Day trip to the Pampas
"Gauchos & more..."
For foreign travelers who want a taste of gaucho life (who knows how authentic this is...but it's not for me to say), many head out from the big city, and stay at one of the many estancias (ranches) in this town, about a two hour bus ride from Buenos Aires.
We decided to go for the day, because, maybe, just maybe, we would catch the big Dia de la Tradicion there....but, they moved it up a week (just our luck.)
Anyway, it's a pleasant way to get a brief taste of life outside of BsAs.
And, there are gauchos! (Again, who knows how authentic, but....)
"The 21st Century Gaucho"
Being from the U.S., I'm really not sure how much the gaucho mythology differs from that of the "cowboy," but, spending some time just checking out the gauchos is not an unpleasant way to spend a part of the afternoon.
"Gauchos got game"
There are competitions, put on for the tourists...but probably some of these horsepersonship skills are actually used.
Pretty laid back but nice
I first heard of Areco while watching "The Amazing Race" on TV. One of my favorite shows not very surprisingly. Supposed to be close to Buenos Aires and popular with them, especially on weekends. So I decided to give it a go.
Not being a fan of crowds of any sort, I assiduously avoided the weekend. I guess that plan worked, because I found it a very quiet little town with few tourists stumbling around. I also found some of the most friendly people anywhere on my 6 week trip through Argentina and Uruguay.
On several occasions, while standing on a corner staring at my map, I was asked by members of the local citizenry if they could be of help. The first time this happened, I ended up in a car and given a quick tour of the town and dropped off at a favored restaurant.
San Antonio was fun to wander around in. A very 'walkable' place. An interesting old church, a shady plaza, a few tourist attractions....a nice place to kickback for a day or two (but probably not three).
Lonely Planet says there is a week long fiesta in November celebrating the town's gaucho heritage. They recommended reservations, so it must be quite an affair.