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SHARKHUNTERS International
2009 Argentine Expedition


Sunday - A Day of Rest & Recreation

Everyone had a free morning and either slept a little later or did some sight-seeing and souvenir shopping in town.

 
     

Strange breakfast....COOPER enjoyed merangue lemon pie with some great Earl Grey tea.  As events unfolded later in the afternoon, it very nearly was his last meal.

   
 
   

 

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Our plans for the day - we were going to a working ranch and would ride horseback to the top of the mountain and enjoy an 'esada' (barbeque) while overlooking some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable.

 
In the van to the ranch driving through some pretty rugged terrain.    
 
    You don't want to go off the road here; it is a long way down.
 
     

Our van has arrived and we climb out to stretch our legs and to get our horses.  Something to keep in mind - these are NOT the old, tired out and lifeless 'Dude ranch plugs' we see at riding stables - these are spirited working horses for this Estancia.

 
 

Another thing to keep in mind - the saddles used in Argentina are unlike what we are used to in the USA.  They are not the typical western saddles with the pommel/horn in front or the large rise at the back and did not have the wide stirrups we that are common on the western saddles.  These were even less saddle than an English saddle but with a sheepskin thrown over it.  Interesting.

     
 
     

The Sharkhunters Cavalry rides again!
 
That flat mesa is where we are headed today.
     

The scenery here ranges from beautiful to magnificent to awesome.
 
     
 


Goodbye Bunny!
As we climbed higher and higher, some of the ranch dogs trotted along with us.  Suddenly, we heard a loud commotion and saw two dogs chasing a rabbit.  The problem for the rabbit was that the dogs were just a little faster.  As the lead dog was about to grab him, the rabbit made a quick change in direction and ran back past the surprised first dog - right into the jaws of the second dog!  As we watched, the two dogs each grabbed one end of the rabbit and there was about a thirty second long tugging match when suddenly, the rabbit tore in half and the dogs settled down to each eat his half of the rabbit.  It wasn't pretty, but it was nature's way.

 


Above right - we are climbing higher and higher now.  The path is only a couple meters wide and on our left, it drops down sharply.  COOPER's horse had spirit and always wanted to run and soon COOPER and RALPH were side by side, about 50 or 60 meters ahead of the rest of the group so COOPER reined him in to stop and wait for the rest of the group.  The horse tossed his head several times then he threw his head way back, hitting COOPER in the face.  He immediately began spinning to the right, making two full spins then he reared up on his hind legs but since he was still spinning, his weight was all on his left hind leg - and he was starting to fall onto his left side.  COOPER had already kicked his left foot out of that stirrup and as the horse fell on his left side, COOPER sort of flew through the air, landing hard on his right side.  As the group rounded the bend about 50 meters behind all this, HALEY was heard to gasp, "Oh my God!" as COOPER was flying through the air.  She later said that she thought COOPER was dead.  Fortunately, he was not - he got up, yanked the horse to his feet and with CHARLIE holding the reins, he climbed back aboard.  Some may say this was brave, to get back on the horse that just threw him.  Maybe it was, but COOPER realized that it was a five mile walk on foot down the mountain if he did not get back on the horse.  To prevent a reoccurrence of this impromptu rodeo act, when the horse tossed his head again COOPER would smack him between the ears with a large stick.  The horse soon realized that the rodeo was finished and the rest of the ride was quieter.

 

 

   

This is rugged country but it is breathtakingly beautiful.  We went further and further up the mountain.  The rough pampas gave way to a small forest where groups of chattering parrots flew over our heads then higher and higher, above the treeline.

 
 

We stopped for a rest at this old line shack.  There was nothing to do here, but we took fifteen minutes to stretch our legs and rest the horses.  Soon we were back in the saddle and continuing upwards, ever upwards through the same mountains that young Oberleutnant zur See Wilhelm Canaris transited in 1915 from Chile to western Patagonia, where he found the little town that was like Bavaria.

     
 
     
 

YOU can experience this fantastic scenery and the history we are unraveling personally.  Save your vacation days, Sharkhunters will be back in and you are welcome to join us.

 
Patagonia boasts some breathtakingly beautiful scenery.
     
 
     
 


High atop this mountain is the cabin where our esada has been prepared.

 
     
 
     
 


Our day ends with an excellent meal high atop a beautiful mountain.

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