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25

Apr 2019

Release the Inner Cowgirl!

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Horse Riding Holidays, South America, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

Following a year’s research we have just released the “Gaucho Trail” which welcomes you to release the inner cowgirl (or boy!).

Gaucho Trail Argentina. Ride with the gauchos moving cattle.

Gaucho Trail Argentina. Ride with the gauchos moving cattle.

A couple of hours away from Buenos Aires in Argentina is a large estancia (ranch) which specialises in cattle rearing. The fertile land in this area is flat and criss-crossed with rivers creating a tapestry of rolling grassland which is ideal cattle country. The estancia’s gauchos are born and bred to their trade and the criollo horses they ride are ‘home made’, quick, agile and really well mannered. In February 2019 we had our first wanabee-gauchos return from Argentina and they really loved the experience, proving with complete confidence that this stunning farm, with outstanding accommodation, great horses and a genuine gaucho welcome delivers what it promises. Given its location, north of Capricorn in the tropics, it’s a 12-month of the year destination. Min stay 3 nights; the Gaucho Trail is 7 nights.

Gaucho Trail Argentina. Ride with the gauchos moving cattle.

One of the many river crossings on the Pampa, Argentina

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24

Apr 2019

Patagonia – Latest News

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Horse Riding Holidays, South America, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

Several of you will know Cathy in Chile and Dominik in Argentina, the wonderful characters who guide the trans-Patagonia rides. There are big changes coming up for 2020.

The problem we have noticed over the last two seasons is water – or rather the shortage of water in the rivers. The Grand Traversée ride contains as a star feature several river crossings which can be several hundred metres wide with the water lapping your stirrups and the horse’s belly all the way! It’s a thrilling experience, particularly because you can dip a cup into the river (upstream of the horses!) and drink directly from it; it’s that clean and glacier fresh.

Horse riding holiday in Patagonia

Crossing the Rio Puelo, fed from a glacier in Chile, Patagonia.

The trouble is that rainfall in Patagonia’s summer (Nov to March) has declined significantly, making the lakes and rivers run lower than usual. Global warming? Well, probably. The glaciers still produce run-off but it’s not being topped-up from rain. We have traditionally crossed the Chile-Argentina border by boat across a lake to the rapids, up the rapids and across another lake to the new border. During late Jan, Feb and March there simply isn’t enough water in the rapids to make them navigable. The alternative is a 14 hour road / trail trip – which ticks everyone off!

Sadly we will not be running the Grand Traversée after Jan each year.

The Huaso Trail remains as it is but in a truncated season. We’ll be tweaking The Andes Crossing itinerary which will continue to run between Oct and March each year, but note the contingency plans on day 6. Here’s a summary of the Patagonia rides:-

Ride title Days Season
Grand Traversée

14

Nov, Dec & Jan
Huaso Trail

7

Jan & Feb
Andes Crossing

6

Oct to March
Patagonia cattle drive

Twice p.a.

Oct & March

 

The Grand Traversée remains my favourite, by far. An epic ride that takes you into the heart of remotest Patagonia giving you a glimpse of a way of life that is as far from ‘digital’ as it’s possible to get on a horse. I wonder how much longer this ultimate riding experience will be able to operate?

Riding holiday Patagonia

Driving cattle on the Pampas, Argentina. Approaching the foothills of the Andes.

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29

Jan 2019

Shocking news from the Inca Trail, Peru

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, South America, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

Mid-December saw an armed robbery at Winay Wayna campsite on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu,

during the night. The group (not ours) were woken and robbed at gunpoint. I believe no-one was hurt physically, but the head porter had a gun to his head, and some clients lost possessions.

Travel, as with daily life, has risks. You are still much more likely to suffer an accident driving your car at home, than being robbed in Peru. Assessing and managing risk is essential to the safety of our clients and staff. But be careful of the company you keep: Cusco has 1,750 companies selling tours and only 320 of these are registered with the authorities. Of that 320, just 4 of us have a licence to offer adventure activities.

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