Home on the Range
Trip Start Feb 15, 2011
24Trip End Apr 19, 2011
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just about pancake flat, roads straight to the horizon, land a scrubby grassland with knots of trees. Cows speckled across the land in the distance and occasional gauchos moving herds along the roadside. Sheep the size of small donkeys and surprising flock of Rheas - birds which look like emus - and hot not humid like Brazil but dry.
Few houses, few people - perhaps just five encounteed on the boneshaking 4 hour drive to the ranch. But the ranch - what a place. It looks like Northumberland - the land is more rolling than around Salto and with rocky outcrops, big horizons and green hills could easily be mistaken for north Northumberland. But what surprised me was that the birdlife mirrored what we see in the North East of England with birds looking like lapwings, partridges, snipe and eagles that we see in England
Meals were very typical gaucho style stews - plenty of meat and beans and plenty of beer. Evenings were spent around a log fire or some other favoured spot around the gardens surrounding the house. And we played badminton in the garden with a net much too high and a court much too short for us professionals! This gave Juan home advantage and Juan always won - yes he was a good player unbeaten for 18 months. I lost 15-6 (but was coming back strongly ;-) )
The town nearby, Tacuarembo was hosting the annual Gaucho Festival while we were there
Now we head for Montevideo - the capital.