Fiesta a la Chilena - Cerro Castillo

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Flag of Chile  ,
Friday, February 1, 2008

We had a wonderful time at the Fiesta a la Chilena!

This "Huaso" (or Gaucho) festival has the only nocturnal rodeo in South America (they say)! So off we went  (after finding a bus to take us there which was not an easy task) and took the advice of our landlady to pitch our tent there overnight, as everyone does it, and it is free.

The show was supposed to start at 22hrs but the judges did not turn up until well into 11pm so everything was greatly delayed. The first part was the "Basto con Encimera" and was spectacular: Only 9 of the 20 starting riders made 15 seconds on  the young horse (none of the horses had ever had a saddle on them before).

Four of them needed the assistance of the local ambulance, one was badly hurt as the horse fell on top of him and dragged him 200 meters on the ground. The task is to get the horse fixed to a pole (several men needed), get a leather mini-saddle on it, release it, and stay on top for 15 seconds. A real rodeo!

The outfits of the cowboys was also impressive: Berrets (like "Che"), baggy trousers, eather boots, and of course a Poncho. The girls had white barrets and Ponchos.

The next day we watched a rodeo on bulls, and then a lasoon throwing competition on young horses, that is men are on foot, and they have to catch the horses!

See the pics and films, we really had a unique experience!
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