Home on the {Gaucho} Range

Yesterday we rode out to Lobos Ranch to experience the Guacho way of life at the "Estancia la Candelaria". It was a treacherous journey that requires to "remise" cars (a common car and driver service used in Argentina that I lovingly call Argentinian Uber) as well as a ride on local bus service that takes you into Lobos, the town where the ranch is located. A simple feat if you speak Spanish, a confusing albeit fun adventure of charades for two Americans girls who "advanced" Spanish vocabulary consists of  "mi llamo", "con azúgar" and "pollo" (my name is, with sugar and chicken, respectively). 


The ranch, originally named "Los Pontones", first developed in the 1840s by two brothers -- Don Orestes and José Piñeiro. When Orestes married, he later changed the name of the ranch to "La Candelaria" to honor his new wife. The ranch was used to raise livestock and breed strong racehorses.


In 1890, the son-in-law of Orestes and Candelaria decided to build a castle on the property (pictured above). The idea was to have a place where wealthy patrons could visit and stay in a lavish, French inspired residence for vacations. He thought that if they enjoyed their stay, he would be easily able to convince them to invest in their fields and business. His idea worked and the property flourished.


The "castle", though more like a mansion in size, was very beautiful. The rooms were all very lavish and I was amazed that guests of the mansion were still allowed to use the rooms during their stay. It was living history for sure.



The grassy spaces of the ranch were filled with statues similar to this one. I decided to only photograph the goat because...well it was the GOAT.


After touring the grounds were we treated to a traditional Argentinian barbeque. It was certainly the biggest lunch I've ever eaten.


Empanadas, pork, steak, chicken, sausage. You name it and it was there! Well everything except dulce de leche (insert sad face).

After lunch, we were treated to a dancing show where six very talented individuals performed traditional Argentinian dances. They first danced as a group.

Then we watched three more couples performances.

And after those performances were finished, we saw individual skill dances that featured bull whips and swords.

They even called audience members up to dance and I was one of the unfortunate souls they picked. Pictures of this misfortune and my horrible Argentinian dance moves will be posted once we figure out how to send videos via Skype with the horrible internet connection we have.


In addition to being a dancer, I was also chosen to ride on the "leather" as a horse pulled me through the grassy areas of the ranch. I have affectionately termed this experience "Argentinian Gaucho Land Tubing". My humiliating fall off the "leather" will be posted at a later date as well.

All-in-all we had an amazing day at the ranch. If you're ever in Buenos Aires, Argentina and want to get out of the city, the "Estancia la Candelaria" is a beautiful place to visit and learn more about an amazing part of Argentinian culture.


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