Published: December 30th 2007December 25th 2007
We stayed at an idyllic estancia, Finca Santa Anita, about 60km south of Salta over Xmas. We travelled down from Cachi into Salta on Friday. Driving across the Cardones Parque (in the rain?), down the Cuesta Obispo road was probably easier for the driver than the passengers (including a hitchhiker of course). I wasn´t looking at the scenery or the drops, just the next bend.
We rolled into Salta and it felt like coming home after a holiday. Got the car washed before handing it back to Budget, followed by a bit of tutting at some of the new paint scratches and a definite grimace at the crack in the windscreen...ah well. Saw in the local paper that there was an "Estampas de Argentina" show on tonight at one of the theatres so tracked down some tickets. Show turned out to be a lot of fun with a real mix of professionals, dance students and small children. After the show it was time to find some dinner at 12.30am. Parrilla of course.
Next morning we caught the bus down to Coronel Moldes and were picked up to go the few km off road to the finca. I don´t think
first time out
looks like a long way down
we knew that this has been described as one of the best eight places to stay in the whole country. It isn´t luxury, it´s a working farm, but Carlos and his family (six children) made us feel at home within moments of arriving. It eventually turned out that all the, not very many, guests over Xmas were Brits (giving Tim honorary status). We all got on immediately which added to the enjoyment of being here. Valentina, Carlos´wife is a great cook, with slow food prizes, and we have eaten and drunk very well. Good job there is a swimming pool to try and reduce the effect!
First morning on the estancia and Andrew fulfilled one of his promises for the trip and found himself on a horse - for the first time in my life. Initial fear was soon put to one side as Carlos "Onasis" the gaucho took us for a gentle ride. Parts of me ached after a while but after the ride a soak and a swim in the pool put this to rights. A lazy afternoon reading and filling in time between meals.
Christmas Eve involved more horse riding, reading, a late late lunch
Christmas Eve Globos
fire balloons at around midnight
and a long gentle liquid lead into dinner at around 11.30pm. About 26 people round the table on the terrace, a fantastic dinner, a fair amount of decent wine, fireworks, fire balloons and our in house comic act (you know who you are!). Suddenly it was 2.45 and time for bed.
Not a total surprise but Christmas morning was quiet on the farm. All up later than usual and the asado of cerdo for lunch was bizzarely welcome - to top up the calorific intake after a morning swim and breakfast.... not sure where the rest of the day went except for chatting and book swapping and some skype calls to the UK.
After another longer horse ride on Boxing Day morning, this time including a fair amount of trotting, it was time for us to pack our bags and say our farewells to all, both fellow guests and the family - little did Susan know that her singing of 60s classics had been heard. Carlos very kindly took us to Salta bus station in plenty of time for our overnight ride to Corrientes. Don´t quite understand why this route is only semi-cama, perhaps 14 hours isn´t long
Carlos the gaucho, Stephen, Freda & Henry
There are more photos below