Caranchos and Gauchos

Its been a great couple of days. Yesterday I took the day off work so that Zoe could do a voluntary midwifery clinic… she really enjoyed it and we are hopeful that it may lead to some paid work in the future. Fingers crossed.

I put the kids to work cleaning out the old chicken shed… before long we had it clear and more or less ready for some chickens to move in. Now all we have to do is find some chickens! We kept busy all day, painting pebbles, building a bench, playing football and then the weather turned nasty so we went back inside. After lunch Zoe came home and we spent the afternoon baking bread, making mince pies and drinking mulled wine.

Festive treats

Today we went for a drive out into camp (camp means countryside, pretty much everywhere except Stanley is known as ‘camp’). We headed out of Stanley and turned off onto a track which winds its way over the mountains and down to Estancia. The landscape is incredible; huge skies, moody mountains and countless inlets and creeks making perfect picnic spots. We pulled over and explored a wrecked Chinook helicopter, a relic of the Falklands war. The rotors and engines still recognisable but the rest of it being melted lumps of metal and debris.

Helicopter

A little further on we explored a ‘stone run’. These impressive geological features look like rivers of stones pouring off the mountainsides. It’s kind of like a glacier but formed by stone and not ice. Climbing over the boulders I heard the trickling and gurgling of a stream flowing beneath. It was almost as if the stone river really was running!

Stone Run

We found a good picnic spot by a creek with a gaucho corral on its shore. The corral would have been used by the gauchos (South American cowboys) to herd up their livestock. Today it is just a low circular mound in the earth but it must have once been quite a sturdy structure. There was a huge section of pipe sitting at the side of the road, presumably it will be used to make one of the many crossings where the track crosses an inlet. The kids however thought it made a great megaphone and shattered the tranquillity with their echoing shrieks.

Is anybody out there?

Is anybody out there?

We had our picnic and then drove on to explore a little further. We got as far as Evelyn station at Teal Inlet. The settlement there has probably about a dozen houses and buildings with about three dozen old Land Rovers in various states of disrepair…they are spread everywhere as if they are sheep grazing. It’s a charming settlement and there was lots of wildlife to see. We saw a couple of crested caracaras or ‘caranchos’ as well as lots of turkey vultures, waterfowl and smaller birds.

It would have been a quiet drive home with Rosie and Jack falling asleep, but Oli wittered the entire way, asking questions about caracaras and vultures and sheep and everything else along the way.

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2 thoughts on “Caranchos and Gauchos

  1. It all sounds wonderful Ross. What an amazing experience for the children. Enjoy the rest of your Christmas and give a big hug to the children.
    Love to you all xxx

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  2. How exciting! I can’t wait to explore some of these sights with you one day. Oli asking questions all the way home , this really took me back to your childhood Ross. I remember being unable to answer many of yours and hoping Dad would come to the rescue when we returned back home.

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