Hanging out with the gauchos

Trip Start Nov 19, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Ivyutu Itaty

Flag of Uruguay  ,
Saturday, January 17, 2009

Life on a ranch....
We arrived in tacuarembo which is in central uraguay at about half six in the morning and then went and crashed at a hotel for a few hours as pretty shattered.  then off to tourist info to find an estancia.  these are homestays on real ranches across uraguay and argentina although some have become more touristy than others and have all mod cons and very little ranch life.  not what we were after but found a great place about an hour out of town and set up with the folks who live there that they would come pick us up in their ute (yewt) . no idea how that is spelt it appears - the following morning for a couple of nights stay with them on their ranch.  Next morning up turn Pedro and Nahir, a very lovely couple, traditional ranch folk and off we set (with a lovely older american couple called Steve and Rebecca) to their home. 
Their home is lovely, very oldey worldy and traditional with hot coal bbq outside and hot coal stove inside for all cooking (in summer the stove has to be set up for an hour before cooking can begin).  they have limited electricity there from a generator and have a gas powered fridge.  they have shed loads of land and cattle and sheep all over and they have many horses - cowboys need their horses to do their work.  They also have two sons one of which was there whilst we were.  Juan who is 21 and really lovely - he took us out horse riding the first time.  their nearest neighbours are about 3 km away so we really were in the middle of nowhere - at least an hour tyo any shop in the car which was unfortunate as we ran out of cigarettes (fortunately nahir smokes occassionally and had a stash so we smoked those!)  we got taken out on the horses 3 times across different parts of the ranch.  their dogs came along too and we got to watch them at work rounding up the cattle and sheep.  we saw a real life armadillo which pedro caught and held out for us.  it was so sweet.  they really are crunchy on the outside (very hard casing) and squidgy in the middle.  tried mounting a horse bare back without stirrups.  managed finally after throwing myself into the side of it 5 or 6 times and then got to stand on its back - the horse was amazing, so well trained and placid, just stood there and let me.  we ate 3 hearty meals each day as well as afternoon tea.  for limited modern day kitchen appliances, nahir sure can cook (she spent a lot of time in the kitchen) and we had meat from their animals all the time lamb and beef and all the food was great.  i ate loads. 
so peaceful and beautiful.  the sun sets were amazing.  the sky turned purple and yellow and then the sky filled with stars.  is a beautiful place and we were made to feel so at home and welcome - such a lovely family - and got to work on the spanish too.  was sad to leave.  could have easily stayed another day or two. 
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