Three Days at an Estancia

Trip Start Jan 23, 2006
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Trip End Mar 02, 2006


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Sunday, February 12, 2006

After Buenos Aires, it was another two days' long drive to the Cordoba province, in Argentina's Central Sierras region.

After a short stop at Cordoba City (the second largest city in Argentina), we headed to an estancia in the nearby mountain and stayed there for 3 nights.

Estancia, basically is "an extensive ranch for cattle or sheep, with an owner or manager (estanciero) and dependent labor force; many are now open to tourists for recreational activities such as riding, tennis, and swimming, either for weekend escape or extended stay." (the above is quoted from Lonely Planet's glossary page)

Of course, one of the reasons I booked this South American tour with Dragoman is for the estancia experience it promised in its brochure (riding with Gauchos, only in Argentina, as it says). What I did not realize is that we would still need to camp when we arrived at the estancia.

Well, even I am still adverse to camping, at least we were treated with a nice, big steak dinner and bottomless red and white wine (wine is really cheap in that country) on our first night there. They also served delicious vegetarian . I remember I might be a little drunk that night that I had some trouble to locate my tent...

The next day, we rode on horses for more than 5 hours, crossing the hills, stopping for lunch next to a nice little waterfall, to a small cabin and stayed there overnight (I decided to sleep on the floor rather than bringing my own tent for camping), The third day, we rode another 3 hours back to the main ranch. Overall, I was on horseback for more than 8 hours, the longest ever in my life!

However, I started to feel very exhausted and even depressed in the mid-afternoon of the third day. Thinking about there were still so many days of camping ahead really depressed me. Surprisingly, unbelievably good things actually happened afterwards: I accidentally won the shooting competition (now the NRA might want to recruit me become their member). It was especially great that I won the final shootout at the (three-way) tiebreaker. And later we had even more great time in the wine tasting (No overdrinking this time).

After the estancia stay, we were back on road with even longer drives and more bush camping. After more than 1000 kilometers, we would get into Argentina's "Deep North"

To see the most magnificent waterfall in the world.

Pictures from the estancia

http://travel.saricie.com/SouthAmerica2006/Estancia_en.htm
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