Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sheep Week - The Farm



After meeting with the cattle rancher, we got back in the little SUL (Secretariat Uruguayan Lana) Fiat and headed towards the farm. I suppose I shouldn't have been too surprised when we turned off the road entirely and began driving through fields, but I will admit to some trepidation when Marcel decided to send the Fiat through a low creek. I don't think the car's makers had this kind of activity in mind for it -- perhaps a Jeep 4x4 would be a better choice for SUL drivers!

We began the rumbling ride towards the main buildings of the farm, and I watched out the fogged windows (it was very cold outside) as the land grew wilder, little stands of eucalyptus trees, once planted by the farm's original owners, grown tall and numerous in the centers of the flat landscape. The buildings for the farm are surrounded by stone fences, hand-stacked from when the land was tilled for use many, many years ago. Ignacio told me that these fences are a mark of an old farm, and show that the people who live there know what they are doing. Often, they have been sheep farming their whole lives.

We rolled up to an old barn and Juan, the lead herder and owner of the farm, came out to greet us, a dog at his heels. He lead us down to the main house, through a path of fruit trees and stone walls, outdoor fireplaces and flowering (even in winter) plants. It was utterly gorgeous. When we got in, his mother came to greet us, ushering us in to take off our boots and have coffee or mate by the fireplace, which was roaring and warm. She talked to me quite a bit about my knitting -- she knits herself, and had even made me a scarf from some local handspun.

Tomorrow: Meeting the Sheep!

6 comments:

  1. I love the picture of the "courtyard."

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  2. The old farmhouse and property sound beautiful. How cold is it currently there?

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  3. What an adventure! I, too, love the courtyard photo.

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  4. What a lovely farm :) Uruguays countryside is beautiful, don't you think?
    You should go to Rocha and Minas, too! Gorgeous :)

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  5. Looks like another great place for a photoshoot :]

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