March 11, 2008
BUENOS AIRES - Tuesday morning: wake up at 8:50 AM - our first morning to sleep in! At 9:00 we took a team stroll down a few blocks to a park, where we stretched out our legs and talked about our great game from the previous night.
After breakfast we headed out for a nice long bus drive to La Estancia de Santa Susana -- a gaucho ranch fully equipped with Argentine cowboys and horses. We were greeted with juice and tasty empanadas, then we started off the afternoon by soaking up some sun followed by a meal with delicious salad, more beef and chicken than one could imagine, and postres, or deserts. After lunch, we enjoyed the experience of traditional Argentine music and dancing by a talented gaucho named Jorge and his beautiful partner Elena. Our tour guide María eventually led some of us to the dance floor where we partnered up with gauchos or formed dancing circles with other ranch visitors. Next, we headed outdoors to watch the cowboys round up the horses and display a rare talent: lancing a quarter-sized ring with a pencil-sized rod at full gallop. Some of the girls were lucky enough to win one of those rings and a kiss from a handsome, successful gaucho. Finally, a group of us had the opportunity to ride the horses, while others were driven around the ranch in a horse-drawn cart. By the end of our visit, we were all tired but fully satisfied with all the food and fun.
We returned to the hotel for a siesta (a nap). Eventually, we found room in our stomachs for dinner at a sushi restaurant overlooking the port, followed by ice cream and some time to socialize with some of the Argentineans. Tomorrow we look forward to visiting a nearby orphanage and our next field hockey competition - the fun never stops in Buenos Aires!