Estancia in San Antonio de Areco – Day trip to a Ranch … [Argentina]

The day trip to the Ranch was an awesome experience, made all the more special by my Guide, Marcelo. Since I was the only customer for the tour that day, I had the luxury of a private tour πŸ™‚

 

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On the way to La Pampa province, 113Km away from Buenos Aires, it was mainly fields and farms ..

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Inside a rustic Gaucho Bar … Centuries old! At San Antonio de Areco.

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On the left Soy Beans …. On the right, Corn … Argentina is a huge exporter of Soy Beans, mainly to China.

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The photo is not very clear as it was dark inside the Church @San Antonio de Areco. This is a Gaucho Saint … He apparently did some miracles locally …

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As you can imagine, Pope Francis is very popular here … His picture, inside the Church at San Antonio de Areco. I am told that after becoming Pope, he has visited many countries, but never Argentina, yet. Hmmm …

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It was a partially rainy day … The Church at San Antonio de Areco.

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The knifes Gauchos use … Gaucho is a South American Cowboy πŸ™‚
 Nowadays, the Gaucho culture is limited to various ranches, but there was a time they were prevalent …

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The well-padded saddle … Got to try it later in the day.

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The national game of Pato … “Pato” means “Duck*. In the olden days, the game (Kind of like Polo with hands) was actually played with a dead duck … But now, they use a football in a casing ..

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Paracord Bola … This instrument, used by Gauchos is made with stones and leather … They swing it and throw it at animals, as a part of hunting …

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Argentina. 8th largest country in the World. 2nd largest in South America. Buenos Aires is towards North-East. Mendoza province (Argentina has 23 provinces) to the West is the famous Wine region of Argentina. To the South, we have Patagonia. Got tips from Marcelo on an Argentina road trip … Will take 3 weeks.

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That, my friends, is an Ostrich egg, as a part of a lamp …

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The veranda of the farm house …. At the Estencia called “El Ombu de Areco”. “Estencia” means farm … The owner’s (Eva, 65 years old) grandfather bought this farm from a former General (Who is currently buried in Recoleta Cemetery) in 1936. She and her 2 sons have been running this farm since. They have 300 cattle (Cows/Bulls), 60 Horses Etc.

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The dining area of the farm … Vintage!

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Rufous Hornero is the national bird of Argentina … The farm has many of their nests, as you can see, made with mud. Marcelo told me that they typically have the opening point to a particular direction, to get warm winds ..

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Marcelo, the guide … Wonderful guy. Very knowledgeable and polite. Spoke excellent English. He picked me up in a car (I was the only tour customer for the day) and we had a great day at San Antonia de Areco and the Estencia … On the way and back, we discussed local Politics, Russia 2018 WC, Juan Martin sel Potro, Manu Ginobli, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi Etc. Marcelo is also a huge sports fan.

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Ombu … The Estencia gets its name from this, believe it or not, herb! It looked like a huge tree. On closer look, the branches are fragile and hollow … This particular Ombu has been around for centuries.

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These 2 Dogs (There were many in the Farm) took extreme liking to me. They recognized the “Inner Gaucho” in me πŸ™‚
 I am not a big Dog person, but these guys followed me all through the Horse riding later.

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Wild horses … Criollo, which is popular among the Gauchos. The farm helps tame these wild horses. Eva, the owner is a huge fan of Horses. She recently visited Mongolia to check out the wild horses there.

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An Angus cow … Thought the tree looked beautiful. By the by, all the photos I am posting on FB are taken with my phone. DSLR photos need logistical work. It was not easy handling the phone and the horse … I just about managed.

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A Cow and the Calf …

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Well, well, well … Look who is leading the group? “Gaucho George”! πŸ™‚
 This was towards the end of the trip and Gaucho George was very confident … Also, Gaucho George was hungry.

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Corn fields … During the 1.5hr/3Km Horse Riding …

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Gaucho Cacho and my Horse Pancho … Pancho is an 8yr old Criollo Horse. Got to learn all the basic moves. Cacho looks after 28 horses and his 3 grown-up kids also work in the farm.

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Antonio grilling our lunch … They use a kind of fragrant wood. When Antonio found​ that there are not many such grills in India, he joked that he could open one in India πŸ™‚

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We started with Pork Sausages, Blood Sausages and Intestine. To be frank, Intestine was Yuck (To me) and tasted very fatty. The Pork Sausage was yum …

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Various grilled meats … “Asado”. Free-Range Chicken, Various cuts of Angus Beef. Please note that Argentina is very strict in that Ranches cannot kill Cattle. There are official slaughter houses for that. Argentina is a huge exporter of Beef …

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Angus Ribs … Here, they cut the ribs side-wise, unlike in USA. It was awesome … I ate so much, I am all Beefed-out πŸ™‚

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There was even a Dance and Music performance … Cacho, another Antonio (With the guitar), his Wife (Forgot her name) and little Fausto (On the Piano) … They invited me to Dance … πŸ™‚

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The cute Family … Isn’t Fausto adorable? He was a live-wire on the dance floor πŸ™‚

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Little Fausto .. With Cacho the Gaucho .. Of course, Gaucho George took the photo.

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Yet another Antonio (1st Cousin of Guitarist Antonio) performed various tricks with his Horse. These tricks needs full trust from the Horse … Very scary, as one kick can break a leg and more

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Isn’t that beautiful … Late evening at the Estencia. By the by, for yet another time, I got the whole Tour to myself. Just Marcelo and Me. The farm lends out cabins and rooms to tourists. I met two Indian guys (One of them has been working in Buenos Aires for 2.5 years (Banking) and the other was his colleague/friend from Bengaluru. They were staying at the farm … 

 

Adios!

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