Gaucho land

Trip Start Sep 10, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Thursday, September 18, 2008

To experience Buenos Aires is to accept some things that may be hard for some. The buses are non-stop, they continue throughout the night and every 5 minutes one is bound to pass in front of our street. The city is in constant volume, there are trash pickups, building cleaners, buses, taxis, party goers and traffic all happening every hour of every day, though Sunday night does tend to quiet down. There are people everywhere and the subways can constantly feel like a sardine can. It was with these notions in mind, that we were excited to experience an invitation from our friend Doris to visit San Antonio de Areco. Situated about an hour and a half northwest of Buenos Aires is this small quaint town built in the early 18th century. The first step was securing a bus ticket, we took a taxi to the bus station and proceeded to buy 3 round-trip tickets without too much incident. Though we have constantly been blessed in situations like this with fellow travelers who speak the language very well and are all too happy to help us. The night before had been long and it was hard to stay awake on the bus ride, which happened to be more comfortable than Continental. When I awoke we had arrived. San Antonio de Areco was quiet, eerily quiet, in a lot of ways I felt like I was back in a small town in New Mexico. The buildings were different but the atmosphere was the same. We headed to the Plaza Ruiz de Arellano and took a minute to take in the scene and the nice warm sun. Afterward we wandered to the park that surrounds the old bridge called Puente Viejo. We all seemed to explore separately as if  on a rogue planet and tended to not take a straight path. We ended up at the Museo Gaucheso Ricardo Guiraldes, this is where you learn all about the history and art of the Gaucho <Argentinian cowboy>. There were obviously many similarities to the history of the American Southwest, but I enjoyed the subtle differences. The fact that we saw a modern day Gaucho helped to idealize the period. We then heard about an Estancia <ranch> that we might be able to drop in and see if we could get some food or a ride on a horse. The dusty road led to a tree lined entrance. The silence of nature seemed so out of place from the past two weeks, but then we saw the horse and her newly born colt. We walked over and just admired the serenity of the whole scene. It took me about an hour or so, but then it overcame me. As Brian, the horse whisperer, was able to convince this newly born colt to come visit him and the breeze ever so slightly danced with the cotton trees, I arrived upon a new state of realization. Treasuring life in itīs most natural states. What had begun has a groggy, hazy day, seemed so much brighter and clearer and though we were unable even to have a cup of tea at the Estancia, it gave us all we needed. The dusty road home seemed to be filled with much more hope and the worldīs problems seemed as light as the feathers of the birds flying overhead. I know the journey ahead is but one foot in front of another.
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