The estancia was the best part of the trip.
Okay, maybe renting a car and then finally relaxing was the best part, but I associate these niceties with the Estancia El Ombú, so we'll go with that.
And I realize that several of my posts now have had nothing to do with this overall blog theme of not purchasing clothes, so let me make a sweeping segue or link or connection and say that if they had nothing to do with fashion, then I was not buying clothes at the time and therefore had to write about it. Because at this time last year, we can pretty much bet that I would have been buying clothes. At any given moment.
And actually, I ended up washing clothes in the sink and bathtub at the Ombú. We were gettin' a little gamey at that point, so I just got some soap, scrubbed 'em down, rinsed, and hung them to dry out by the pool.
I'm sure they would have washed them for us had we asked--they probably would have knitted us new clothes had we but mentioned our dirty wardrobe at all, they were that service-oriented--but I dunno...being in the countryside on a ranch just brought out that doityourselfedness that one needs to accomplish laundry via hotel bathtub. I felt proud.
Especially after riding horses all afternoon. Which, dear female audience, one should really really consider carefully when on a honeymoon trip. Just...think about it. Maybe you ought to stay behind and lounge in the chairs on the pretty lawn, take in the vista that way.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. We'd saved the estancia for our final night in Argentina. Brendon, being perhaps happiest when behind the wheel on a road trip, had arranged to rent a car at the airport in Buenos Aires.
Ha ha ha ha, the airport, ha ha ha ha! Ha ha. Ha.
We discovered that day upon returning from Montevideo that there were actually 3 airports in the city. The second, which we'd thought was the second of 2 airports, had been closed during our trip due to renovations. So when our plane deposited us at the military "airport" (a field in the suburbs) we were certainly surprised to have found airport #3!
We were also surprised to discover that the Europcar rental agency at Ezeiza (the main airport, a good, oh, hour drive away from our field-airport) was not, in fact, an agency, but rather a dude who wanders around with a sign. I guess he carries a bag of keys and a lint brush, too? Or perhaps just a helmet for the bicycle he loans out, who knows.
Needless to say, by the time we got to the main airport to collect our car, we were not thrilled to learn Europcar's mode of operation and chose to rent from dear ol' Alamo. At their kiosk, which was blessedly nailed to the floor of crowded Ezeiza. They let us rent a GPS, too, and then sweet sweetness--we were on the road!
Wow, to be in control of our own transportation. What a total thrill. For 2 hours we enjoyed greater Buenos Aires' highways into the lovely, rolling countryside. The roads were well kept, the signage easy to follow, and the GPS extremely helpful. Brendon was appropriately aggressive with the other drivers and easily fit into the driving style all around us. And we made it to El Ombú just after the afternoon asado.
Gloria introduced herself as we rolled up the little dirt road past fields of cows, goats, sheep, and llamas. Could she show us our room, please let us allow her to take our luggage, and oh my goodness had we eaten?
We were ushered to our pretty, high-ceiling quarters in the building by the pool, allowed to freshen up, and then led to the little table by the lawn where we were served salad, empanadas, and a bottle of wine.
OMG. Gorgeous. Horses trotted in the pen nearby. A kitten meowed from the overgrown wisteria vines by the kitchen. Birds chirped. I kept waiting for a Disney character to start singing somewhere.
The cows in the pasture looked positively holy. Everything was perfect.
And that was all we were to do...just lounge, enjoy the scenery. Go for a walk if we wanted. Nap by the pool. I asked for a glass of wine later in the evening while I read a book on the lawn, and Gloria brought out a tray of alfajores and some Malbec. The birds went crazy in that last hour before sunset, pecking all over the lawn for whatever little treats they were after. The sun went down, and we did soon after as well.
We were definitely sad to go. After such a whirlwind trip, it was perfect to get to wind down there. We both agreed that we could have enjoyed another day or so of just laying around by the pool. Plus we'd missed the asado, and while we probably don't need to eat beef again for several months, I'd kind of wanted to experience it in the proper Argentine setting.
So...next time. We'll stay several days next time we're in Argentina. Because we pretty much can't wait to go back.