Buenos Aires, Argentina

001L Estancia Santa Susana - Carriage Ride.jpg

                                                                      Estancia Santa Susana Wagon Ride

January 23 to 24, 2012

This was our second visit to Buenos Aires.  The weather was much better this time, which made the visit nicer.  Buenos Aires, the capital, is the largest city in Argentina.   It has a population of 3 million, with a total of 14 million when you include the outlying areas.  It is a cosmopolitan city with a large and very busy port, located on the Rio de la Plata.

On our last visit we had wanted to do the excursion called ‘Gaucho Life On The Pampas’; this time we got to do it, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.  Estancia Santa Susana is located to the north and west of the city, a bus ride of at least an hour.  We were greeted with empanadas and a drink.  The first event was a horse demonstration.  The horses of Argentina are Creole (a mix of Spanish and Arabian), and from a young age are trained to stay in a group led by a ‘godmother’ horse, who wears a bell and is on a leash.  Wherever the godmother is led, her group follows.

After demonstrating to us how this training works, the gauchos moved on to “racing”.  Here a gaucho rides his horse at top speed, standing in the stirrups, toward a line of hanging small rings, which he tries to catch on a stick.  When he catches a ring he brings it to his favorite woman in the audience and gives it to her.  Tradition dictates that the recipient must kiss the gaucho.  It is amazing to watch their skill at this difficult pastime.  A number of the women were recipients of the rings.  Susan was the second one chosen to receive a ring, and dutifully kissed the gaucho (fun).  

After the show we had an opportunity to explore the ranch house, which is now a museum, ride the horses, and take a wagon ride (see photo above), all of which we did and enjoyed.  We also had time to shop for souvenirs.

At an appointed time we gathered for lunch in a large building designed to accommodate large groups.  The lunch included two kinds of wine, a vegetable course, a couple of kinds of sausage, plus steak and/or chicken, and dessert, all served by the gauchos.  As we finished eating we were treated to a show that included tango dancers, a female singer, and a man who demonstrated bolas (the throwing weapon made of balls on either end of a cord).

After the show it was time to re-board our buses and head back to the city.  We were sorry to have to say adios.  The Estancia was a a wonderful experience.  They are normally closed on Mondays, but opened to accommodate two groups of tourists.  The portion of the Estancia we visited consists of 500 hectares (more than 1,200 acres); the whole place is 1200 hectares (2965 acres), and is used for agricultural purposes as well as tourism.  It is owned by an Irish family.

On our second day in Buenos Aires we had no formal excursion.  Instead a group of us got taxies and went out yarn shopping.  That was an interesting experience, because when we were done at the shop we had chosen to visit, the people at the shop took some of our group over to a bead store, and not only called a cab for the rest us, but negotiated price for us.  

Buenos Aires is an interesting city.   We look forward to being able to return for another visit.

Don’t forget to check out the photos in the album.

                                                                      River Plate Stadium (Soccer)

© Susan L. Stone 2015                   rovingstones@me.com