Some time ago I spent a week or so in an old hacienda house in the middle of the desert. I was here to explore the area for our future coastal riding expeditions. My friend (and tutor) Mariano Cabrera Ganoza owns a huge property here, which he inherited from his father. His father, Pedro Cabrera Darquea, was a well-known 'hacendado' (landowner and proprietor of a hacienda) and a famous and well-respected breeder of Peruvian Paso horses in Ica. During the 1969 Peruvian Agrarian Reform of the military government of Juan Velasco Alvarado, most of the family's land and properties were expropriated, except the land and house they owned in this remote part of the coastal desert. It has water and is a perfect place to use as a basecamp for our riding expeditions. The old and empty hacienda house still retains old glorie but it desperately needs some renovation work. On one the walls of what was once a large and beautiful living room, I saw a framed written poem by Charles Baudelaire. A beautiful poem with the most eloquently and beautiful words. It was written in Spanish but here is the English translation:
That's all there is to it—it's the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.
But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.
And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking
. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: "It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk!
On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish."
- Charles Baudelaire (1821 - 1867)
Mariano Cabrera Ganoza at his property in the Ica desert