Yesterday our program took us on a trip to an "estancia," a kind of countryside/ranch place. It was very beautiful, and actually looked a lot like Texas. There were plenty of horses, cows, even some llamas. And on this particular estancia there was a hotel. We arrived, were fed amazing home-made empanadas de carne, and then walked around the grounds. It was so relaxing and peaceful. Gauchos were cooking meat on huge outdoor grills, and others were taking groups for rides on horses. After a while we ate lunch, which included blood sausage. I was almost positive this was a kind of scare-tactic, you know calling it blood sausage when it actually contained no blood. So I asked the gaucho what was in it and he replied, very nonchalantly, "Sangre." I laughed and me and Ariana decided we had to try everything, so why not. It had a very unpleasant texture to say the least. After that we saw a series of traditional Argentinian dances performed on stage and then the dancers came out and chose different people to come up and dance with them. I was chosen by one of the gauchos to dance a polka which was pretty fun. After that we were taken outside to a kind of short race-track which just spanned up and down about the length of half a football field. there was a wire suspended across the end of one side of the track, and from the wire hung two small pipes with little rings attached to the ends. We had no idea what these were for, nor were we warned about anything, when all of a sudden a gaucho came running on horseback at light speed and stood up in his stirrups, and attempted to put a pointed metal stick through the tiny ring. His first try was a fail. :( But after he and his fellow gauchos succeeded at removing the rings from the pipes every other time, we realized that this fail was probably just for show. It was incredibly cool to watch and at the end, the gauchos gave their little key-rings to different girls in the audience. haha, never to the men which I thought was funny and probably custom. After this bit of entertainment we were free to lay in the grass or play soccer or ride horses again for a while before we boarded our bus and took the two-hour ride back to Buenos Aires.
Some Lovely Sites on the Estancia:
The Crazy Races: