Here is Sue's review of the Across the Andes ride from Argentina to Chile...
The most memorable meal was in Argentina while camping. It was the best steak I have ever tasted which was cooked on an open fire beside a river running with clear clean water over beautiful pebbles. The steak of course was from a Hereford! ( I work in Hereford and have eaten plenty of steak but this was by far the best).
We were really well fed at all the farms we stayed in - lovely home made bread, jam, butter and cakes. There were always scrambled eggs for breakfast from the farm hens as well as fruit, bread and sometimes yoghurt. Bernadita killed a turkey for us for our evening meal - no food miles there and all home produced.
The most challenging day was may be the day we were travelling to our first night in a house after camping (Argentina). There was a threat of snow in the morning as we set off, but fortunately this didn't materialise and I removed layers as the day went on- like peeling an onion!
We were so warmly greeted when we arrived at Dom and Tammy's farm was idyllic. It was set amongst short pasture on the bend of a river with the mountains all around. Built from logs and with open fires inside I expected Goldilocks and the three bears to appear at any moment. We had a sumptuous tea with homemade cake and tea in china cups and that was before a delicious evening meal!
A favourite day is very hard to choose there were so many special days. One wonderful day we had in Chile was the day we first swam the horses across a river. I had never done anything like this before and we did it twice that day. The horses seemed to take it all in their stride. They were untacked and taken in pairs to the edge of the river. With a rope on each horse to guide them and a Banquero in the boat with the boatman, they were encouraged into the river. They were really good swimmers and just climbed out the other side and shook off the loose water. Once all horses and riders were across, they were allowed to graze for a short while to stock up on calories before being tacked up again and continuing on. It was a magical experience.
One memorable occassion was when we rode into one of the few villagers on the route. There were a couple of local men in their ponchos who stopped to chat to the guides. Even with my very limited Spanish I realised that the chap I was politely smiling at was looking for a wife! Being happily married for 33 years he was out of luck that day! But perhaps the most memorable moment was swimming at the end of The Universe. The water was REALLY cold but the weather was beautiful. The river was called the Universe and we swam where it met another river, hence being able to swim at the end of the Universe.
The local farms we stayed in were simple but lovely. Their charm came from their simplicity and their beautiful surroundings and the very practical solutions to problems. Rather than tiling the wooden walls around the bath / shower, lino was used which was cut just at the edge of the bath so that the water ran into the bath and not between it and the wall.
Everyone we met gave us such a warm welcome and we had lovely home grown and home cooked food. All had open fires or log burning stoves which were lovely and cosy on a chilly evening.