Posts Tagged ‘Chacras de Coria’

Warming Up to Mendoza

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

The kids were troopers as we waited for a cab that never came and then walked back carrying the groceries.

The kids were troopers as we waited for a cab that never came and then walked a long way back carrying the groceries.

My first impressions generally hold true, but it turns out I got off on the wrong foot while getting to know Chacras de Coria, the town where we spent the past eight days. A week ago, Morgan and I briefly considered leaving here early; now, on our last day, we don’t want to depart.

This suburb of Mendoza has been described as “tranquil” and a “gourmet ghetto” of restaurants, but our introduction to the town goes down as one of our more stressful days of travel. (more…)

Guts and Gauchos in Mendoza

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Getting a glimpse of gaucho life on a ranch near Mendoza, Argentina.

Getting a glimpse of gaucho life on a ranch near Mendoza, Argentina.

“Well, that’s something your children aren’t likely to see in school,” a chipper young woman from the UK said in a typically understated British way. She was referring to a dozen or so desiccated, grayish-black pairs of horse testicles that were the size of plums and hanging on barbed wire by a weathered corral used for castrating young studs.

The gaucho Orlando, whose horse had a type of hand-crafted bridle and saddle I'd never seen before.

The gaucho Orlando, whose horse had a type of hand-crafted bridle and saddle I'd never seen before.

We were at a ramshackle ranch about 40 minutes outside of Mendoza. I had traces of amniotic fluid from a newborn goat on my hands, flecks of spit from a llama on my shoulders, and dirt and manure all over my shoes. Dust, kicked up by a wind storm that had turned the sky brown above these drought-parched hills of Argentina’s wine country, coated my nose and hair.

“They saw a lot of things for the first time today,” I said, picturing Colly and Kyle studying a gaucho named Orlando, who wore flaps of cowhide on his legs and tucked an 18-inch blade into his waistband, and whose dirt-crusted little finger won’t bend because a puma tore its tendon. (more…)