Peaceful La Pampa

Just an hour drive west of the busy cosmopolitan province of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, seems worlds away. It is a peaceful escape from the constant urban buzz of one of the busiest capital cities in the world. The vast grasslands of La Pampa are dotted with estancias (ranches) that surround the provincial capital city of Santa Rosa and are, perhaps, the terrain that Argentina is most known for.
La Pampa has a wide range of climate zones that produce myriad of topography and extremely fertile terrain. The southwest is home to lizards, pumas and guanacos and is scarcely inhabited. In converse, the plains of the northeast are more fertile and suitable for cattle and sheep grazing, and cultivating corn and wheat.  
As you travel the never-ending horizon, you will find scenes that come alive and take you back in time. Estancias (ranches) spread throughout the plains each covering thousands of acres at a time. Mate (ma-tey) is sipped in the late afternoon, when the estancia owner sits with his peones (ranch hands) in a gesture of communion. A day at an authentic estancia is like a trip back in time. 
La Pampa is where the Gaucho (Argentine cowboy) originated. Although rare, they can still occasionally be spotted skillfully training wild horses and herding cattle on the prairies. For the most part, the authentic Gaucho is now a legendary figure that is mostly found in history books. My abuelo (grandfather) was one of the original Argentine Gauchos.  

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