Kel: On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again...... by overnight bus from Mendoza to Buenos Aires first, in what has to have been our best bus journey ever. We were in an 'executive' bus with almost fully reclining leather seats, we got served dinner, we watched the latest Batman and then we slept ... loads. The journey took about 13 hours but it was painless. We stayed in BA for a milisecond before jumping on another bus north to the pampas. BA fun can wait for the moment!
The next journey was another couple of hours in the most flat land we'd ever seen. It was basically a straight road with fields on either side the whole way there. More sleep and we made it. San Antonio de Areco is a small very authentic gaucho town, and we were hoping to get some time on an estancia. It was really nice being back in a small town again, although when we went out for a wander everything was shut (damn siesta time) We're still not quite used to going out for dinner at any time after 10pm yet! Anyway it's a really small place with lots of local silverware and leather goods for sale (think cowboy boots, cowboy saddles, cowboy stirrups, cowboy ponchos, massive beret hats, massive silver knives etc) Matthew bought himself a cowboy wallet so hopefully we won't get that one nicked. We met a couple of people who were suprised we were there. It's generally a haunt for BA people getting away for the weekend, so we felt like we'd done well in sussing it out ourselves.
That evening we went to the local pub for some homemade beer, then off to the main restaurant in town for dinner (steak). We were in for a treat. After we sat down a couple of real life gauchos strolled in with their big hats on and huge boots. I thought there might be a fight or something (!) but it turned out that they were in town to have a dance with their lady friends. Local band started and the dancing began. It was kind of like a ceilidh in a way because everyone knew the set dances, but then a bit Greek with lots of hands in the air swooping thin scarves from time to time. Very entertaining anyway. Then I was served the most well done steak you've ever seen. A national disgrace eh! I complained in bad bad Spanish, but it seemed to work. A much better version replaced it : )
It turned out that the estancia visit would have to wait for a while, so instead the next day we wandered about the beautiful town, full of cobbled stones and cute places (and too many stray dogs. Matthew had about 7 following him at one point. That's what he got for saying go away to one!) We had a nice lunch, visited a gaucho museum and the local gaucho artist who told us all about the town and even drew us a wee pic of a horse and a thistle ... cute eh... we were quite proud of ourselves too with our pidgeon spanish. Then we headed north again in a 4 hour bus journey to Rosario, the third biggest city in Argentina.