My poor computer did not take the electricity well in Lujan (even though I was using a converter) and would not charge, so I have not been able to use it until our return to Buenos Aires.
On Monday we left our home for the past week (Areco) and traveled south to Escobar to visit with Christine and Guillermo Gibelli again, this time at their weekend place. Here they keep most of their carriage collection, plus harnesses and other appointments. We enjoyed lunch sat outside under the canopy overlooking the River Pirana. Such a lovely day with three of their four children also joining us.
From there we moved east to the town of Lujan. Our hotel was in the center overlooking the Lujan Cathedral. That evening we enjoyed cocktails and some food on the terrace looking right at the Cathedral.
On Tuesday we traveled 2.5 hours to a private estancia near the town of Bragado, home to Ernesto Figueros. Once we came off the main road, we drove 15 kms from there on the property to the main house! Another fabulous collection awaited us, as did lunch sat outside on a long table under the shade of the trees. Ernesto´s son treated us to a showing of his tropiollo (which he had taken to Areco for the gaucho festival). Back to Lujan for dinner and to overnight.
On Wednesday we enjoyed a private tour of the Lujan carriage museum, thanks to Juan Gibelli who arranged the visit. We then enjoyed lunch in one of the many roadside service stations that include the most fantastic meals anywhere! A very large salad bar dominated the center of the dining room and then meat is brought as requested.
We all then returned to our first home, the Sofitel Hotel in Buenos Aires for our last night. Some went to a tango show, some to dinner and some to bed!! Tomorrow we all head for home with some wonderful memories of the people we have met and the places we have seen.
Our luck ran out! Starting at 7 am this morning the rain came along with thunder and lightening. We patiently waited, but it did not stop all morning and it caused the cancellation of the gaucho parade. Everyone was so disappointed, but it could not be helped.
Then along came our “rescue”. Rossaura Pagglia who is a resident of Areco and had the carriage collection we visited on our first day here invited us to her town home. Not knowing what was in store, we were all simply blown away by her collections of Argentine silver and leather goods, bits, stirrups, arrow heads, spurs, blankets, ponchos, and on and on. Her house was full of items so well displayed I heard many remark “this is so much better than a museum!”
We had always planned to sit in chairs along the route of the parade outside of Rossaura’s small hotel in town and eat empanadas and drink some wine, but as it was not to be Rossaura had quickly put together a more extensive lunch and we were taken to a building she had just bought where tables and chairs were set up. The For Sale sign was still outside and in we trooped to enjoy a full and extremely tasty lunch. No one was disappointed with today in the end…………………..
It is wonderful to be staying in the same hotel in the same town for six nights. It means a lot of free time to enjoy just what you want in this town, even if it is drinking a glass of wine on the town square and watching the world go by!
We had a free morning and then loaded up our van and led by Juan Gibelli we arrived at the Gaucho Festival (just on the edge of town in a very large open space) along with hundreds and hundreds of other people! We first saw the “broncos” (young horses saddled and rode for the first time) and then it was amazing to watch 65 tropiollos enter the arena (each “tropiollo” had at least 8 horses and sometimes up to 16, with a gaucho riding a horse and leading the “bell mare”. All the other young horses-of similar coloring=follow that mare). So we estimated that there were approx. 650 horses in the arena, most of which were loose! Once all in there was a wild ride about trying to mix up the horses and see which could come back together the quickest.
Bear in mind that while all these horses were in the arena, they had actually had to be brought in and taken out again into the staging area with all the cars, trucks, and people milling about. Quite a seen!
This event is totally unique and worth the trip to Argentina. Tomorrow all the gauchos and horses take part in the parade through the town of Areco to the delight of thousands of spectators.
We were joined last evening by our friend (CAA member) Prudencio Hernandez and we all enjoyed a lively evening in a restaurant very near to our hotel. We are getting (finally) into the swing of things here and left the restaurant at 11 pm having had another great meal!