For our final stop in 2009 we arrived at an estancia in the heartland of the Buenos Aires province known as the ‘Pampas‘. This is an enormous fertile plain where the legendary gauchos (pampas cowboys) roam managing farms and herding huge numbers of cattle. We were staying on an estancia 2.5hours south west of Buenos Aires called ‘La Margarita’ whose owner is English. He and his Argentinean wife, Maria, have opened up their home to visitors to offering extensive riding across the pampas and a gaucho style experience.
The place was gorgeous, set back in a hamlet of trees shading the house from the searing sunshine and looking out over fields and fields of cattle and golden grasses. Riding, relaxation and good Argentinean food was the main purpose of our stay. We made the most of the riding, getting out twice a day and, on two occasions, for a couple of long rides out of the estancia into the nearby region using the long dusty roads, fields and waterways to explore.
New Year itself was spent with a bunch of strangers with guests coming from Germany, Spain and Argentina. We started the evening in style drinking the last of the champagne that we had bought. Dinner was long and sociable so much so that we missed midnight! A quick recovery with lots of kisses and hugs followed by fireworks and then the early hours of the morning were spent singing and sharing jokes! It was a great experience to spend New Year in a country that we love although sad to not be with family or friends. However we can now say that we’ll see everyone later this year!
On leaving the estancia Debbie finally hung up her riding hat and boots having carried them carefully through the States and South America over the last 5 months. She’ll just have to wait until she gets home before she can ride again.