…The truth is, I’ve been quite happy
On an estancia
Near Buenos Aires
Just riding horses…..and eating sausage
A key part of Argentina’s heritage, estancias are the big old farm estates where Argentinian cattle are lovingly reared on an all grass diet to make them into the tastiest beasts in town. Believe it or not (and this is a Lonely Planet stat so maybe take it with some salt), Argentines each consume on average about 70 kilos of beef per year. That’s a lot of cow. Meat is something of a religion here and the cow is certainly pretty dominant in the national identity.
So we figured we’d best go see these cows on their home ground, as it were, by means of a visit to a working estancia, where the farmhouse has kindly been converted into a pretty darn luxurious hotel whilst still retaining the feel of a family house (helped not a little by the eight dogs lolling around the place and generally making a nuisance of themselves).
Life on the estancia is tough:
- Get up, leisurely breakfast.
- Horse ride round the estate to go look at the cows (fat, glossy, happy). There’s bulls too, which apparently are far too chilled out to be considered dangerous. The gaucho (yes, a real live gaucho, with a beret and EVERYTHING) laughingly told me that the bees were far more of a menace. You can take the girl outta the city…..
- Laze round the pool and maybe even do a bit of hardcore swimming / yoga to try and create room in your poor beleaguered tummy before
- Lunch. This will last most of the rest of the day, being a multi course grill extravaganza. Grilled pig (chorizo, blood sausage). Grilled chicken. Grilled cow (any cut you can think, of). Grilled lamb. If there happened to be any road kill that day, they’d probably chuck that on the grill too. Wash all the above down with some good local plonk and try not to doze off
- Horse show. This was one of the weirdest things I’ve seen horse wise – basically a horse / gaucho bonding thang where they get the horse to lie down with them, then sort of stretch out the horse’s legs for it whilst it’s lying on its back. Check out the photos, they kind of do it more justice than I can
- You must be pretty hungry / thirsty by now. Time for a light 3 course supper with some more plonk
- Bed. You need it.
Repeat until full relaxation is achieved. Took all of about 45 minutes for us!
What can I say. This traveling gig can be a pretty tough job at times, but someone’s gotta do it.