glücksgefühl diese Zeit gelebt zu haben und die Menschen alle wiederzusehen. Es war wirklich super toll. Es gab so viele Momente in denen ich "llena de felicidad" war. Igwie finde ich keine passende Übersetzung, aber letzendlich ist es sowas wie "voller Glück" sein... gestern beim Mittagessen hat mein Gastvater gesagt, dass wir dann aber am Sonntag den Weihnachtsstern vom Fenster abgehängen müssen (ich habe den als Geschenk mitgebracht), weil es ihn zu sehr an mich erinnern wird und ihn traurig machen wird... Und dann hat er angefangen zu weinen. Das war gleichzeitig traurig und so wunderschön:)

    Sooo insgesamt kann ich einfach nur sagen, dass ich super super dankbar für alles bin und mir diese Zeit mal wieder gezeigt hat, was wirklich wichtig ist und was ein tiefes Glücksgefühl bedeutet.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Departamento de Colón, Departamento de Colon

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