Sunday, after breakfast, we got on a bus for a two hour ride to Cina Cina, a real Argentian ranch. It was to be an all day affair and worth price of $65.00 (these little trips are extras, not
included in the price of the overall trip - I always go on them and am never sorry). First, we watched them preparing our barbequed lunch. Then we strolled around the area and little
museum in the main house.
We sat at long, rustic tables and ate our lunches while the ranch hands sang and danced for us. They were a fun group and had us laughing and some of their antics. Sure, it was tourist hype but we loved it just the same and it gave us the flavor of the ranch life.
Alter lunch came the real show. The gauchos put on a demonstration for us with their horses. They raced each other, as might be expected, but then, three or four of them displayed their skills in another way. They had erected two sturdy poles about 20 feet apart, and another pole across the first two at a height of about 15 feet. From the cross pole, they had hung a heavy string with a tiny ring on the end. The object was to ride the horse very fast between the poles and spear the ring with a long pointed pole. We were duely impressed and applauded each time one of them succeeded.
The final demonstration was almost a circus type of performance. They had their horses, perhaps ten altogether, strutting their stuff in a
chorus line. It was beautiful and fascinating. I doubt any one was disappointed.
On the last night in Buenos Aires, we all had dinner at the Tango Mia Restaurante and
enjoyed an unforgettable performance, with a large case of musicians, dancers and singers.
The tango was performed as I have never seen it done before; not in the movies, nor on
TV, nor at a concert, not even in Spain. It was truly wonderful.
Leaving Buenos Aires, we next took a two hour flight, south to Trelew. When we got off the plane the wind was blowing a constant 40 mph. and it was clean air, and refreshing. We boarded our bus for the little Welsh settlement of Gaiman where we had tea and cakes. The
Welsh settled here 100 years ago when Argentina offered the Welsh free land if they would settle it. So they irrigated it, planted trees, green grass and flowers, and stayed. They process sea weed for use in cosmetics elsewhere.
Outside of town, however, the area is not unlike our plains states, flat land as far as you can see, no trees and a little low bush, sort of like sage brush but different. Talk about wide open spaces! It may be a bit desolate, but I can't recall ever seeing such beautiful skies, nor breathed such clean air.
After a long monotonous ride we arrived in Puerto Madryn on the Peninsula Veldes, where we spent the night, in preparation of another day of driving through similar country. Throughout this tour, from time to time, we saw eagles, ostrich and herds of guanaco which are a species of llama indigent to Patagonia (I think they are a little more delicate and prettier). This wild life is intermingled with the sheep, horses and cows of the estancias.