New Year, new start. On this first day of the year, I was thinking what I could post about. Of course, I wish you the best for 2015, but what exactly? Maybe to spend a bit more time enjoying life like a gaucho. These South American cowboys are a huge part of the continents culture and a few weeks ago, we stayed in an Uruguayan estancia to know more about it. I came out of these 2 days, fresh, relaxed and inspired by the simplicity and the authenticity of this life. Here is why.
An enchanted interlude: a stay in an Uruguayan estancia
It was a really special place. We stayed there more than 6 weeks ago, but somehow I couldn´t really find the words to describe this experience, this enchanted interlude.
In the estancia you wake up with the songs of the birds and the sunlight filtering through the window. After a small breakfast, time to prepare the horse and brush them under the light of the rising sun. At the distance, you notice the silhouettes of the neighbour’s cows.
The morning fresh air waking you up, you get on your horse and go for a few hours of ride between the fields. The day before you learnt how to ride for the first time. Here, you of course have to do it gaucho style: back straight, heels down, legs holding tight the horse and rennes in one hand. In the country side, everything is so quiet. You spot birds and even a fox. When it starts to get seriously warm, it’s time to head back.
The afternoon is spent exploring the area or relaxing in the garden. There is no wi-fi here to disturb you from fully enjoying the moment.
After this busy day, Miguel prepare us an authentic Uruguayan barbecue, “the best in the world” according to the owner. After savouring every single piece of perfectly cooked meat he brings you and finishing your bottle of wine for us two, you will have to admit he is right.
Between the horse-ride or the best barbecue in the world, difficult to say what was the highlight of the stay. Maybe it was just to enjoy the little pleasures of life: waking up with the songs of the birds, reading a book under a tree, enjoying great local food and walking under the spring skies between the sheeps, goats and cows prairies.
And if you stay there by a clear night, you can just go out and watch the sky, spot Orion’s belt or the southern cross. Life just doesn’t get any better…
10 things to do like a gaucho to enjoy 2015
For 2015, I wish you to infuse bits of this lifestyle in your daily routines!
- Wake up with the songs of the birds
- Start to work under the sunrise
- Learn new stuff – like riding a horse
- Be proud of what you do, do it with style
- Drink maté – a local tea that Uruguayan and Argentinian have the habit to share with friends
- Spend time outside
- Read a book under a tree
- Walk under the spring skies
- Enjoy local food
- Spot Orion’s belt or the southern cross
Happy New Year 2015!
Make it happen – a good address in Uruguay to learn how to enjoy life like a gaucho
Of course, you don’t need to go to the other side of the world to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. But if the envy to discover Uruguay bits you, make sure you pass by El Galope. Just one hour and a half from the capital Montevideo, Miguel and Monica welcome tired travelers and busy people to their little piece of paradise. They share with them their culture and passion for nature in a beautiful estancia.
To enjoy fully, plan to spend 3 nights/ 2 days at El Galope. The hostel has double rooms or mini dorms of 2 beds ($25). You can enjoy yummy dinners cooked with local food ($18) and great riding lessons ($60) with well trained horses.
There is lots to do around, but honestly, why not just enjoying life?