Otherwise known as “A Day at the Ranch.” It was another thing to add to my list of things Evonna doesn’t normally do. It was not the most fun thing in the world, but it was definitely worth the trip.
Argentinian estancias are large areas of land that are used to raise cattle. Historically they came about due to the Spanish introducing a bunch of cattle to the area during their colonization in an area called “Las Pampas.”
This area spans across the eastern part of Argentina (including Buenos Aires), Uruguay, and the south of Brazil and has very fertile soil with temperatures that are good for agriculture. As time progressed, settlers started to capture the free roaming cattle and slaughter them for meat. People were able to create relatively good standards of living, so they developed their farm lands and turned them into modern day estancias.
In Argentina, the workers are known as gauchos. Basically they are the Argentine version of a cowboy. They ride horses and work around the ranch with a number of different jobs. During my visit, I got to meet three—Lucca, Pedro, and Santiago. Santiago was the leader and welcomed us with empanadas.
I really have not been too big a fan of the empanadas here, even though everyone says they are so great. However, these were really good! I knew way more food was coming later, so I only had one. But that one was really, very good.
We walked around a bit, rode horses, shared some mate, and saw a bunch of different animals roaming the grounds.
I am not the most outdoorsy person, so it wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it was interesting to watch the gauchos in their work. This is such a part of Argentine culture and it was very interesting to observe it all.
The biggest downside though was that it was raining. And let me tell you, being on a horse in the rain trying to keep your Celine purse from getting wet is a very hard task.
Then, once it hit 1pm, the real adventure started—the Asado. Basically an Asado is an Argentinian barbecue. There is lots of meat and it just keeps coming.
Just a side note, probably one of the best decisions I ever made was de-vegetarianizing myself. It makes my whole life easier, especially when at an event like this were all there is to eat is meat.
Despite my new ability to now eat all the food, it was just okay. The first course were these two sausage links. The one reddish sausage was actually very good and had lots of flavor, which most Argentinian food lacks. The other one though, well, all I can say it that is was like poop on a plate. I don’t mean to be disrespectful at all, but to me that is what it looked like and smelled like. And when I cut into it, it oozed. I am not good with food, so I definitely didn’t eat that. The next two courses were chicken and beef. Again the flavors were all very good, but the chicken was a bit dry and the beef was a bit fatty. But besides those little minor details, it was pretty good!
But the show during the Asado was the best part. The inner dancer in me loved watching the tango and salsa and hearing all of the Argentine music. It was kind of like watching a super cool version of So You Think You Can Dance 🙂
After about 2 hours of eating, we went to go see the gauchos do some horse games/races. I honestly don’t know too much of what I was watching other than Lucca was very good on a horse and won basically everything.
He was definitely gaucho of the day!
And then again, we ate some more. We shared some more mate and had a little merienda of some pastries. It was a really nice way to end our visit by getting to just stand around the estancia one last time and interact a little more with the gauchos.
Overall it was a fun day! I have my complaints, but that is just part of life. It was cool to see something that was more authentic, rural Argentina and to escape the bustling Buenos Aires for a little bit. Despite the rain and my minor food disgust, I left feeling a bit more in touch with historical Argentina. I never spent much time on a ranch, and probably won’t spend too much more time in the future, but it is definitely something I will always remember.
And like I said before, I now have another thing to add to my list of things I don’t normally do. At the end of the day, it’s all about branching out a becoming the best and most cultured self I can be!