El día de los gauchos

30Jun10

Yesterday my family and I took a short day trip out to an estancia, or ranch, for a day to learn about the gauchos. When we arrived, we were greeted with fresh empanadas and local wines.  The owner, or dueño, of the estancia gave us a short tour of the estancia before he let us explore on our own.  We went horseback riding for a bit, then took a ride through the estancia on an old carriage.  Then we got kinda bored and just wandered around until lunch.

Wandering around the estancia

An incredibly cute puppy that I befriended...and tried to steal

Yep, they even had a tucan

Horsies!

Carriage ride through the estancia

4-yr-old midget cow named Margarita

Then there was lunch, which was quite extensive.  First we were served two kinds of sausage, one of which was morcilla, or blood sausage.  It was pretty disgusting.  We also had some bread and salad and potatoes with the sausage.  Oh, and of course there was endless water…and wine.  Next, we had some grilled chicken, which was quite good.  And we also had some more wine.  The next course was beef.  Since Buenos Aires, and especially the gauchos, are known known for their beef, so I was expecting something hopefully above just “good.”  I got a short rib, so there wasn’t too much meat on it.  It was quite good, but nothing to write home about.  Then we got seconds on the beef, and my second piece (not sure what cut) was absolutely delicious.  It was incredibly juicy and amazingly flavorful.  For dessert we had dulce de leche ice cream and a cup of sweet coffee.

The parilla, with (L to R) beef, chicken, sausage, blood sausage

During lunch, we were treated to a show of traditional folkloric dances from all over Argentina.

The owner of the estancia, Roberto (L) and someone else, playing traditional Argentine music

After lunch, we were watched a gaucho horse-games demonstration.  It pretty much was just a bunch of short horse races.  I’m not gonna go into detail with this because it’s pretty easy to visualize.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad trip, but it was INCREDIBLY touristy.  I doubt I’d ever want to go again, but we’re going to one with the group, possibly this same one.

One last picture.  This is a street sign in Buenos Aires that we passed on the way back to the apartment.  I don’t think I need to give a pronunciation guide here.

Maipú? No, Yorpú!

¡Chau, todos!

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