[PUEBLO GARZON, URUGUAY] –We were in the tiny quiet village of Pueblo Garzon, Uruguay. Once abandoned, but bought by the famous chef Francis Mallmann who added a world famous restaurant and small five room hotel. We were here for a few days to eat and bask in the green wide expanse of the Uruguayan countryside. Little did we know we’d stumbled on a gaucho parade in Garzon.
It was the First of March. We wanted to take horses up for a picnic in the nearby Uruguayan highlands. But the extremely nice people at the Hotel Garzon apologized, but said in clipped-English,”I’m sorry but normally we accommodate your request, but today all the horses in town are taken for the parade.” “What parade?” “Today is our Carnival, a gaucho festival in Garzon, when all the gauchos come to town for a parade and then a festa out in the fields.”
As my brother Mike said once in New Orleans,”Just when you think you’re having fun…along comes a parade!”
And here we were. After a nice long lunch with friends from Montevideo, we simply walked outside to THIS:
This was the real deal
And then off they went of to their own Gaucho Rodeo..which was different than the typical rodeo….
…first, they tie up a young wild horse and put a blindfold over their eyes…….
,.. then a young buck jumps on the blindfolded horse and they let her rip….with other seasoned teams ready to rein in the broncin’ (and pissed off) horse….
….I could, and did, watch this for hours. As did all the families set up along the perimeter, grilling, drinking and having a great time.
These guys were my favorite. Pancho and Villa (my names). They’d sprint after the runaway (and pissed) broncin’ horses and run parallel so the ride can jump off onto a calmer horse. That is, if he didn’t get bucked….
Here’s a great article from Vogue on the cool town of Garzon. And here are links to other articles I’ve written on Pueblo Garzon.
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