Argentina


This weekend, I received two more (final?) updates from Jill on the CAA group’s visit in Argentina. You can read about Saturday here, and about Sunday in tomorrow’s post.

“After a leisurely breakfast at El Rosario (such a peaceful and delightful place to stay), we set off on a short drive to Estancia San Luis, belonging to Prudencio Hernandez and his wife, Isabella. We were met at the gate by three carriages and all of us alighted the van and got on a vehicle for a short drive around the estancia. If we had tried to invent the weather, we could not have done better than today! Sunny with a pleasant breeze. WOW!

“The Hernandez daughters, their husbands, and their children joined us all for refreshments and then a wonderful lunch of a typical Argentine stew, served to each of us in a pumpkin … which we enjoyed while sitting outisde on tables under the trees. As is the custom, we took our time over lunch. Then, once again, we boarded the carriages for a much longer drive through this beautiful estancia, with a stop half way for a “picnic” (well, after all, it had been more than half an hour since we’d eaten!). Then it was back to the stables, where we were served an afternoon tea under the trees. 

“The day went so very fast, and the hospitality shown to us was simply amazing.”

Jill also sent these photos, all from the group’s visit to the beautiful Estancia San Luis:

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

 
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(photo by Jill Ryder)

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

Remember the first photo Jill sent from the CAA group’s visit to Argentina, the view from the back of Estancia Bella Vista?

Here’s a view of the house itself:

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

Earlier in the week, the CAA group went to Estancia La Invernada, owned by the Gibelli family. Jill had already sent a few photos from that visit and then sent a few more on Friday:

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the main house at La Invernada (photo by Jill Ryder)

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a Hackney horse being shown to the group (photo by Jill Ryder)

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getting ready to go for a drive (photo by Jill Ryder)

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(photo by Jill Ryder)

Jill’s managed to connect to the Internet once again, and has sent the following report:

“For the last two days, we’ve stayed in the delightful town of Pejuaho. We have had the chance to enjoy the town’s many shops, and we’ve become something of celebrities, with people coming up to us in the street or shops and asking where we’re from, how we like Argentina, etc.!

“Yesterday, we drove a hundred kilometers northwest of town to La Adela, the estancia belonging to Carolitits Lattuada, a young man who inherited the large estancia about four years ago following his father’s death. The weather was PERFECT and once we arrived and were warmly greeted, we loaded up three pickups and were taken around the estancia to see the llamas, the cattle, the crops and, of course, the Hackney horses. This estancia was at one time (and still may be) the largest breeder of Hackney horses in the world.

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part of the llama herd at La Adela (photo by Jill Ryder)

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some of the Lattuadas' Hackney horses at Estancia La Adela (photo by Jill Ryder)

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“Following the fascinating tour, we enjoyed a lunch and then a walkabout in the thirty-hectare Park (or garden). Fantastic. This estancia still has its own chapel and school and other outbuildings.

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Milagro Lattuada (third from right) and her son, Carolitis (second from right), pose with the dancers & musicians who entertained the group during lunch (photo by Jill Ryder)

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enjoying a walk in La Adela's extensive park (photo by Jill Ryder)

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“Then two pairs of horses were produced so that people could drive or ride in the carriage, after which it was time for tea in the main house.

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getting ready to go for a drive with a pair of Hackney horses (photo by Jill Ryder)

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in the harness room at La Adela (photo by Jill Ryder)

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“We had a full and wonderful day with the Lattuadas and returned happy to our hotel after a twelve-hour visit!

“Today, the town of Pejuaho continues the celebration of Tradition Day with a carriage display in the town square. We have the morning free to explore, as the estancia we were to stop at today for lunch was too badly damaged in the strong thunderstorms of this week. We are making our way today to Areco and the Gaucho Festival.”

 

a portion of the carriage collection at Dr. & Mrs. Gibelli's estancia (photo by Jill Ryder)

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during the CAA group's visit to the Gibellis' estancia, Elizabeth Ashbridge (on the left) chatted with Dr. Gibelli (second from right) and two of his children, Delfina and Mathais (photo by Jill Ryder)

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one of the Gibellis' Hackney horses that was shown to the visitors in the CAA group (photo by Jill Ryder)

Jill sent this second report on the CAA group’s visit to Argentina:

“On Sunday, after a relaxed morning of riding or walking at will through the spectacular park at Estancia Bella Vista and enjoying lunch, we packed up our van again and departed for Tandil, to the south / southwest.

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the view from the back of Estancia Bella Vista (photo by Jill Ryder)

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“Tandil is a hilly area (the only hills in Buenos Aires province), and we drove four hours before climbing a steep dirt road and arriving at Amaike, our home for the night. This new hotel overlooks a valley and is spectacular. We enjoyed a group dinner (empanadas, sausage, salads, beef and finally lamb, all prepared on an open fire outside) and all went to bed early.

“On Tuesday, we visited what can only be described as the finest carriage and appointments collection to be seen anywhere. Years ago my father, Tom Ryder, had visited Argentina and was enthralled with what he found here. He took photos and notes of all the wonderful vehicles, and two years after he passed away and my sister and I sorted out his house, we found these photos and notes. When I last visited Argentina two years ago, I brought the appropriate photos/notes to the Fox family. They were so delighted that they made a DVD of all the information, and we enjoyed the “premiere” of the film today. I was presented with a copy for the CAA library. Wonderful.

“At the end of our fabulous visit, we loaded up, made the somewhat hazardous drive across the field again and found the main road, drove two hours and arrived in the small town of General La Madrid and the Hotel Europa. We arrived wet and muddy, but happy. It turns out this delightful hotel is owned by an Argentine couple who had lived for two years in England and spoke perfect English. They had a small but super restaurant, and we all enjoyed a great evening, topped off by a bottle of champagne provided by the owner, Antonio, at 11:00 p.m.!
 
“Today (Wednesday), the rain has changed our plans. Although the weather this morning was wonderful, with the sun shining and a great temperature, there was so much rain yesterday that the thirty kilometers of dirt roads to the estancias we were to visit today are now impassable. So we will stay here most of the morning and slowly make our way north to Pehuajo. We are working on finding another local bus to take us tomorrow to our estancia,  which is miles and miles on dirt roads. Fingers crossed.”

Here is Jill’s first report on the CAA group’s visit to Argentina, which is underway now. She was hoping to be able to send regular reports and some photos (depending on the spotty Internet connections throughout the trip), but has been having unexpected trouble with the charger on her laptop!

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Day One of the CAA’s 2011 Trip to Argentina:
 
“Everyone arrived at our hotel in Buenos Aires (known as BA) — with one participant having missed his connection in Atlanta and then being re-routed via Santiago, Chile. We all enjoyed a welcome dinner on Friday night at an Italian restuarant near our hotel (we thought it might be fun to enjoy pasta, knowing that we would be eating a lot of meat on the rest of the trip).
 
“On Saturday morning, we met our driver for the trip, Leo, and his immaculate fifteen-passenger van, and we were accompanied by Pauline Edbrooke of Biblos Travel, she who was responsible for all our arrangements for this unique trip, and off we set for Quilmos (about an hour’s drive away). There, we were warmly greeted by Marcielo Decoud and were shown the most beautiful stable, which was built in 1912 and had all its stable fixtures brought from France. Then we were shown the harness room with its set of four-in-hand Hermes harness. And then it was on to the carriage house to see the many vehicles by Holland & Holland, Binder, and some Argentine makers. 
 
“Then, sitting on a long table under the trees, we enjoyed our first asada (barbecue). Meat after meat was brought to us on large trays, all washed down with red wine! We were joined by several Argentine carriage enthusiasts, including Rodolfo, the president of the Argentine Commercial (Trade) Vehicle Association. Conversation was lively and after two hours or so, we boarded our van, having made new friends and with promises of visits to the U.S. What a great start to the trip!”
 
Day Two (Sunday):
 
“At 8:30 a.m.,  the entire group was ready with their luggage for a new adventure. Leo arrived, the van was loaded, and off we went for a two-and-a-half-hour drive south /southwest of the city to the town of General Belgrano. We were headed to the estancia (farm) of Guillermo Gibelli and his family. Once there, we were warmly greeted by Guillermo and Christine Gibelli and eventually his two daughers, one of his sons, his daugher-in-law, and several grandchildren. We talked and looked around the beautiful house, and then we were asked to follow Dr. Gibelli into the garden. There, he unveiled a statue of a coachman that he had commisioned several years ago. 
 
“Dr. Gibelli had gone to England earlier this year to attend the South of England Hackney Show and while there had met one of the judges, Roland Connelly of Scotland. From that meeting, Dr. Gibelli had asked Roland to come to Argentina and show the Hackney enthusiasts here how to show Hackneys. So Roland and his wife, Tracey, were there with us, and Roland produced several of the Argentine Hackney horses for us to see in-hand.
 
“We gathered in the house for lunch and enjoyed the fun company. Then it was off to see the carriages while Roland and the gauchos got four carriages ready to take everyone out on a drive around the estancia. The sun was shining, and it was simply a perfect day. 
 
“After enjoying an afternoon tea with the Gibelli family, it was time to thank them for their tremendous hospìtality and bid them farewell until we will see most of them again in Areco. A two-hour drive followed, until we reached our overnight accomodation at the Estancia Bella Vista de Guerrero. It’s hard to believe that we needed dinner, but at 8:30 p.m., there we all were, enjoying a super dinner at the estancia. Then it was early to bed for everyone; after all, it’s exhausting eating so much!”
 
Day Three (Monday):
 
“This morning we all had the choice of going riding (several did), or walking and enjoying the beautiful trees and flowers. Remember that is is spring here in Argentina. Some have seen hundreds of parrots in the trees, and E. G. Moody reports that he has taken more than three hundred photos so far!”

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