Since Jenny and I have already trekked, sandboarded and mountain biked, we felt that horse riding would be the next logical outdoor activity for us. Salta seemed like an ideal place for this, mostly because we saw posters that told us so. For a killer fee we could be guacho’s (cowboys) for a day. We were keen. Even better, the horse riding included asado (braai) and mucho vino (no translation needed).
We were carted to a ranch outside town in a bakkie that was probably made sometime in 1743. The ranch itself was built around that time too. I liked how everything seemed authentic and ‘olden day’. Home on the Range would have been an apt background song.
We were also joined by an Argentinian couple who spent majority of the time smooching and touching each other. After initial introductions we stood staring at each other awkwardly for a bit and then they went back to their heavy petting.
The couple finally came up for air when the asado was served. Now, I’m just as South African as the next person, so there is nothing more than a bit of braaivleis to put me in a good mood. I was more than delighted as I think we were served an entire cow. This was some of the best meat I have ever had and the guacho kept bringing out more and more. I actually forgot we were there to ride horses. I could have eaten meat, drunk wine and gone home.
But we did ride horses. My horse was called Papi (or something to that effect) and we trotted around the ranch. I was left a little disappointed in the actual ride itself as it felt like a glorified pony ride. I know I am not the most experienced horse rider but I at least know I can manage a canter, given the opportunity. It seems to me that the guacho took one look at the amount of wine we consumed and decided we were no good. And I thought I was in the 3rd world where personal safety was a myth.
In the end it didn’t matter what the ride was like, we were in the great outdoors on horses with our bellies bursting with meat and wine. Life couldn’t be better.