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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Puesto Viejo

At some point soon I will elaborate on our recent car purchase, but for now I will just say that we have thoroughly enjoyed the ability to be more mobile in and around the city.  In the spirit of breaking out of downtown, last weekend we packed up and headed to an estancia in Lobos, Buenos Aires, called Puesto Viejo.  

Puesto Viejo is first and foremost a polo club, so it was not our first choice, but our original reservation called four days before we arrived to say that they had no air conditioning.  In summer.  And it was literally 100 degrees when they broke this news.  So our friends did some quick research and found Puesto Viejo. On Wednesday they were able to book us to arrive on Friday - the weekend was saved!  

Puesto Viejo is located 70 km outside of Capital, past Ezeiza Airport in CaƱuelas.  As with most places that we've gone outside of the city, there is no real address, just a simple map available on their website that was helpful, but not completely accurate.  The place is extremely well-kept and serine.  I have never seen such  vast, and ascetically pleasing, horse stables.  They could easily keep 100 horses on the grounds (again, it's a polo club).  The stables were immaculate, there wasn't a single piece of tack out of place, and the whole time we were there, people were constantly working, cleaning, grooming and repairing.  They offer guided tours of the stables and general horseback riding to guests of the estancia, and have polo lessons for an additional cost.  

I opted to get back on a horse, even after my near-death horse experience at La Candelaria.  This time was different.  We had helmets.  We had multiple guides.  We signed waivers.  And, I had my friend Milena by my side to offer moral support.  It was a fun ride, but I was still incredibly sore for the following few days - I don't know how you horse enthusiasts do it!  

The ride only lasted 45 minutes, but we were able to see more of the estancia grounds, including their 3 polo fields, sheep pastures and the owner's very large home.  We even made a pit-stop during the ride to help an underfed newborn lamb nurse for a little while.  I mean, I did nothing but watch, but the guide was able to actually help this little guy.  Pretty cool stuff.

Gretchen getting more comfortable on grass
The accommodations at Puesto Viejo were really nice.  We had a clean, good-sized room with a nice bathroom, good water pressure and air conditioning.  Each room overlooks the polo fields and has a nice, soft grass area for the kids to run around on.  The staff was incredibly kid friendly, even though I don't think they have many child-guests.  They provided us with a travel crib and offered to serve food to the kids before the scheduled adult mealtime, and as long a the child was able to sleep in a crib, there is no extra charge.

The estancia had a nice, albeit cold, pool (as long as you don't arrive on lawn-mowing day - there were a LOT of grass clippings in the pool the day we arrived) complete with umbrellas and nice lounge chairs.  They also have bicycles on site available for guest use and they are helpful in making additional arrangements for the guests (such as golf reservations).  There are also lots of animals to see, chickens, a pretty loud rooster, plenty of cows, and a zillion birds.

This place is a bird-watcher's paradise!  I really like birds, so I was already excited about this, but the highlight of my weekend was when we came across these guys:
Look close - on the fenceposts
 Owls.  Bonafide Owls.  Lots of them.  Just hanging out, acting like it wasn't strange for them to be flying around in the daytime.  I was in my glory.  I walked this route every day that we were at Pueso Viejo just to see the super-cool owls.  I mean, for real, how many times in a lifetime will you come across wild owls?  I took lots of photos, just in case this is the only time for me.

The downside to Puesto Viejo was a pretty big portion of the weekend, the food. It was pretty bad.  Even the Argentine-style asado was not-so-hot.  It was really a shame too, this place could be a great little weekend escape if they could just put together a decent meal.  

We had a nice time, and I highly recommend if you are interested in polo or owls.  But if you like to eat, you're going to want to pack a sandwich for this trip.  

1 comment:

  1. 1) Gretchen looks adorable

    2) I love that ou referenced water pressure. It is really important to us too. :)