Photographer Eddie Thornton offers a photo story of his time at Estancia Ranquilco

BY Jody Dahl | Sun 01 May, 2011

Photographer shares his experience at Estancia Ranquilco with Top50 Ranches and our visitors. Also read about Top50's trip to Estancia Ranquilco - detailing a 3 hour ride just to reach the working estancia! 

Last night I dreamt of Ranquilco, the ideal riding holiday. Perhaps the timid city wind that toyed listlessly with my bedroom curtains blew in memories of its mighty Patagonian cousin that whipped across the sun scorched mountains and filled our grinning mouths with dust. The wind that snatched the gleeful whoops from gauchos' mouths and tossed them ineffective into the valley below, as we made our final decent to the 'big house' and the Asado barbecue.

We'd raced against the shortening day to reach the river by last light, and now, with hats clutched firmly to our heads we urge our blowing horses to forge the icy water; the taste of roast goat and chilled red wine already on our lips. And at last our hoots and whistles are heard above and answered by those already there. We are the last arrivals, and the meat is almost cooked.

Horses to pasture and tack stowed away, we join our friends on the terrace as the baby goat is removed from the spike on which it has been roasting by hot coals for hours. Joining the Patron and his family are a medley of paying guests, young volunteer workers and gauchos. And crowding around the Asado pit, each with a hunk of bread and  ludicrously oversized knife in hand,  we jostle for the best cuts of dripping  meat. Jam jars of chilled red wine wash down the hot tender chunks cut liberally from the bone, and for a short while Ranquilco bathes in the satisfied silence of appeased hunger. But as the moon rises across the valley, and the notes from an accordion strike up,  we suck the fat from greasy fingers and stow away our gaucho knives. Now it's time to dance.

Pictured below:Photographer, Eddie Thornton - Eddie spent several months at Estancia Ranquilco experiencing their way of life and enjoying the ultimate riding holiday.

riding holiday Estancia Ranquilco

Gaucho drinking a traditional drink - mate

Estancia Ranquilco

Moving cattle at Estancia Ranquilco

Eddie Thornton Estancia Ranquilco

Don Jose

ultimate riding holiday

Gaucho at work

best riding holidays

The Autumn Roundup

best dude ranch vacation

Preparing to move the herd to winter pasture

best dude ranches

Goat Asado

Goat Asado

Dancing to traditional gaucho music

working ranch estancia

http://www.flickr.com/photos/eddiethornton

Whether you head to one of Top50's dude ranch vacations, guest ranch vacations, working ranch vacations we know you'll have a great time. Or book a riding holiday estancia Argentina or a riding holiday, or to a working ranch in New Zealand, or go horse trekking in Australia, either way Top50 can help you find that ideal ranch experience.



TAGS: top 50 ranches, estancia ranquilco, south america, riding holidays, eddie thornton, argentina

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