Friday, 23 November 2012

Polo, Asado, Golf & Racing cars

I now have a date to deliver the bike to the airport, I just hope the paperwork is in order.It is a strange system but I will let you know how it goes
The weekend was the first round of the Knockout stages of the Palermo Open - the biggest & best Polo event in the world. As you can see - the field is right in the middle of the city. The tickets were not cheap but there were two games to watch so that made it excellent value for money. The audience at these events is a cross between Ascot an Agricultural show. Those that actually play are essentially from the Estancias and are large land owners and have been for generations.

The first game was an easy win for La Dolfina (the only team with a perfect hcp of 40). The second game was of two evenly matched teams and was a very close game, being won in the last minutes of the last Chukka. One fast tumbling fall meant the ambulance racing on to the field, putting the rider in the back, stitching him up and 20 mins later he was back playing (and won).  The Pony was fine too (just in case the RSPCA, AA or RNLI are reading this)

I was seated next to some American tourists and after a while one of the ladies asked me if I knew which one was Cambiaso. With my vast experience of one game, I was able to confidently point out that he was the guy in the pale blue helmet. They then asked "Is it true his is the best player in the world"? Having read my Polo magazine from the week before I was able to confirm this with a few added details..........I couldn't resist telling them "not only was he the best he had achieved such greatness despite only having one eye". I could hear the words coming out of my mouth & thinking "why am I saying this? It just proves old habits die hard and teasing Americans is one of life's great pleasures. He of course has two perfectly good eyes as I am sure they found out later!

Eddie and his wife Valeria kindly invited me over for an Asado (BBQ to you and me) at his place in the country. He had a few friends over and their daughters who, despite having a maths exam the next day spent more time swimming than revising. 
We were going to play a few holes of golf but the rain came down so that out an end to that, it made the ride back in to BsAs with all the weekenders travelling back in tot town rather slow. I was also surprised to see that they had been playing Polo on Sunday, I thought all the matches were on the Saturdays. I will try to get tickets again for next weekend too.

Eddie, family and friends are planning a golfing trip to Ireland next year so it will give me a chance to repay some of the kindness shown to me.

Eddie also invited me to a corporate golf day - The Maritime Association of Argentina, well as an ex Lloyd's underwriter I felt I still qualified. It was a beautiful place called Martingdale. It is named after the English owner & cricket lover (although the cricket pitch has given way to a Polo lawn & I mean lawn). He was wealthy enough but got a whole lot richer having bought the patent rights to a new invention off of a certain Mr Biro (recently arrived from Hungary). The Argentines like to claim the Biro as one of their contributions to the world.

My golf was remarkably average considering the last shot I played was in Antarctica.  My back 9 was 3 over par for 8 of the holes but an 11 (3 balls in the lake) soon destroyed the scorecard!

After the golf we staid out at Eddies place and Beto joined us for dinner which was all rather nice. We woke to a thunderstorm. I waited until 10 to see if things would improve but I had to get in to town for lunch so rode back in torrential rain and slow traffic. Not much fun and I was glad to get back in one soggy piece.

Lunch was organised by Alec to meet two fellow car enthusiasts, Manuel (rich, polo, playing, handsome and a garage full of gorgeous cars) and Vlad (designed and made his own 2 engined car.........bizarre). The company was excellent and good fun. The rain had stopped so I didn't even get wet walking back to my apartment.

All in all a rather fun few days.


  1. Nothing quite like a bit if the old 'buy one get one free', even at polo - sounds like a fantastic few days, too wet to take any of the cars out I suppose.

  2. It was wet for the day but nothing compared to the rain you are getting in the UK. Ohhh noooo I have started talking about the weather!

  3. The poor old Newlyn office was flooded quite badly but St Just ok thank goodness. Hope the lady you teased about the one eyed polo player isn't a flight attendant and on your flight home, could be a LONG flight!!