Our second API-sponsored day trip was to an Estancia, or ranch, about 90 minutes outiside of the city of Buenos Aires, where we spent a relaxing day horseback riding, eating, singing, dancing, and soaking up the sun.

We met up early on a Saturday morning to take a bus to the Estancia, which is located near the small town of Capilla del Señor. Most of us slept through the bus ride, and were astonished to wake up after such a short time in a place so peaceful and beautiful, yet so close to the bustling city of Buenos Aires. Our resident director wanted to make sure we had an authentic estancia experience, so the one that we went to is actually a working ranch where this family lives and raises polo horses. They had a wonderful breakfast laid out for us when we arrived and we spent the first hour or so just relaxing and enjoying the good food.

Eating breakfast

After that, our group split in half, with some of us going to ride horses for about half an hour and the others taking a walk around the ranch. We were the first group to ride horses and although I am far from a pro, I was delighted to note that my 8 hours on a horse in Salta did something for me when one of the female gauchos (gauchas?) remarked that I looked very comfortable on a horse. While I still wouldn't quite call it comfortable,half an hour of riding on flat ground was definitely a breeze after my last experience! ;)

One of our hosts demonstrating the technique we would use to guide our horses

The 2nd group leaving for their ride

While we waited for our asado lunch to cook, a random handstand contest erupted . . .

Our delicious asado lunch

After lunch we were regaled with a singing/guitar/harmonica performance and we alternated singing along and practicing our folk dances as he sang . . .

The musician who regaled us for hours with traditional folk music . . . and even some Beatles!

Singing along

Breaking out my folk dancing skills

The rest of the day was spent lounging around in the sun, watching the gauchos barrel race, and just soaking up the fresh air and beautiful surroundings. Before we left we had another tea/coffee with torta, then said our goodbyes and thanked our hosts for one of the most relaxing days we'd had in Argentina so far . . . :)

Soaking up the sun