We were collared by one of the tour operators who had a board showing pictures of various excursions and we decided to go into their office (TLC Travel) to get some more details. The guy who nabbed us was an easy going, positive Brazilian dude who took the time to explain what was on offer, without being too much of a salesmen. We decided to take an outer city trip to Don Silvano Ranch about an hour and a half outside Buenos Aires.
A mini bus picked us up outside our hostel and was surprisingly bang on time at 8.50am. After collecting more people from other hotels we were on our way.
Immediately upon arriving at Don Silvano I noticed how clean the air felt and relished in its calm atmosphere. We had two hours of ‘free time’ to horse ride, take a horse and carriage ride, zip wire, play bowls (haha) and amble about the place. After being offered a cup of wine and a pastry upon entering at 11am – clearly never too early to drink – we were let loose to do as we wish.
We decided to have a horse ride around the ranch on a typical Argentinian horse, saddled in cloth and with hoop stirrups. Playing follow the leader with about 15 of us, we rode in a 20 minute or so loop. On a clear sunny day in June this was a pleasant and nature-reconnecting experience.
For lunch we were seated in a warm indoor barn, where tables were set up with wine, salad, potatoes and bread. More wine, beer and soft drinks were brought over upon request – good times. Fire-cooked sausage, chicken and beef was brought to the table on wooden boards and we could pick our own – the food was really good! During lunch, great entertainment was provided in the form of live music and tango, which was so much fun. This was a relaxed, yet up-vibe affair that lasted around two hours.
We then got to see La Sortija (the ring), a traditional gaucho sport where two men gallop their horses beneath a goal post and have to get a small stick through a ring – the size of a wedding ring. Whoever achieves this can ask for a ladies hand in marriage and if she already has a partner, the partner has to kiss the horse! We were also treated to some horse whispering, where the gaucho could command the horses to follow him and also lay down their backs.
It was a great full-day out that was well worth the 1300 pesos (£65) – we would highly recommend!