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The Patagonia Trail – 2016 to 2017 season safaris

10 August 2016

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The Patagonia Trail

Dates: 19 to 26 Nov ; 12 to 19 Dec (full); 20 to 27 Dec (full); 28 Dec to 4 Jan (full); 6 to 13 Jan; 15 to 22 Jan; 23 to 30 Jan; 14 to 21 Feb; 22 Feb to 1 Mar (full).

Duration: 7 nights, 7 days in Patagonia with further days suggested as stopover and stay in Bs. As.

Level: Competent and confident in the saddle and mountain environment.

Size: Join a group or book out a date privately with minimum of 6 riders

Cost: U$700 per day. The ‘Trail’ begins and ends on pick up and drop off at the domestic airport in Patagonia. The ‘Trail’ can be extended to Buenos Aires and other arrangements if you wish. We can book internal flights (this is an additional cost).

SUMMARY

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‘The Patagonia Trail’ is nestled deep in the middle of Patagonia. This particular area where we ride is a hidden gem, in pristine wilderness. Hat off to Jakob, this is such a good safari. Doesn’t really get much better than this. A super combination of staying in a very comfy base camp in great little log cab cabins combined with fine African safari tents, super attention to detail on the sheets textiles and so on. Bagual ponchos and garb on sale! Log fires in the cabins, bathrooms with hot water, verandahs on which to relax and take in the stunning views and desks to write up your journals or read your book. Set on the banks of the river. It is a forested valley known as Fila Hua Hum (in the Mapuche Indian tongue). A good days ride from here into the mountains lie 2 perfect little camps and 2 days away lies another base camp which one either starts at or ends at depending on the week you travel – which is different but has another completely unique charm of its own. So very cleverly there is a lovely mix and balance of experiences.

Galloping the Globe 46

It is of course an authentic experience with a mix of good round the fire, camping high up in the mountains. Good quality, good everything – horses, kit, ponchos, wine and food – and most importantly good gang looking after you in Charlie, Felipe, Federico, Cristobal, Balky, Rosa and Gabriela.

Cristobal, in good hands at base camp

Cristobal, in good hands at base camp

A super job has been done at all the camps – great attention to detail. Charming characteristics that only come with experience and genuine passion for horseback journeys, of which we are genuinely very experienced.

Another view of the quincho (elevation 947m)

Another view of the quincho (elevation 947m)

Building a lovely quincho (dining cabin) at the principal camp and renovating an old wooden quincho structure at another demonstrates extraordinary good innovation in giving clients a real taste of fabulous living in a Patagonian environment. All makes for a lovely atmosphere.

Food is important to us. You will experience quality dining at the principal home base with a mixture of dishes, which centre around great local produce – vegetables from the garden, trout from the lakes and rivers and meat from the farm. Vegetarian options included. On the camping nights pack lunches, suppers and breakfasts will be simple but wholesome. Of course the will be a traditional argentine barbecue prepared on at least one of the days as well.

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We are passionate about horses – so the breed herd has quality horses, well trained for your enjoyment. This passion for the horse also extends to giving special attention to using wonderful tack, saddle blankets, saddlebags and ponchos. It is important to Bagual and Jakob that we support the artisan traditions of Patagonia. We believe in supporting this artisan tradition and in the Mapuche region of Patagonia the attire for both the horse and rider are second to none in both practicality and aesthetics. Hence we also have some bagual ponchos and bombacha trousers on sale for you to take away.

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thumb_IMG_8919_1024 Bs As Arrival Day

ARRIVAL Buenos Aires (Bs. As.) international airport – depending on whether you are using us to organize logistics in the city – you will be transfered to excellent unique boutique hotel in Palermo Soho district of the city. We have a close relationship with a small, nicely decorated little hotel. The staff are extraordinarily helpful and knowledgeable which makes a huge difference to the enjoyment of your stay.

Bagual City Tour Day

Unique city tour of Bs.As. Acclimatize and enjoy an authentic insight into the culture of Bs As eating out at interesting and excellent restaurants away from the norm, visiting specific places such as equine artisan shops, equine tailors, ethnographical museums and markets – much of which is completely unique to our discoveries over the years.

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Patagonia Trail Day 1

Transfer to Palermo domestic Airport. Internal flight to Patagonia (either San Martin de Los Andes or Bariloche). (This element is client’s responsibility if not utilizing Bagual organization in Buenos Aires).

Meet the guides and drive 2 hours into mountains and lakes of this region. Board boat for lake crossing. 2 hours.

Meet the horses and 1 hour ride into camp.

This region is called Fila Hua Hum. It is a privately owned estancia within a national park – 15.000 hectares.

A super team awaits you. Drinks on the verandah of the dining cabin (Quincho) next to the river. Freshen up, have a swim this is your comfy charismatic home base. Elevation 947 metres.

Day 2

You are staying in an elegant camp, which has been constructed here especially for The Patagonia Trail ride. The cabins are a unique mixture of local wood and African canvas and have wood burning stoves, bathroom, and verandah.

All meals in the Quincho.

We will do an exploratory morning and afternoon ride in the reaches of this beautiful valley. Opportunities to swim the horses at camp and on the ride.

Special attention to delicious food and quality local produce such as trout, lamp and vegetarian cuisine – the garden is abundant with fresh produce.

Carefully selected wines, including malbec of course, and selection of other drinks at the bar.

Day 3

Today we embark on an 8-hour ride. A pack horse(s) will take extra kit for the camp. Essentially we will travel light.

We travel self sufficient for 2 days one night. Pack lunch and rest stop, for lunch, en route.

We wind up into the mountains and ride a very beautiful trail with an incredible variety of scenery. Simply breathtaking. The area is known as

Overnight in beautiful fly camp just below the tree line in the beech forest. Meals served around the fire. Sleeping in tents.

Camp elevation is approx. 1670 metres. Just below the tree line. Maximum elevation during the day is approx. 1850 metres and distance travelled is 20 kms.

Day 4

Today is a shorter ride, essentially descending the mountain to the river below – meeting a surprise picnic with the team from Base camp. Beautiful spot to swim the horses across a narrow but deep river channel gently flowing out of the lake.

A short ride back to base camp and to your comfy cabins and supper at the Quincho.

Overnight basecamp.

Day 5

Morning and afternoon rides will be guided in valley – this might include rounding up the herd of horses, training of a young horse, or any number of estancia activities. Otherwise it will be lovely trail rides exploring the vast estancia and national park wilderness land.

Day 6

Today is another moving day. On this trip we head up the other side of the valley from basecamp, not to return! Onward to 2 more overnight camps.

It is another big riding day with wonderful mountain scenery.

We descend into a beautiful forested overnight camp. Excellent spot. Great campfire.

Camp elevation is 1670 metres. Distance covered is 21 kilometres and maximum elevation this day is 1951 metres.

Very good chance of seeing condors in close proximity as they regularly survey this part of the trail.

Day 7

Today is shorter 4 to 5 hour ride down the mountains. We descend down a beautiful valley called arroyo Filcun which is a small river running into Lago Truful.

We briefly rest in a huge forest clearing. Essentially we are aiming for mid afternoon arrival at our last camp – as Felipe, our gaucho guide as left early morning at first light to meet his wife and have a traditional ‘asado’ lunch awaiting are arrival.

This camp is an authentic old estancia home. It is the home of Felipe Chandea’s family, where he lives running the farm with his elderly mother. Our stay is in African canvas tents surrounding an old renovated Quincho barn. It is a very unique experience. We are located 10 minutes from Lake Truful, which has some lovely beaches from which to swim.

Day 8

We do a short morning ride along the lake followed by an early lunch. Then back to the lake in the afternoon to meet a boat, which will take everyone across the valley to meet your transport to the airport.

Meet your late afternoon flight to Bs As

Overnight at Boutique Hotel in Palermo Soho.

Buenos Aires optional Day 9 (recommended)

You will have seen lots of ponchos, weavings, leatherwork, riding kit in Patagonia which will have caught your eye – thus planning in a day to rest in Bs As and combine with a guided visit to one or two places to make purchases, eat out at a great restaurant, all of which is probably what you will feel like doing. In combination with our hotel we can ensure you have a good day and evening tailored to your interests.

Buenos Aires optional Day 10

Departure for your international flight.

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The Patagonia Trail – the story of this ride

19 March 2016

In Patagonia.

A journey to Northern Patagonia –  Pampa Norquin, Vilu, Ranquilco and on to explore Fila Hua Hum further south and ride ‘the Patagonia trail’ with Jakob and Charlie. Great to start with a few days with Kiki, Chino, Matias and Virginia, Thomas and Hannah – and fun to see Ashley and Thomas up in the Trocoman Valley. Sorry to miss Ginny and Sky. A pleasure to reunite with a faithful old saddle, ponchos and poetic mountain kit – which hadn’t been used for a while and was in threat of being consumed by nature! Some long distance travelling, but gosh, some nice rides in the Cordillera. Must be said, you can forget sometimes, but you and a horse in the mountains, spring water, a river to swim in, making a fire to cook on, saddle blankets, sheepskins and poncho for bedding, sleeping under the stars – takes a lot of beating. Dressing the horse with the wonderful eclectic mix of tack and beautiful woven textiles, doesn’t really get any better anywhere, travels well and you just can’t but love it …

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thumb_IMG_8842_1024Onward to meet up with Jakob and Charlie in Fila hua hum, to do the ‘The Patagonia Trail’. A few hours south, still in the land of the Mapuche weavings. A hidden gem in the Cordillera of Patagonia. Hat off to the Baron, this is such a good safari. Doesn’t really get much better than this. I agree, probably the best ride in Argentina! Great little log cab cabins combined with fine african safari tents, on the banks of the river, in the forested valley. 2 perfect little camps 8 hours ride (including lunch, siesta pause).

Camp 1 is 20.35 kms ride  / & camp 2 is 21.42 kms ride from home base. Lastly or firstly, depending on which way you start the safari, camp 3 is a charming place, in comfy big canvas tents, estancia home of the family of Felipe Chandea, the safari Gaucho, seen below.

Felipe and gaucho from Estancia Tres Lagos                           in Valley Fila Hua Hum

Jacob mounted on a wonderful Labuno horse on the way to Camp 2

It is an authentic experience with a mix of a comfy base – with good round the fire, fine camping high up in the mountains. Good quality, good everything – horses, kit, ponchos, wine and food –  and most importantly good gang looking after you in Charlie, Felipe, Frederico, Cristobal, Belky, Rosa and Gabriela.

Lunch spot on way to  fly camp 2 (1673m)

Just above the treeline below. Condors flying in our path

On day 6 riding to the second camp which is in the beech forest, just below the tree line. Maximum elevation this day was 1951m and total distance travelled 21.42 kms. We arrived at the cracking little. Perfect for both tired horses and humans alike. Great fire place with logs to sit or stretch back on. Horse grazing nearby. Tents, tarps or on your saddle blankets under the stars being the sleeping options. Lots of options and picturesque locations. As always, wonderful to eat and drink round the camp fire. The forest providing nice shelter with open skies close by for those amazing southern hemisphere stars.

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Torta frita

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Coffee

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Charlie in his new bombachas checking on the clients tents

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Shanti

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You can see the volcanic ash trail. Riding down from camp 2 through arroyo Filcun to Felipe Chandea’s Estancia home where his mother, Eleanor, and Señora Marta reside. It is a charming spot and they are lovely hosts.

Felipe's campo, the fourth place one stays where there african canvas tents set up and traditional old estancia buildings

Felipe’s campo, the fourth place one stays where there african canvas tents set up and traditional old estancia buildings

The Baron has done a super job renovating an old wooden quincho structure for dining and an old estancia building into bathrooms, with a good open aside fireplace outside. All makes for a lovely atmosphere, authentic setting with interesting addition of comfy african / botswanan canvas tents. Lago Truful is 10 minutes walk away through the forest for a beautiful swim off a pretty lovely beach. You either start a safari or end your safari here on the full itinerary. Either way this spot is reached by boat!

Felipe's place. A lot of Red Deer in this region. Up to 30% larger than their european relations.

Felipe’s place. A lot of Red Deer in this region. Up to 30% larger than their european relations.

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A poetic generator, that needs peddling. Charlie is in charge.

The water pump, needs peddling.

JVP riding. Maximum elevation this day 1951 metres

Jacob guiding Day 3

JVP

Jacob

Max and Teresa

Max and Tessa on the trail

Day 6 and we covered 21.42 kms min elevation 914metres, maximum 1951 metres and made camp at 1677 metres just below the tree line

Day 6 and we covered 21.42 kms min elevation 914metres, maximum 1951 metres and made camp at 1677 metres just below the tree line

Cristobal, in good hands at base camp

Cristobal, in good hands at home base

Another view of the quincho (elevation 947m)

Another view of the quincho (elevation 947m)

Teresa cooling off

Tessa swimming at the home camp

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The quincho (dining, drinking and so on) at base camp The quincho (dining, drinking … ) at base camp

These are the log cabins crossed with canvas at the main home base. Located next to the river for an easy swim (elevation 947m)

These are the log cabins crossed with canvas at the main home base. Located next to the river for an easy swim (elevation 947m)

Another view of the Cabins (located in Fila Hua Hum valley)

Another view of the cabins

ponchos

ponchos

quality mapuche indian woven saddle bags hanging in the quincho, all natural plant dyes

Mapuche woven saddle bags hanging in the quincho, all natural plant dyes

the saddles ready for the horses at base camp

the saddles ready for the horses at base camp

lasoo

lasoo

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The breed herd. Catching the young mare, Charlie, for some taming time

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great african canvas tarps

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Max and Tessa

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Charlie and Eleonore

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Lunch for everyone –  after swimming their horses

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Valley Fila Hua Hum.

A good spot for a horse safari!

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Exmoor Horse Safari, England

10 April 2015

James out on Tilly just up behind the house

The safari is run on a tailor made basis over a weekend, you need to enquire to book a date.

This weekend is perfect opportunity to come and have a good ride in proper country before coming away on a trip with us. Equally it is a good alternative for those who can’t get away just now but fancy a good riding weekend and getting an insight into perhaps what makes us a little different in attention to detail. So, essentially the plan is for you to enjoy 2 great days riding (1 longer, 1 shorter day / extension as well if requested)  in a super English location, learn lots about the area and no doubt about lots of other places as well. You will be staying in a very comfortable home and will be fed excellent locally sourced produce and home grown goodies and thus you will eat, drink, sleep and ride well.

The house set against the hill on Exmoor

Location: Oare Manor (private home), near Porlock, Exmoor, Somerset

Duration: Friday to Sunday

Ability: Competent riding recommended.

£ Cost per person: £925 (with 2 people), £765 (with 3 people), £695 (with 4 to 6 people)

Size: Private groups up to 6 people.

INCLUDES:

Riding fine hunting horses, lovely private manor house home, double bedrooms with your own bathroom, delicious wholesome, carefully sourced and home grown foods, attentive staff at the house, transfers to safari where you start and finish riding, plus driven and picked up to pub evening, suppers at the house and pub supper if on itinerary, support vehicle during riding bringing picnic, safety kit if required such as latest back protectors, sat phone, first aid, 1 local expert guide, 1 host guide.

SHORT ITINERARY

(The below program can be extended to a long weekend riding program adding an extra day at the beginning or at the end. Essentially we would organise another ‘saturday safari day’ but a different journey. definitely a good plan if you have time).

Day 1

Friday. Asked to arrive for 4pm. Settle in. Tea at 4.30pm. Short walk taking in the house grounds and local valley. Drinks at 7.30pm followed by supper.

Countryside around the house

Day 2 Saturday

Breakfast served from 7.30am. Tea and coffee can be brought to room at anytime.

9.00am drive to other side of Exmoor to the safari start, where the horses will have been boxed to. Mount and depart on the ride by 10.30am. The safari crosses Exmoor back to Oare Manor where we are staying. 28 kilometre ride. Plenty of opportunities to canter. Variable terrain, crossing rivers, climbing hills, crossing moorland, pretty secluded valleys all in very rural environment.

Guides will share knowledge, history, folklore along the way. Support Vehicle will meet riders with picnic. Table and chairs with lunch and refreshments, weather permitting. If not, snug under shelter.

Arrive at Oare late afternoon. Tea or drinks! Champagne at hot tub.

Supper out at pub with transfer there and back or eat at the house.

Herd of deer in the distance crossing the moor

Great little hidden valleys

Day 3 Sunday

Very close to the coast of course

08.30 Restorative yoga practice in garden. Optional!

0900  Leisurely breakfast.

10.15 Safari starts locally, so we mount the horses and head off on a round robin itinerary, finishing early afternoon locally at the village, with option of drink at the pub.

Back at the house for 1.30/ 2.00 lunch Relax after lunch, tea, coffees.

Depart 5.00pm

FURTHER NOTES:

Alcohol is not included. It is available at the house and is on a pay to replace basis which the house keeper will organise at the end of the weekend. Safety.

You have 2 guides. You will be offered latest back protector jackets should you be interested. We carry a satellite phone, first aid kit. We advise people always bring their own personal medical kit and that you have your own insurance. suggest kit list will be sent at deposit stage.

GALLERY:

Tarr Steps, safari start

Out on the safari

The moor, nearing Oare

On safari

Oare

Oare

Oare

Some of the garden at the house, hills in the background

A bedroom at the house

 

All bedrooms have their own bathroom

The Church at Oare with the famed Lorna Doone history ...

View from front drive

Another view

Very near to a nice pub which is a nice supper option

Consoling Millie, that she might be able to come on safari next time

Farzin out on the moor

Farzin on Teddy

Out with the DSSH 21 April 2015

Farzin with Loveday, the Lady Master of the DSSH

David, fondly known as Green Grass, DSSH Master

Farzin, back at Oare Stables

 

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Jakotango & Bagual Argentine Horse Safari

15 August 2014

JAKOTANGO & BAGUAL ARGENTINE SAFARI

Patagonia!

Dates: December 2014 to April 2015
Location: Argentina – Buenos Aires and Patagonia
Duration: 11 days
Level: Competent riding ability recommended
Size: This safari will run as private tailormade or with small group.
Cost U$8800

Summary
This safari is an excellent combination of a horse safari in Patagonia and homestay riding on Jakob´s farm 5 hours from Buenos Aires.
We have been travelling here every year since 2006 and loved it everytime.
This really is a superb holiday. You get to enjoy Buenos Aires, experience a lovely farm in a very beautiful part the province – and have an exciting trip in the wilderness.
Excellent horses and superb hospitality from start to finish. We can´t recommend this safari highly enough. You will love it!

Short Itinerary
Day 1
We will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to Jardin Escondido the wonderful house of film director Frances Ford Copolla in Palermo Bs As.

Day 2
Day at Leisure in Bs As to recover from your international flight. We suggest a few unique places to visit, including one particular art gallery, a tailer to get traditional bombachas made and other things of interest. We have great suggestions for parilla; we aim to give you an authentic insight into the city.

Day 3
You will be picked form here and taken to Buenos Aires domestic airport in Palermo. You fly to Bariloche at approx. 11.00am am and will be transferred to Estancia Tres Lagos. Lunch will be laid out and you´ll have an opportunity to try out your horses in the afternoon. Accomodation is set in comfy log cabins.

Day 4
Today we start riding. The ride goes along the banks of the Faulkner lake. We have an asado style picnic, time for a siesta. We climb the Buque mountain where the fly camp awaits, set up in advance.

Day 5
We do a day ride on the Buque mountain. Asado style picnic during the day. Riding along the stunning ridges.

Day 6
A 9.00am start so that we make the climb deeper into the Patagonian wilderness, to the Cerro Bayo region. We ride a lakeside route, through this amazing scenary. Camping again, with big open fire, and traditional argentine gaucho meals.

Day 7
Today we break camp and head towards the Lake Traful valley. We ride along small paths through thick forest of native Ciohue (Northofogus dombeyi), some trees reaching heights of 40 metres. Our lunch stop is at the house of a local settler called Felipe. His house is only accessible by boat or horseback and has a wonderful authentic charm to the place. We then head onto Estancia Arroyo Verde, which is nestled in the foothills of the Andes and infact lies within a natural reserve, part of the Nahuel Huapi National Park – nature at its finest.

Day 8
After breakfast at the lodge you will be driven to Bariloche airport 11.00am. You fly to Buenos Aires where you will be picked up and taken direct to the farm ‘El Bocaron.

Days 9 and 10
These days are fairly flexible but the main feature will be riding! You can relax by the pool in between times. Generally the plan goes with riding in the morning and afternoons. Lunching and dining at different tables on the farm. Tea at the house on the verandah each afternoon after siesta time will be on offer in the afternoons. Traditional barbecues combined with some other cuisine gives a nice variation . The countryside is super for fast cantering. The horses are thoroughbred. There is opportunities to stick and ball and relaxed knock arounds. There is a cross country course. Of recent the farm has taken an interest in endurance as well. Endurance and organised polo matches would come at additional cost

Day 11
You will be transferred direct to Buenos Aires fror onward travel plans or international flight after breakfast.

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