Mar De Plata and the rental car tour of Argentina.
Pedro had planned for us to take a little holiday before the clinic. One thing I did not know about Pedro was that he had no idea what distance means as it relates to time. It’s like he looks at a map and thinks that since the line is only an inch long, you should be able to get there in a few minutes. For Pedro, time is not a part of the equation, so getting a rental car and driving 14 hours in one day is all just part of how its done. In fact, I think Pedro could make a 25-hour trip in less than a day.
We started from Buenos Aires and headed south to Mar De Plata. There were cops on the side of the road in Las Armas, and they were pulling cars over at random. The cop could tell immediately that we were American, and he stole a card called the Celleda Azul out of the rental car paperwork. He then threatened to take away the car since we didn’t have the card. He took me into a room the size of a porta-potty on the side of the road that was there for the reason of getting motorists out of the car while they were being bribed. I paid the bribe, much like you would expect to do if you were in a movie, and they let us go. However, this caused a lot of trouble for the rental car company, the farriers, Mustad, and a lot of other people. I was surprised how mad it made me, and I am still a bit steamed about it. With a long view of the situation, at least Kelly and I aren’t sitting in an Argentine jail. Come to find out, this is not that uncommon. We just aren’t used to it in the US.
We made it to Mar De Plata and stayed in a beautiful ocean side hotel. It was not quite beach weather, but we had a great time walking around the town, enjoying the ocean, eating some fine seafood, and having a rest after trying to keep up with Pedro.
After a full day on the beach, we headed to the Mustad factory in Tres Arroyos. It was a few hours of driving extra, but it allowed us to see more country. I have had the good fortune to see many factories that involve the farrier industry. In Sweden, Canada, Australia, US, Colombia, Brazil, and now Argentina, it has been such a wonderful experience to see so many farrier industry factories. This one was as marvelous as the others.
One thing that sticks out since the majority of the factories I have seen are in the Mustad group is that their employees are extremely happy and content, and every one of them is happy to be in the company and part of the Mustad family of manufacturing businesses. It really is a remarkable thing that you would not expect.
Kelly and I had a great tour of the factory and headed to Buenos Aires to start the shoeing clinic. Those stories will be coming in the next blog.