Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Estancia La Porteña

Kathy and Brock are in town and for our last hurrah, we jetted out to San Antonio de Areco (Read about our first visit here) for the second time to stay at an estancia - an Argentine ranch in the pampas.

Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by the managers and offered empanadas and wine (it wasn't quite noon...). The weather was a chilly 95 degrees. 
Welcome drinks

a beautiful picture of our patio

the top one is our room

We had a country lunch, which was AMAZING. There was a plethora of salads - purple cabbage and carrot, orange and onion, marinated tomatoes and moazzarella, potato and egg. And then...the meat: oh, the meat. Everything has been cooking oven coals for a couple hours, seasoned only with salt and it's own fat. Chickens split in half, beef ribs, steak, and smoked pork shoulder. We washed it all down with wine. 
The only other people staying at the estancia was a family from the San Juan province. Turns out, Roberto, the father, is a sommelier at my Mom's new favorite Argentine winery - Trapiche. Small world, right?
lunch table

country lunch

the gauchos singing songs and drinking mate'

After lunch, we watched juegos criollos (traditonal games), where the gauchos had to thread a small piece of wood through a 1/2 inch diameter ring....while on a horse at a full gallop. Traditonally, the gauchos use this ring as an engagement ring or a declaration of love for female spectators. Naturally, mom Mom and I received one. 

threading the needle!

By this time, we were all really hot and sweaty because, remember, it was like 95 degrees. We took a dip in the pool. 
In the evening, we went on a sunset horseback ride. It also happened to be Jesse's first horseback ride, and he loved it! His horse was probably the most mellow and docile horse they had...and he named her Huffy after the one speed bike, because she only went one speed - slow. It was also different than typical horseback rides in the US. We had a lot more freedom and we didn't have to ride in a single file, close line. If I wanted to trot, I could trot or canter, and if I wanted to turn around and walk with Huffy and Jess, I could. It was a truly great cap off to a wonderful day. 

Honestly, dinner was pretty mediocre compared to the meat utopia we experienced for lunch. But, I will say, the gnocci's were delicious.
We had plenty of wine with the other family staying there, and then crashed into bed, exhausted from relaxing.

Tomorrow my parents (Kathy and Brock) leave and then the second leg of our vacation starts. It's a little surreal, but it's been amazing and we've been relishing every single minute. 
sunset across the pampas

1 comment:

  1. ah yes i remember freestyle riding on the pampas. unfortunately everyone else wanted to gallop! i think i told you that story but if i didn't, remind me when you get back:)