Horseback Riding in Patagonia

Back in Cleveland right now no matter what this blog says, as I’m a firm believer of experiencing things over sitting around and writing about them.  But don’t worry, the Argentinian chronicles will continue…

I must admit that the gauchos of Argentina have made quite an impression on me, and because I’m a huge believer of “when in Rome” I signed up for a half day of horseback riding outside Bariloche.  This being Patagonia, the scenery did not disappoint-
This is actually the edge of a camp about a 40 minute drive outside Bariloche and I couldn’t help but feel jealous of the owners- beautiful house on the edge of this lake, taking tourists on horseback and kayak rides, not a bad life eh?

Chilling while waiting for the horses to get ready for our ride.  This is probably an appropriate time to mention that one of the hardest travel moments I’ve had was leaving Bariloche, right up there with finally forcing myself to leave Florence.  Both places are just so lovely…

Anyway, waiting done let me introduce you to my horse for the day-

His name is Mike Tyson.  You do not want to know how distracted I got by the sheer number of inappropriate jokes that can be made about this.

On a short break while riding Mike Tyson (see? I told you!).  I was a little nervous as he’s a rather tall horse and I’ve only ever really been riding once before in South Africa, but things turned out well as he was a good horse, unlike one or two other horses who were trying to gain the upper hand on the unfamiliar riders- one even lay down quickly with a rider still on top in an effort to dislodge her!  Which was good because we were riding on some steep terrain and across streams and such, so there was only so much I was going to handle well with my skill level.

The exception to this, of course, was how Mike already knew the path by heart and thus also knew details like “ok, this is the part where we get to canter now!” and started going fast without my permission.  Needless to say it’s a touch disturbing when a giant beast starts going faster than expected and is carrying you with him!

Needless to say I didn’t take many pictures because I was, you know, riding a horse.  I do like this picture though because it shows the several dogs of the camp who got excited and came along with us for a long walk through the bushes, and a perpetual cloud of dogs is exactly what follows the Argentine gauchos around too.  So hey, just about as authentic as I was going to get short of riding in the saddle since I was a toddler…

I was also thinking along the way how interesting horse riding is when you get down to it- how up until a century ago they were the only way to get around despite being so expensive to house and keep well (having a horse is the same expense as buying a new luxury car a year), but now it’s not at all unusual to just buy a car in the western world for all your transport needs or even hop onto a train or plane.  How could it be surprising that we move around nowadays so much more than we used to?  Plus judging by the speed and exertion from riding a horse I’d rather just hop onto my bicycle- the only real tradeoff is not being quite as tall.

But hey, just some philosophizing while having fun near the bottom of the world.

2 responses to “Horseback Riding in Patagonia

  1. The water is gorgeous! And, you look like a pro on your horse!!

    • Thanks! And I appreciate the compliment tho trust me, it helps when your horse isn’t trying to do all sorts of bad things while you’re on him in the first place. 😉

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