06.07.2008 - 09.07.2008 18 °C
Our 3 nights at the Estancia were heaven. It was even better then I had imagined!
Estancia Los Potreros is a 6,000-acre working cattle farm on the top of the "Sierras Chicas". It has remained in the same Anglo-Argentine family for four generations. When we met Kevin we all thought he was joking around with his very proper english accent, but he wasn't. Kevin was educated and then lived in the UK for most of his "professional" career. In 2001 he moved back to the family ranch and started a business with tourists.
When we first arrived we were greeted by several people, including Kevin, wearing berets! We thought we had arrived in France by accident. However gauchos in Argentina wear berets or Boina as they call them. After the introductions we were served tea and biscuits, so very Argentinian!
The first night we had a wine tasting session. We had 4 wines to try and each tasting was a full glass. After the wine tasting Kevin left us a few boxes of wine to help the evening go by. I slept very well in the tent that night, but didn't feel so great in the morning.
The next morning we were introduced to our horses and the beginners were taught the basics (walk, turn, stop!). My horse was a Paso Peruanos and was called Chocolate. He was wonderful, but I did get a little bored because he was so perfectly behaved! Chris's horse was a classic looking polo pony and she had a whole heap of hormonal issues. I have never seen a horse flatten her ears so close to her head. However mean she was to the other horses, she looked after Chris and they had a lot of fun. The day's ride was along very, very rugged terrain to a waterfall. The views along the way were stunning and the sun was out. We had a picnic lunch at the water fall and then rode home. In the evening we had some locals come and perform some traditional Argentinian music. Kevin also very kindly dropped off a few more boxes of wine for us. I stayed alcohol free that night!
The next day was more riding. I had requested a slightly more lively horse and was given Barry. Barry was Chocolate's brother and it was quite shocking to find out that Chocolate was the farm stallion for a few years before he was cut. Nothing stallion like about him now! Barry was a cheeky chap, not naughty just like to challenge now and then. We had an amazing ride, I would have taken him home if I could. Chris stayed on the same horse. She was in a slightly better mood, possibly. The terrain was even more challanging in places and it really was amazing what the horses went across without even a trip. We rode to the top of the Sierras Chicas and had an amazing view of the Estancia and Cordoba town.
The final afternoon and evening consisted of a lassoing competition and an Asado cooked by the Gauchos. Chris won the lassoing competition - showing himself as a natural gaucho. The Asado was truly amazing. The beef was so tasty and Kevin had given us a few more boxes of wine. There wasn't a huge amount of moderation that evening.
We had an early start on Wednesday, leaving as soon as it got light at 7.40am. The road to the Estancia was long and winding and the crew didn't fancy negotiating Carmen down the road in the dark and the passengers were very happy with this decision.
It was very sad to leave the Estancia. I would have liked another couple of days or weeks.
We are having an uploading issue on this site at the moment, so photos can be viewed following this link - Estancia photos