Sometimes, it is just fun to get on a horse and take off…
After being in Buenos Aires for the past 3 months, I wanted to go to the country, breath in the fresh air and taste the rural life that hearkens back to an imagined simpler time…Or at the very least, I wanted to visit one of the historic estancias. So I decided to take a Buenos Aires day trip to the nearby pampas to do some horseback riding in Argentina.
After an easy two hour ride out of Buenos Aires, my girlfriend and I arrived to San Antonio de Areco, a beautifully sleepy small town steeped in local history. Home to numerous ranches, we choose La Cinacina for a weekend getaway and the famed, dia del campo experience ( day in the country! )
The ranch’s hostesses, Maria Jose and Mariela, welcomed me with open arms and after a brief introduction, showed me to my comfortable and rustic room in the on-site hotel. Once we were settled in, we walked around the ranch and enjoyed some time by the huge outdoor pool. After soaking up the morning sunshine and changing my clothes, we were invited to join the dia del campo…
It started with some tasty local tapas and snacks- including empanadas, cheese with sausage and fresh bread, Argentine wine and refreshments in the courtyard. Then, the cowbell rang and the local gauchos, cowboys, showed us to the tables in the dining hall. While being served up a delicious grilled bar-b-q, there was an impressive live show that featured traditional Argentine country-folk music and dance, all performed by local gauchos. It was great fun, and they even invited us up to dance in front of the stage with some of the other visitors.
After coffee and dessert, we took some time to relax and digest the feast we just enjoyed, before watching the cowboys strut their stuff. That is, the cowboys raced their horses along the ranch´s track and field, competing in local tournaments featuring traditional horse riding skill. One contest consisted of two cowboys galloping at full speed next to one another, vying to put a silver straw into a silver ring that was hanging from a cord overhead. You can imagine that it would be like threading a needle while horse riding on a bumpy road. Not an easy feat!
After the gaucho competitions came to an end, we went for our own horseback ride into the plains accompanied by our very own Argentine cowboy. He knew all there was to know about horses and even made my not-very-confident-with-horses-girlfriend enjoy our hour and a half ride in the country. Horseback riding in Argentina has been great, I’d definitely do it again if I was given the opportunity.