We hit Buenos Aires midday after an overnight flight. While we didn’t sleep well on the plane, at least we had had a little sleep. Since we were about to spend a few days with Pedro and Emilio, we were going to need every little bit of rest we could put in the bank.
Pedro is a like a hummingbird on crack, and at over 50 years old, he still has a set of 6-pack abs that come from never slowing down enough to actually eat. He picked us up and took us straight to farrier Martin Suarez’s home in San Antonio de Areco. Martin had made asado, a traditional Argentine barbecue. It is an amazing way to eat, and was only the first of many incredible meals we got to eat on this trip.
The food was great and the company even better. When we were done with the meal, Pedro took us to the hotel for an hour of rest before supper in downtown San Antonio de Areco with the rest of Pedro’s family. There was a street festival going on with live music and dancing, and people with their dogs were everywhere. It felt like we were in the middle of a 1950’s Latin American movie.
We had to be up by 4 the next morning to pick up Emilio and catch a plane to Tierra Del Fuego where Pedro was raised and his family has a couple of ranches that come to about 40,000 acres. As we flew from Buenos Aires to Rio Grande, you could see some of the years drop off of Pedro. He became more childlike with every mile.
Tierra Del Fuego is at the bottom of Patagonia in Argentina, and the days in December are long like they are in the north of Alaska in the middle of June. Long days with Pedro mean long days. (I would bet that even short daylight hours with Pedrito still mean long days.) Once we landed and got our car, the trip through Tierra Del Fuego began. We ate, which you have to demand to do when you are with Pedro, and then went to one of the largest ranches in that part of the world. We talked with the ranch manager that just happened to be one of Emilio’s old rugby friends from back in the day.
We went through a shearing barn that is the largest one in the world with the ability to accommodate 5,000 sheep at one time.
Once we finally arrived at Pedro’s ranch, (hours and hours later), we caught some horses, trimmed their feet, and went for a ride. When that was over, we went back to the headquarters and had an asado of sheep off of the ranch that was prepared by the head gaucho on Pedro’s ranch. It was an amazing experience.
Okay, this blog is long enough. The next two days of the trip will be coming soon. Stay tuned for more.