After a lovely leisurely morning in our hotel (with many laughs over breakfast), we all left on our bus with our able drive Leandro for a short trip north of town to the estancia La Victoria.
We knew the mile marker for the location of the estancia and had been told that the road in front is under construction, but the gate we entered by was into a field full of sheep. Unsure we were in the right place (??) we ventured on and saw a small house (turns out we were right and the house was the estancia managers) so we drove through his yard and beyond and eventually found our host Diego Perazzo waiting for us. (The main entrance is blocked at the moment due to the road construction, so we did not make a “wrong” entrance!!)
The fire was going ready for the barbecue and four super Criollo horses (Argentine breed) had been brought in from the field and tied up for us to see. They were great looking horses. Diego was pleased to tell us all about the breed and his estancia and eventually we made our way to the carriage house and enjoyed some refreshments before seeing the vehicles. The weather has been nice for us our entire stay, but today was exceptional with sun and a cool breeze and some lovely fresh air. We all sat while enjoying some wine or beer and gazed over the fields.
Diego showed us his collection and then we all joined Diego on the long table under the overhang beside the carriage house and (thoroughly) enjoyed a barbecue lunch. Diego told my sister, Elizabeth, and I about having read our father’s book ‘On the Box Seat’ (many years ago it had been translated into Spanish) and he produced the book with its well worn pages for Elizabeth and I to sign.
Two carriages were then prepared for us to go driving around the estancia and we finished the day with some light refreshments (there is a theme herre – food and carriages!!) and made our way back to our hotel leaving 7 hours after we had arrived.
Everyone says each day “we cannot top that” and each day we have a new and delightful adventure, seeing new sights and making new friends.
After a leisurely breakfast in the charming and sunny courtyard of our hotel in Areco, we met up at 11 am for a 45 minute drive to Juan Gibelli’s estancia. The sun was shining as our bus pulled into a lay-by to be met by three carriages all put to with pairs! We drove the rest of the way down the dirt road to the estancia, passing by the main house and out into a field and to our surprise there was a Chata waiting to greet us and lead us back to the house. What a wonderful surprise and sight to see a Chata put to with horses and driven by what looked like “a man from the past!” (Go to the CAA Facebook page for lots of photos from today and all our other days.)
After alighting from the vehicles we all had to closely inspect the huge Chata and marvel and the horses and harnessing of it before it moved off and was put away and the horses were turned out for a well deserved rest.
We all then had the chance to browse the large and most interesting carriage collection and then gather in Juan’s house for empanadas and drinks. Hours past as we chatted and laughed and enjoyed the day, finally leaving for Areco at 5ish.
Back to our hotel for a siesta (it is extremely hard work enjoying yourself!) before meeting up at 8 pm to attend an exhibition opening of leather work at the museum conveniently just next door to our hotel. After that we enjoyed a lively dinner at a local restaurant and returned to the hotel at 11 pm (we are finally getting into the Argentine time of eating!!)
What a day! Rain threatened today, so Juan Gibelli (who would have been our host today) made the decision to switch days and go to his estancia tomorrow (as we will be driving horses and he did not want us to have to do so in the rain!). Good call as it turns out. It rained at 8 am and again at 11 am. So we visited another estancia (pictures are all up on the CAA Facebook page of our fabulous visit today) near the town of San Antonio de Areco, which would have been our visit tomorrow. (Follow me so far??!)
Our hostess showed us her lovely house and a building where she had recreated an old typical Argentine bar and then finally we went in to her newly built carriage house where we got to see her collection of vehicles and ponchos. Here we also got to enjoy a barbecue lunch all together and once the morning rain finished, the sun came out and a breeze blew and it was a glorious day.
Upon departure, we were told that it was a shorter and more interesting journey back to Areco by the back road, so a large grader was called for (!?!) and a path was scraped so our small bus could “venture” across a field to meet the road. We were all so stunned that no one got a photo!
The town of Areco is full of small shops, restaurants and bars and starting tomrrow the gauchos will begin arriving in town for the festival. There is lots to see and after a leisurely afternoon we all went to the main square and enjoyed a great meal together.