Neil and Sambo's South America Travels travel blog

Estancia Yzutaingo

Sam and Alex in the soya fields


Sam and her chorizo dog




Our new favourite game, Supa


Horse riding the sierras

Our first coach trip from BsAs to Mar Del Plata, a coastal town five hours south of BA for a weekend of sun, horseriding and waterskiing - estancia life, tourist style. We were able to remember enough Spanish to find our bus and get comfortably seated in very spacious coche cama seats. A quick kip and five hours later we were in rainy Mar Del Plata, Argentina's premier seaside resort. Unfortunately no beach resort looks good in the rain, so after a quick bit of sightseeing with Alex we headed to a relaxing late lunch. Over a lunch of fresh gnocchi, a welcome break from cow and chorizo, we learnt that Argentines traditionally eat gnocchi on the 29th of the month, and put money underneath their plate. Apparently the money is supposed to multiply... You'll hear from us if it works.

A few hours later, we headed off to Estancia Ysutaingo, our place to stay for the next few nights. About thirty minutes inland, the estancia is a large property in the Sierras (hills) with rolling soybean and sunflower fields surrounding it, a few beautiful old estancia buildings for us to stay and eat in and a big swimming pool. The estancia dates back to 1862. It was lovely actually. Still part of a working property, the family have been there since the beginning and took us around their old gaucho house, where paintings of great, great grandad were on the wall. The houses were built in criollo style with deep walls, high ceilings and few windows to keep out the heat and are described as chorizo casas because a new room is built onto the end each time a child is born, so the house ends up looking like a long sausage.

After another hearty meal, bottle of vino tinto and some dulce de leche (again but it is so good) we headed to bed, determined to be ready to get out and play the next morning.

Rain rain go away. We awoke to rain, a lot of rain. And thunder. Horseriding was off, so after an extended lie-in and a walk in the fields (where agricultural engineer Alex gave us a lesson on growing soybean and sunflowers) we headed off to the Sierras for some sightseeing of the Jesuit missions - need to get some more detail on what this was all about before we can fill you in!

The weather finally cleared up and we headed back to the estancia for some lazing by the pool and finished the day off with an asado with the estancia family - a great evening but reminded us just how far we have to go with our Spanish.

Sunday dawned hot and sunny and after another breakfast of tostados with dulce de leche we headed off to piedra naranja (orange stone - so named because of the orange lichen found throughout that part of the Sierras) to do some horse-riding. A really enjoyable couple of hours riding by the lake and around the Sierras. Beautiful scenery too and not a soul to be seen, apart from the cows, which were plentiful. You could also do parapenting there which looked great, sadly we did not have time. After lunch the estancia ytusaingo family picked us up in their launch for some water-skiing. All in all an excellent day, until our drive back to BsAs that evening, when we got held up by the townspeople of Bransen who were demonstrating against a dump being put near their town. Fair enough, but made it a long old journey.

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