Free Reports

Our Arm Was Covered in Blood and Bruises

May 3, 2016


GUALFIN, Argentina - 'What happened to you?'

Elizabeth noticed that our left arm was covered with bruises and blood.

'I don't know. It could have come from working with the cows...or from when I rode the horse into quicksand.'

By the time you read this, later today, we'll be on our way back to civilisation, or at least to France. We drive back to to Buenos Aires...and then to Paris.

This year, we could only spend a few short weeks at the ranch. Our visit was squeezed in between various obligations - weddings, business meetings, and a college graduation.

But while we're travelling, today and tomorrow, we'll close the series on life at the ranch with a quick memoire of our last days.

Steer Clear of the Deep, Dark Sand

We rode out at dawn on Friday, accompanied by Jorge (our now-retired ranch foreman) and Elizabeth. The temperature was below zero. But the sun was shining, with no wind.

As long as we were in the sun, we were warm enough. But as soon as we entered the canyon leading to the north, a glacial cold fell upon us.

The glacially cold canyon leading north.
 The glacially cold canyon leading north.

Jorge and Elizabeth wisely wore heavy coats. We had just a couple of sweaters.

The purpose of this outing was to visit our closest neighbours - whose farm abuts ours on the northern side.

We had never seen their farm, nor the valley it is in. The reason for this ignorance is that a large mountain, El Colorado, stands between us. The only way to get there (other than driving for four hours) is on horse or on foot, following the river through the canyon cut by the river.

Don Bill ready to ride.
Don Bill ready to ride.

Our ranch has two rivers. Both are dry. So, this seemed like a good opportunity to follow the dry river bed through the canyon to the adjoining property, said to be about a three-hour ride.

Jorge was to be our guide, by virtue of the fact he had been there 45 years ago and said he wanted to go with us.

We would ride over together. Then, someone would meet us on the other side, in a truck, and take Jorge back to the city. We'd return to the ranch with the horses the way we came.

The ride through the canyon took about an hour.

We picked our way over rocks and around sand banks. Water appeared in the river as soon as we entered the canyon, a trickle at first, and later a full-flowing river about eight feet wide with about a foot of water.

This was the same river that was dry on our side of the mountain. The water must have gone underground on one side of our property and come up in the canyon.

That it should give us the slip like that hardly seemed fair, but there was no one to complain to.

On each side, red rocks rose hundreds of some places, sharp pieces of rock bristled from the side of the other places, huge boulders were worn smooth by wind and water. Like clouds, you could see what you wanted in the extravagant shapes - castles, towers, caverns, ships, planes...icebergs of red rock.

It reminded us of the Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, but smaller, tighter, and shorter. In places, it might have been about 100 feet others, the horses had to go single file.

We followed the river. The horses' iron shoes slipped and clipped on the stones...or splashed in the water. At one point, Jorge turned to point to a patch of dark, wet sand and motioned us to stay clear of it. We obeyed...but saw nothing different about it from the miles of wet sand we had rode over already.

Finally, the canyon walls became more like hills...and the river entered a large valley, with a dry ridge running down the middle and a much bigger mountain on the far side. It was watered by the confluence of two rivers, in addition to the one we followed to get there. And where there is water, there are fields, pastures, and people.

 Modi 2016: An Agenda For Revival
 The Modi Report The landslide victory of 2014 handed Modi more than just a clear mandate...It handed him immense responsibility of a nation dreaming of great progress.

From the euphoria of Achche Din the mood in India has swung to cautious disappointment and now we are in 2016...

Who will answer the question how Modi can turn this ship around and get India back on track?

Vivek Kaul has the answer and he has put it all down, along with his deepest thoughts on the challenges India faces, in our latest special report titled - Modi 2016 - An Agenda For Revival.

And the best part is that he wants to give you this special report for free!

So, don't delay...Click here to download this special report right away!

Grapes, Walnuts, and Alfalfa

Our horses stepped over a toma, where the river was blocked so the water could be diverted into a large irrigation canal.

To the left was a dirt road, and a pick-up truck parked nearby, under an algarrobo tree.

Soon, we saw a field of grapevines. A little further on, another was planted with walnut trees.

There were adobe houses...some of them handsomely positioned in a grove of walnut trees or on the edge of a vineyard. A few fields appeared to be abandoned. They hadn't been irrigated or planted. And there were several large, green fields of alfalfa.

Jorge's eyes lit up. Green alfalfa!

Jorge is a cattleman. Alfalfa is to cattlemen as an all-girls' college is to a sex maniac; once he's seen it he can't get his mind off of it.

Our alfalfa at the ranch is drying up and turning brown. We are out of water, so we will have to buy big rolls of the stuff - at about $50 a roll - from a friend in Molinos, an hour and a half away.

We estimated that there were about 50 acres covered with alfalfa. That's a lot of $50 bills.

More to come...tomorrow.

Bill Bonner is the President & Founder of Agora Inc, an international publisher of financial and special interest books and newsletters.

Disclaimer: The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Equitymaster do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site.

Recent Articles

A New Infrastructure Boom March 26, 2019
Selva Freigedo talks about the potential in 5G network and how it could transform the way we communicate.
A 40 Somethings Guide to YouTube Hits March 20, 2019
Vivek dwells into a new YouTube phenomenon.
As the Economy Slows Down, Maruti and Two-Wheeler Companies Cut Production March 19, 2019
The country's largest car maker has cut production by more than a fourth.
In Supporting Demonetisation, RBI Behaved Like an Old Uncle Not Willing to Take a Stand March 13, 2019
The minutes of the meeting of the RBI Board which happened before demonetisation have been released.

Equitymaster requests your view! Post a comment on "Our Arm Was Covered in Blood and Bruises". Click here!