As I stood yesterday looking at the big looming facade of Gold’s Gym, dreading the forthcoming workout, I thought “Damn all that meat and Malbec!” Yep, it happens every year! We go to Argentina and we become gluttons. We eat too much, drink great Malbecs and a few (or several) cervezas and shoot until we cannot hold the gun up anymore.
Actually, the only thing that might have slowed this shooting group of G.R.I.T.S. women was contemplating that inevitable shell bill we would face at the end of the trip. So, given careful consideration, it was diplomatically decided, what the hell, we did not travel all this way to conserve shells either. This is in keeping with the plaque we read last year at Los Chanares that read: “We did not come here to: Make Money, Go on a Diet or Save Shells.” Amen!
Wrapping up our seventh trip to Argentina, having experienced several different lodges, there is one resounding similarity: Birds! Tons of birds. We have stayed at Los Chanares where we simply walk out of the lodge and climb aboard an F-250 truck with a custom seating area that puts us up with a view over the cab of the truck and then delivers us to our bird boys who are waiting with guns and stools five to ten minutes away on the same property, to rides in air-conditioned vans to shooting fields as close as ten minutes and as far as one-hour away to select roosts where the birds are flying. Either way, there are lots of birds.
The lodge at Guayascate.
This year everyone wanted to try a new place so we selected Guayascate Lodge, owned by the Hayes Brothers, and it’s the newest luxury lodge in Argentina. Beautiful inside and out, we were greeted by their staff with Malbec and mini-sausage sandwiches, perfect after the long trip down. After our bags were delivered to our rooms, we were treated to a wonderful lunch after which we gathered our gear and went a bit blurry eyed from travel and lack of sleep to our shooting area. It was a great afternoon to slowly get into the “swing” of things and learn to focus on one bird at a time. This in itself is a task at first because it is almost overwhelming the number of birds that fly.
Once again, we had a great group of women this year. With me were Wendy Lind Andrews, Paula Brooks, Jackie Coe, Janet Gerardot, Betsy Holden, Mindi Macnab, Jana Goode Reich, Margot Rawlings, Kate Ross and Pamela Switlik .
Our gang got into their groove quite quickly and enjoyed several days of great bird shooting and lots of laughter and celebration in the field. We stayed out as long as possible each day, so many of the amenities the awesome lodge had to offer were not enjoyed as much as they should have been, but then again, this is not a group who travels to finally get there and then sit around. We were all about the shooting, the scenery and the camaraderie.
This was the first all-woman group this lodge had ever experienced and the bird boys are probably still trying to recover. The laughter and excitement is usually contagious and the noise levels compete with the shotgun blasts.
There are many photos out there on social media from this trip, but enjoy the album below of photos that we held back and I think you will feel the fun we all had. The album was put together by photographer Gabriela Domato and we thank her! Who is ready to sign up for next year?