Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Hey Travelers,
A few weeks ago I had one of the most exciting experiences travelling; I had a firsthand gaucho experience.In the northern Uruguay there is a small but lovely town named Tacuarembó (it’s going to take you a while the right pronunciation), well, only an hour ago from there, an amazing place is waiting for you, PANAGEA RANCH. (Picasa album)

You probably heard a lot about the gauchos when you visit Argentina, but what most of the people never knows is that Gaucho is a culture shared by argentines and Uruguayans. And for a real life experience visit Juan Manuel house.Juan Manuel can pick you up from the Bus Station in Tacuarembó and then take you to his ranch; this place has belonged to his family for several generations, now only he, Susanne (his Swiss/Uruguayan wife) and Dharma (his only 1 year old daughter) will be waiting for you.
This ranch has around 8 000 hectares, full of the typical flat fields with occasional hills, little forests and little rivers and creeks around.
Staying in this place is to contact the life of the Gauchos, so if you expect a hotel rooms privet bathroom and a housekeeper service, you better run away before Juan Manuel starts his “rules’ speech” but don’t worry this “rules” are quite simple, easy to follow and quite entertaining. Facilities are surprisingly good, hot water, warm rooms, nice mattress and extremely good food, homemade food (vegetarian option available since Susanne is vegetarian).
Early mornings, only if you want, a self service breakfast will be waiting for you and after that starts the gaucho activities, Juan Manuel and Bilinga (a mysterious lonely gaucho) will teach you how to settle a horse and take you to the field, first to get use to your horse then to take the cows and sheep back in the corrals. Juan Manuel is a vet as well so many activities with the animals will be available.
A volleyball or maybe badminton match, maybe an afternoon chilling out in a hammock. You can help Susanne to cook or if you want just read a great book in the house’s porch. At least for me sounds like a real plan.
The ranch doesn’t have electricity (only a few hours a day by power generator) so Juan Manuel checks once every two day his mails in town, so if you want to book it, please do it at least a week in advance.
He speaks great English so no worries to mail him in this language.

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