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14 November 2012 / leggypeggy

Riding with gauchos in Argentina

Horse riding in Salta

Jong tries horse riding for the first time in his life

Argentinian horses speak Spanish. Well, maybe they don’t speak it, but they certainly understand it. That’s why all the giddy-ups in the world won’t get their attention, but a single ‘vamos’ will.

In the company of several genuine gauchos, a whole group of us had the pleasure of ‘vamosing’ on horses from the Sayta ranch near Salta in northern Argentina.

We had a two-hour, gentle ride after a boozy lunch featuring delicious Argentinian beef—and the magical chimichurri sauce—and a wide selection of salad and vegetable dishes. To finish off the ride and once lunch had settled, we could have an escorted gallop—wouldn’t want anyone falling off and hurting themselves.

Sayta, which is run by the irascible Enrique, offers a variety of options for guests. We did lunch/beginner ride package because most of our companions had never ridden before, but you can opt for combined camping and trail rides that last for several days.

People can also bunk at Sayta and enjoy home-cooked meals and riding lessons.

We met Kylie, a British lass. After learning Spanish for a few weeks, she signed up to spend seven months as a volunteer on Sayta ranch. She’s especially delighted because she’s improving her Spanish along with her riding skills. I wonder if it’s something Poor John and I might do in future.

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