We got off the bus with bleary eyes from our 26 hours of travelling. Making our way from Iguazu Falls, in Argentina, to Tacuarembó in Uruguay, wasn’t the easiest route but we were finally there and ready to spend the next two days in rural Uruguay in an authentic cowboy camp.
Our host Pedro, and his Grandson Bautista, picked us up form the bus station and we piled into his pickup. It was another hour to Estancia Yvytu Itaty; during the last 17kms of which we would see nothing but dirt tracks, cows, fields and some ostrich!
When we arrived we were greeted warmly by Nahir, Pedro’s wife, and welcomed with a roaring fire into their lovely home.
Pedro and Nahir have been renting out rooms in their house since 2007, offering travellers the chance to experience life on a traditional Uruguayan Estancia.
We awoke the next day, a little later than planned due to lack of sleep on overnight buses (and one extremely comfy bed) and tucked in to breakfast. Nahir makes all of what we enjoyed: the yogurt, cheese, milk, jams. Everything, that is, apart from the bread; “I’d love to make bread but I don’t have the time” she explains. It’s a wonder how she has time to make the rest of it. Over our two days she was constantly cooking us up a feast – not forgetting her incredible “chocolate especial” which we drank alongside lovely cake one afternoon.
Having only ridden a horse once in about 15 years, I had images of me falling off in a dramatic fashion whilst out in the fields with Pedro. Not to worry though – he had horses for all abilities; including absolute novice. We rode out over hills, through streams and woods, accompanied by two dogs. As I looked in to the distance I felt like a real cowgirl; all I needed was a lasso.
We came across and armadillo and got the chance to hold it and then smelt the smell of a skunk trying to get us away from him.
When we weren’t riding in the fields we explored the farm or played with puppies.
The second day the heavens opened. Whilst we didn’t venture outside much we relaxed by the fire, ate delicious traditional food and flicked through photos of all the guests Nahir and Pedro have entertained before being driven back to Tacuarembó.
Estancia Yvytu Itaty gives you everything you need for a true Gaucho experience and was a great way to see the more traditional side of Uruguay.