Blogs from San Antonio de Areco, Buenos Aires, Argentina, South America

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South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » San Antonio de Areco September 30th 2012

The least I can say is this week-end was simply amazing...impressive....well, whichever superlative words we may use. Before starting, let me make two comments....polo can actually be cheaper than skiing or diving....and you don't need to have any previous horseriding experience to give a try to polo. Will develop those further for the "non-believers"! I've got some experience when it comes to polo, and actually close to none when it comes to horseriding. I did ride a horse once 6 years ago...it was a 30 minutes ride in the sand dunes of Dubai at sunset. A moment I will remember, but not specially for the riding itself. This was it, 30 minutes on a horse...in the sand. My experience of polo is a little more diversified. I was lucky to attend the final of the National ... read more
Leslie in action....
La Sofia
Silke

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » San Antonio de Areco September 29th 2012

This is the first of a serie of three blogs coming in the next few days. If you are wondering, yes, we are having an amazing time...in Buenos Aires...around Buenos Aires...and actually all over Argentina! Argentina is not a gem, it's a mine of gems...left, right, up...down, everywhere we are digging for our adventures, it's all...simply brillant, simply amazing! The week-end is over...I'm slowly going through the pictures....and these souvenirs will stay forever...trust me...next is way better....but for now, we give you San Antonio de Areco. To make it easy I rented a car for the week-end starting Friday just after lunch. First surprise, we landed a 4 categories upgrade. It first didn't make me happy, but we had no choice, they had nothing else available. I tend to love to stay below the radar in ... read more
San Antonio de Areco
San Antonio
provoleta y chorizo...


Although we flew into Buenos Aires it was always our plan to see some of the country around the city before exploring it and then flying home. So after arriving late we had one night in a hostel here and early in the morning set off for the bus station. Originally we had hoped to go to the coast but it was a bit far away for only a two night stop so we decided to see the pampas, the vast agricultural lands closer to the city. When we got to the bus station it was a 7 hour wait for the place we wanted to go so we changed our plans and got a bus for a couple of hours to San Antonio De Areco about 130k outside Buenos Aires. We were lucky as it ... read more
2 San Antonio de Areco Church
3 Sun worshiping
4 San Antoni de Areco or Cambridge


Before heading south from BA, we went up for a weekend in San Antonio de Areco. It is a small gaucho town and although this cowboy lifestyle is now waning in most of the country, it has proud roots in this town and the nostalgia in the air is palpable. It was a welcome change of scene after the bustle of the city and we enjoyed a hostel located across from the green belt at the edge of town. The residents were robustly friendly and we saw more bike riders then cars on the cobble streets. We visited the Museo Gauchesco "Ricardo Güiraldes" to learn about the gaucho ways. Güiraldes was an author who wrote one of the most iconic books in Argentinian culture, Don Segundo Sombra. The old estancia holds artifacts (ponchos, saddles, pistols, etc), ... read more
Caboose
Ace in the Hole


I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday in an Estancia in a town called Capilla del Senor, just south of San Antonio de Areco (see last year). I needed the R and R. There are two ways to visit the Estancias in Argentina. The most common is to take a Dia en Campo (day in the country). You arrive at the ranch mid morning and are treated to wine and empanadas. You then have about an hour and a half of free time where you can ride horses, take a carriage ride, and at some, take hay rides. Then comes lunch, which is a multi-course Asado with live entertainment. In the afternoon, there are demonstrations of Gaucho skills followed by a break for mate and alfadores (pastries with dulce de leche). Then the day trippers get ... read more
Horsies!
carriage
Me on a horse

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As with any family outing, our day trip to San Antonio de Areco included laughs, good food, dirty pit stop bathroom breaks, near-death experiences, "Kodak moments", and the creation of memories which we all hope to remember 20 or 30 years down the road. I'm quite sure that a typical trip from Buenos Aires to San Antonio would be quite eventless, however, we had a chatty driver (who continuously forgot that it was his job to watch the road) AND we were traveling through clouds of smoke.. literally! Argentina was on fire, and had been engulfed in grass fires for almost a week. As our van sped along the "Panamericana" we just about plowed into 50 or so STOPPED cars (which our large van would have smoked!) but were saved by my mom's habit of backseat ... read more
"You call that a knife?  I'll show you a knife!"
My Dad and I Keeping Watch for the Indians
Gauchos! Gauchos!


Arrived in San Antonio on Sunday afternoon. Found our hotel to be really lovely, right on the main square, attached to a silver workshop - we even had a sitting room and fridge complete with beer and water. Breakfast gets delivered to your room. Could get used to this. The town centre and around the square seemed very quiet but this is apparently normal for the summer, according to one of the locals. Lots of people in the park by the river enjoying the blistering weather. Only a couple of hours from Buenos Aires this is a nice place with some decent restaurants. Monday morning we had one of those frustrating times - we needed to send money to a hotel in Tandil for a deposit, but they don´t take credit cards. So we go the ... read more
Gaucho Museum


After going to Uruguay (Colonia del Sacramento), we got on a bus (at Buenos Aires’ giant bus station) bound for a nearby town of San Antonio de Areco. This town is famous for its gauchos, or Argentine cowboys. Theresa had really wanted to visit an estancia (or hacienda) and our book said this was the town to do it. The town of San Antonio de Areco is very small and quiet. Our book had said that the bicycles outnumber the cars and we think they might be right. Everyone is riding around on bikes!! The homes in the town were very suburban looking with “moats” of land around them and one story - reminded us a little of California but walkable and without the cars. We walked to an estancia nearby where we had a wonderful ... read more
local hospital and patient parking
typical home
Steve goes local


Having had a recoup in Rosario, it was time to move back to Buenos Aires. We decided to stop for a night in a small town called San Antonio De Areco. This town is mainly known for its gauchos (cowboys) and so has lots of ranches. We really just fancied some time out of the city so it seemed like a good bet. After a very picturesque bus ride through miles and miles of farmland we arrived. We searched the square for the Draghi Hostel (recommended by some friends from the road). We could only find the Draghi Silver Musuem so decided to ask in there. It turned out to be the same place and our hostel was a few rooms out the back of the museum. The place was a great return to the luxuries ... read more
Delight with the Draghi
The pool at Draghi Hostel
Cycling to the (closed) Gaucho Musuem


San Antonio de Areco is a couple of hours away from BA on the bus (allow an hour or so more for puncture stops). It is a small town famous for its Gaucho festival in November, but we went on a sunny July weekend when the temperatures defied the fact that it is the middle of winter. The steak we found there was unbelievably good, and we have become experts at finding good steak so that's quite a statement! I also tried a wonderful crab stew which is, apparently, a Basque recipe. No ill effects so far!! On Sunday there was supposed to be a calssical music concert in the main plaza at 1500. By 1530 we got bored and went for a coffee. At 1550 we left as we had to get to our bus, ... read more
On Yer Bike!
The Campo
Museum




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