The main activity today has been a visit to Estancia Santa Susana about 45 minutes outside Buenos Aires. The Estancia covers an area of 1200 hectares and whilst it is mostly dedicated to agriculture for the past ten years it has also operated as a tourist attraction.
Whilst this activity is obviously commercial the visit turned out to be hugely entertaining. On arrival guests were served drinks and empanadas by Gauchos (South American cowboys). There was a museum to visit, the obligatory gift shop and horse rides (in reality horse walks). All the while in the background a massive barbecue was underway.
About two hundred guests (including the twenty members of our tour group) sat down to lunch in the massive dining room. The menu was three salads (potato, carrot and capsicum) and bread rolls, followed by chorizo sausage, then blood sausage, then a barbecued beef steak followed by barbecued chicken pieces and finally a pastry dessert and coffee. A lot to eat. I stopped short before dessert.
The gauchos not only welcomed guests and assisted with the horse 'rides' they also served lunch, drinks, danced with guests during the folkloric show that followed the lunch and finally entertained us with a display of horsemanship and horse based games of skill during which they also singled out ladies from the guests for brief canters (and quicker) around the dusty field. That final display of skill was particularly spectacular.
Some images from our day;
|My favourite Gaucho, who proved particularly skilful in the games|
|The barbecue in preparation|
|Another favoured Gaucho|
|Games of skill|
(Click on photos to enlarge)