Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 18th - 10:05pm

Absolutely incredible day today. We got up early and headed into town with Martin to watch Twilight do day 2 of the dressage show. He went well for the owner and I believe ended up 2nd in his class again. We checked out the Pessoa tack store, watched some other horses and then headed out to start the walk to the polo fields. This weekend was the first weekend of the polo games to determine who will play in the Argentine Polo Open in a few weeks. Super exciting stuff.
The weather was amazing so the walk was quite enjoyable. We went through a park with a beautiful pond and hung out for a bit just talking and people watching. Some of the trees were blooming blue and were truly breath taking to see in a group together. Just stunning. So we walked through the park then down Libratador. The polo fields were easy to find again but since we were about an hour early, we just kept walking till we found a little cafe where we had lunch. Super great place and a very nice waiter who didnt make fun of us for our rather interesting spanish skills!
After we headed back to the polo fields and got in line to pick up the tickets for all the weekends that Megg had preordered. While we were in line this random guy came up and offered us two tickets for free. We tried to tell him we had already ordered ours but it was pretty useless and we ended up with the tickets. We had the tickets for the cheapest seats in the stadium and the ones he had given us were for somewhere else so we figured we'd give his a try. Gave our tickets to two people outside the game and went in with his. And at this point I dont even know where to start describing the atmosphere. There were fancy booths set up with polo magazines, polo tack shops, a bar, resturant, mercedes cars for sale, team lounges and all sorts of other tents/pavillions set up by sponsers. I am dying to buy a polo shirt of one of the teams. I know Ellerstina or La Dofina are arguably the two best teams but I loved the hot pink polos. Definitely want to get one for me and maybe some for my brother. The matches themselves were even more incredible. Game 1 was Ellerstina (38 goa team) vs a 35 goal team whose name escapes me at the moment. Begins with A and wears orange. We had some awesome seats near center line as a result of the guys tickets. The level of stick and ball skills as well as horsemanship was incredible. Again what gets me the most is how the teams as a whole move. Without even looking, they know where their team mate will be and can shoot the ball back to them, gallop past it or whatever knowing a team mate is right there behind them. Just insane. One guy fell off in the match. Not a big deal and he was ok but his horse galloped madly back to the trailer and ran over a guy on the ground. He ended up being rushed out by the ambulance. About that time the rain started to go and once again we were treated to some incredibly kind people who offered us their umbrella to sit under. So nice of them. After the game  we hopped down to one of the resturants and had a glass of champaign with Rachel and Martin before the second match started. Then, in true Katie and Megg fashion, we got some ice cream. Truly amazing stuff in this country!
We headed up to find our seats at this point and got the true suprise of the day. The tickets the guy had given us were not only better seats, they were the absolute best seats in the stadium. The only seats under a roof (and it was still raining!), basically on centerline and up high enough to see all the action. Tickets for these seats are beyond pricey. Our ticket actually read "Not for Sale" and "By Invitation Only" so I can only imagine what they cost. But one of the people working at the stadium lead us up to the seats and there the guy was, just hanging out with his friend. He asked how we were, what we thought of the game and absolutely refused to let us buy him a drink or anything for the free tickets. Then at the end told us to have a nice day and left. Totally insane. But watching the game from there was incredible. You could see how all the plays worked out, exactly how the game was going and all the little details. Just incredible. Dont remember the name of the teams at the moment but one wore white and the other had green polos. Megg decided she wanted to cheer for one and I had the other by default. It ended up being really fun (and Im sure funny to watch) as we got into cheering for our teams that we'd never heard of before the match. But it was a great game. Meggs team (the white team) ended up winning which was actually pretty well deserved since they took some hard hits during the game. One player was thrown and stepped on while another was hit hard in the face. Both were patched up on the field and played through the pain (and copious amounts of blood loss in the second players case). It was a fantastic game to watch though. And from such incredible seats. After we went over to Martins moms house and met up with them their to catch a ride home. As always it was great to see his mom and just hang out for a bit. So today had a great show, great weather, a great walk, incredible polo games and everything inbetween. Definitely a day to remember for many, many years.

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