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“There is going to be always much better

the dreamed things that may never become true,

than the true things that never deserved to be dreamed...”

 J.M. Luque



I want to tell you a story about the place miles and miles away from here.

In far off lands, in the middle of Nowhere, is hidden the disappeared Panagea - mother-continent from the times when all continents on the earth were one big landmass.


Actually, the story will be not exactly about the omni-continent.
The story will be about the Ranch.

So, how do you think, how much do we know about ranches?

Well, it must be a big piece of land somewhere in America. There must be… mmm… well… there must be probably cows. And also there must be such brutal guys in big hats, galloping through the prairie. What else? 



In fact, during the first hours of the journey through the country I just couldn’t add something to the above mentioned concept. There was grass around… fences… once again fences and… oh yeah, another fences. And grass of course.


After 3 hours of such landscape I started to mention the specific features and differences in fence constructions and also lots and lots of grass color gradations. Now I understand clearly why Siberian Chukchee have more than 20 words in their language to define such simple natural phenomenon like snow.  

But finally we reached the oasis in between of this Nowhere.

Kissed and welcomed by such benevolent Susann, we’ve got some time to discover our new reality.

The first thing I tumbled in the house was the five-star fruit salad. I hardly checked myself to eat the whole bowl away. Of course not because I’m so polite, there was another reason. After my snowy
Moscow I could be just poisoned with such quantity of solar vitamins…

The second thing that attracted my attention was the bull cranium on the chimney. Absolutely appropriate place to exhibit the scalps of your foes. Surely I should organize something like that in my flat.


I found also the compact library with books for exchange, in particular our 4000pages-book "War and Peace", not tattered at all. Probably, nobody wants to take this masterpiece out…  



What a pity, there was no table for ping-pong! on the badminton court I'm not a professional, but if I only could get a chance to fight there somebody in table tennis… oh, my friends know exactly how competitive I am… 
In that case I could probably make a great mistake and prefer to skip horse riding. 

Because at that time I was awfully looking for any reasonable excuse not to go for the ride. I just couldn't imagine this issue - ME? on the HORSE? real alive horse? and not just sit - RIDE!  O mi Got.  Never!


But he said - you should do it. And I did it. 

Also there he comes.
The owner of the Ranch. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
World traveler and local polyglot. Practical communist and implicit shaman.

He's never joking.  

As you can see, he is very strict. Everyone on the ranch should know who is a Boss - both horses and female.

..but if you are fortunate to catch him accidentally smiling... you will be able to appreciate some bolsillo escondido of his Personality.

That's me. Never ever touched a horse before. Never ever saw a saddle. Couldn't find the difference between the halter and the reins.
I was staring at the horse like it was a cosmic alien. The horse answered me with a contemptuous look. Oh yeah, just another one city slicker… 

Well, there is the saddle. Excellent. But there must be something else... damn, I always forget the right order! The worst of it was that I couldn't get by heart, what were all this special things called. It was so inconvenient to ask shamefacedly: "Mmm... could you help me por favor to put... mm.. this one here, because I should swap around those things... And this is overlong, could you por favor make it shorter?.." Damn!  


The brief consultation between me and the horse. Apparently I promised him to bring  a carrot if I will survive.   

Still unbelievable, but I'm riding. May be it’s not so aesthetic like in cowboy's movies, but I don't fall from the saddle, and that's an outstanding breakthrough for me!
One Gaucho, one gringo and one sity slicker - nice combo. 

Catharina doubtless looks like the personage of western more than I do.   

Ha!  You see it??  Like born on the horseback! 

(*whispering* Oh, it’s so comfortable speed, when he doesn’t move…)

 And this is already fancy-riding!  Definitely I made a progress.  The next step should be jumping over the fence.


After the first rides I decided that I should establish diplomatic relations with horses, also come into contact with them to explain my Personality.
I ensured that nobody is around and went through the paddock.


Firstly I met with a failure – I tried to occupy attention of one of them, but he definitely has more important issues than talking to the gringo.

However another one was very kind to me. He came very close and tried to bite me very tender. 
Awww, it was so cute! I was really touched by that. Unfortunately I don’t know his (her?..) name, he didn’t introduce himself to me…


After a while I’ve got a sight that several horses come closer and that they are looking to me very attentively.

I encouraged immediately and start actually talking with them. What a mercy that nobody could hear it.

Finally I finished my speech, but the horses were still staying around and paying attention to me. 
Of course, I didn’t expect that they will start applaud or something like that, but it was a little bit suspicious.  They were definitely waiting something from me.

Bacho was the most suspicious of them. As always, he must be the first in any queue

Only after a long time I realized that I stood near the fence gate. The horses just expected that I’ll let them out!  O mi Got.  Sorry, guys… - I squeezed myself through the fence and glanced guiltily to the horses.
They were very, very disappointed.    

*** õ


Afterwards everything came easier. 


But there was another challenge, to try myself and to use my gaucho-skills in practical work. One thing is just to walk leisurely through the eucalyptus forest and another is to pursue the cow or sheep to bring them to the proper place. And to keep the serious face meanwhile.    

¡Sí, Gauchito! ¡vamos, vamos! davay-davay! chop-chop-chop!

I just can't repeat here how I barked to force this sheep moving, just believe me - I did it.

Two Gringos. Pretend to be working.

Another two. Oh, those funny city slickers, they're so happy to see a true live sheep indeed...

And here I would like to show you the best picture from this ride. No doubts, that all of you have read this famous book of Thomas Mayne Reid – "Headless horseman". Did you?
There he comes. Good job, Michael! Well done :))) 

...Actually after my first contact with the cows and sheep there I became a hard vegetarian for a week.

As it has turned out, I just can't eat somebody whom I know by sight. Surely nevermore I will be able to eat any meat from Uruguay. But I KNOW that the food there was unbelievably tasty. Well, I've got it! It should be just a misprint. Instead "basic" there probably was planned the word "amazing". Yes, exactly.      

In addition, I've got probably the best New Year's Day in my life. But this time I will not present my MVG-speech once again. Instead here must be a bonus track.

There it is.

How To Be a Real Gaucho (user manual)

¡ "To stop the horse, pull the reins" !


I discovered by myself, that it’s pointless to ask the horse to stop, even you would be very polite.

Also it's absolutely pointless to scream "Heeeeyyy somebody stop this blooooody horse!!!!!!!" If you will scream, for the horse occurs a great supposition to start galloping. In that case you will finish your exercise in grass, full of big C impressions.

Precept # 1
: If you want to stop, just make one simple move :)    


 "Hey, bloody city slicker, if something goes wrong, it’s not the horse, it is YOU!"


Well, I'm a classical city slicker. I did all my best, everything what was possible, to kill myself by this horses, but you can prove - I’m still alive! May be owing to the red mascota on my hand, and may be owing to the intelligence of horses and their coaches.   


Precept # 2: The horse doesn't have the aim to kill you. Just TRUST YOUR HORSE.


"The electricity is for cookie-pushers. If you have insufficient candles, just steel them from another chamber!"


In the first dark evening, when I only grew accustomed (getting the feel of gaucho's role), I followed this instruction accurate and steeled one candle from the nearest bathroom.

As it has turned out later, it was the only one candle in this bathroom at all. I discovered it by myself, during my next -spontaneous- visit of this room in the middle of the night. Oh, it was a BIG disappointment - don’t find any light on such important place. When I remembered the reason why there are no candles, some taboo Russian words were introduced for the first time on the gaucho’s land.                 


Precept # 3:  You should steel everything only from the foreign bathrooms!


 "All what you need is hat, knife and hanky!"


There is no one reason to wear Prada on the ranch. The horse will hardly appreciate your brand. All dividends what you can reap from your fashion clothes are the admiring glances of sheep and also the price for such pleasure could be dirty and damage of your favorite accessories. Besides it's pointless to row, if you leave your Prada sunglasses lost somewhere in the field.

So use real gaucho’s pegs and boots, and also don't forget about the hat! And – you shouldn’t wear pink there. You should look brutal.


Precept # 4: No glamour on the ranch!         


 "Never trust the promises given to you in South America!"


I have got a lot of promises from Dr. J.M. to visit me on the 18 of June in my hometown. However, it's no use trying. Vain hope to stand in Sheremetievo with flowers in hand and wait for his arrival. Nobody will come.


Precept # 5: Never trust gauchos!

*** õ

Indeed, I should tell you even so seriously one thing.

There is a really the place where all continents come together. There are such beautiful people I met. Persons who can move your mind to change. You know, it’s not easy, to change somebody’s mind. But they are really able to do it – just because they are able to change their own life and follow their dreams.

It’s awesome.   




( 11 voices — Tell me something )
Jan. 28th, 2009 07:30 am (UTC)
мы отныне общаемся на англйском?? тогда in utter disbelief , Amber! you're a shit hot rider!!!
you've gammoned you'll never ride a horse! what s happened with u there , kiddo?? (:
Jan. 30th, 2009 10:34 am (UTC)
hola Gaucha ;)
Beautiful pictures and great story.
It was indeed an amazing experience :)

Jan. 30th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Re: hola Gaucha ;)
Hola Benjamin!!
muchas gracias, muy bien to see you here in my Journal! :))
Jan. 30th, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
Ой, а что это уругвайско-российская дружба на языке шанки? :)))
Jan. 30th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC)
It's because I'm a bloody gringo and I can't speak Spanish as yet :((

Pero yo aprendo el idioma español qué me gusta mucho. Estudiaba esa idioma ya hace tiempo.. uno mes entero!
Jan. 30th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
А русский даже не рассматривался? :)))
Числительное UNO перед существительными мужского рода единственного числа теряет О. ;)
Dec. 7th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
а после "хорсрайдинга" ничего не болело?:)

Dec. 9th, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC)
Болело АДСКИ! После этого как раз нужно было гулять по Колонии и потом по Монте, я аж подвывала втихаря... Ноги (там где бедра) не разгибались вааще.....
Dec. 10th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
хаха, даже не сомневался:)))) поэтому умные люди и советует делать это в последний или предпоследний день отдыха:)))
Dec. 10th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Хаха - не то слово )) Ну, в свое оправдание могу сказать, что это был не то чтобы прям отдых, да и умных людей в нужный момент как-то рядом не случилось....
Sep. 3rd, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
В друзьях :)
( 11 voices — Tell me something )

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