Journey America Part 2

Rio Pico

The road from Trevellin to Rio Pico was a long, lonely desert.
We got off highway 40 and rode on an old gravel route called “camino de las mulas,” the way of the mules. It took us across the andes cordillera in one of the hairiest mountain passes we have crossed on this journey.
Along the way I met two Gauchos riding with about 20 dogs each, following close by. Because the ranches here are full of large plants and trees, the dogs are needed to get the cattle out of the bush.
On top of a giant mountain, Toti and I ran into a character fit for a novel. Julio was thick and tall like a tree trunk. He had a thick handle bar moustache and bright green eyes. During the summers, he lives in a small shack up in the mountain caring for about 800 head of cattle.
“Here, have a sip of wine my friend,” the big man said passing me a box of Torro wine.
Julio not only made us drink way too much wine, he offered us a delicious BBQ. The Gaucho has a love for singing ranch songs and wouldn’t stop all night. He sang about his horses, cattle, fishing, women, our arrival… he sang about everything.
“I should have been a famous singer but the lack of teeth in my mouth makes it hard to say some words,” our host said running his tongue through the few teeth left in his mouth.
The next morning we left with a headache before Julio awoke. I’m not sure if my head hurt from the wine or from Julio’s singing.
The temperature began to drop drastically on this stretch of the journey. The night after Julio’s concert, Toti and I slept on the side of the road near a small stream. The next morning when we woke up everything was white with frost. Including the horses manes. We fought to warm up in the morning! It was painful.
After a long week in the saddle Toti and I arrived in the most beautiful ranch ever! Situated in a large green Valley, “Tres Valles,” is a cattle ranch and a fishing lodge. And for the next 2 days, our home 🙂