Monday, September 21, 2009

Afuera de la ciudad

Things have been a bit busier lately now that classes are in full swing, but I've been managing to spend at least one day out of the city every weekend. I do love Buenos Aires, but its nice to go somewhere without millions of cars and where you can see the stars at night.

< View from my bedroom window

A few weeks back I took a trip to an 'estancia' with the BC kids. I guess you would call it a ranch in English, with horses, llamas, and carriage rides. It was close to the city, and still in the Buenos Aires province, (Like New York, Buenos Aires is the name of the city and state). First we rode horses around with a 'gaucho' as our guide. More so in the past, but even today, gauchos are the cowboys/farmers that ride around and tend to their fields in Argentina. We then ate a traditional Argentine asado, which is like a barbecue, and watched some folk dancers perform. Of course then the performers wanted everyone to dance, and lots of embarrassing pictures of us trying to imitate the style were taken. I spent some time with the llamas after that and the day ended with 'gaucho games' which involved gauchos on horseback racing to grab tiny rings.

The weekend after that was another BC trip, this time to Mar del Plata, a city on the beach about 5 hours south of the city. Overall it was a good trip, but being that it is still winter here, most everything was closed and it was a bit too chilly and rainy for much beach time. On the bright side, everything is much cheaper in the off-season and I was told it is much too crowded in the summer. We spent one day at the aquarium which was great and mostly outdoors. I even got to pet a penguin!! Another day was spent at a different estancia on a lake and we rode horses around the whole area, it was beautiful. My horse had a bit of an attitude and refused to move for a while, but luckily the guide was able to coax him into moving eventually. He said that my horse, (ironically named 'Gato,' or cat) did this often so it wasn't my fault.

The city itself was also cute. We toured around it and saw that there was a chain of cafes called "Boston Bakery," go figure. We also saw the groups of 'lobos,' which means 'sea wolf' and I'm guessing they were sea lions. They were all HUGE and and seemed to sleep in giant piles on the shore all day. Unfortunately they smelled horrible so our viewing time was kept to a minimum. Most importantly there was yet another Kenny bar next to our hostel, the third I've found in Argentina!

This weekend we went to Colonia, Uruguay, but that's a whole different country so it gets its own post!

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