According to several of my local staff, plenty of Brazilians actually despise Carnaval. Not the holiday, but the crowd/noise/traffic and drunken revelry that come with it. So, to where does one flee the debauchery of Carnaval? Well, Argentina of course!
After three days in Buenos Aires we decided to give the Gaucho life a try: wide open spaces, horse-back riding, milking cows etc… And we found the perfect venue in Estancia La Margarita.
|My first time milking a cow. Getting a lesson from a real Gaucho|
The Estancia is about a six- hour bus ride from Buenos Aires in the sleepy town of Tapalque. It is run by an Englishman, David, who retired from the music industry and is now living like a Gaucho himself amongst dozens of horses, cows, pigs, sheep and dogs.
|Making friends with the many furry residents of Estancia La Margarita|
The all-inclusive option includes daily horseback rides, three meals and all the wine you can consume. There is also a pool on site, if you just want to relax with a book, and bikes to explore the property. But, our favorite activity was riding. I am sort of terrified of riding. I have zero confidence in my ability to control a horse. But, because it is so thrilling, I always force myself into the experience. David makes sure beginner riders are well guided and protected.
|Even the dogs get to join the riders|
|Us, a Gaucho and a volunteer|
The Estancia also offers the unique opportunity for volunteers to work on the property. They get lodging and food in return for help in the kitchen, stables, grooming and tending to the horses and property.
|This sweet little calf had a good sense of humor|
|The front of the Estate|