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Seven years in the saddle

by michael August 24 2008
Discoli in Belgium.
Eduardo Discoli in Belgium

Modern-day gaucho Eduardo Discoli left his native Argentina on horseback in 2001. Several days ago, he arrived in Jerusalem. In the seven intervening years, he and his three horses have trod through South America, Latin America, North America and Europe, relying on the kindness of strangers (and equestrian societies) for funds, food and lodging, with a record-setting 33,000 kilometers (20,500 miles) behind him.

Discoli and his horses entered the city on August 20, leisurely proceeding down busy downtown streets towards Jaffa Gate and drawing plenty of curious stares from normally blasé city residents. After all, the last time anyone of note rode up to the Old City was in 1917, when Field Marshal Allenby handed the Ottomans their walking papers and ushered in the British Mandate.

After doing the pilgrim thing, Discoli decided to live it up a bit Jerusalem-style: he stopped in at Chutzot HaYotzer and enjoyed a taste of home courtesy of a food stall selling Argentinian food. Too bad he didn't swing by Argentinian meat palace El Gaucho - it would have been poetic.

With the Holy City now behind him, Discoli is heading south, aiming to ride through Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. His goal is to complete a horseback trip around the world within the next two years.

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