As you see from the bare tree branches, it was winter down there. It was chilly at times, but when the sun was out, it was like a pleasant autumn day up here.
A number of the gauchos were dressed in traditional attire, including "bombachas", baggy pants tucked into their boots. The "bombachas" are worn with a coin-studded belt. (In the old days, the belt was a gaucho's portable "bank account".)
Tucked into the back of the belt, the gaucho would have his "facón", a knife which was used not only as a weapon, but for eating meat grilled outdoors on the range.
Yours truly posing with the gauchos
A couple of future gauchos
We were given a chance to try "yerba mate", a type of tea made from the leaves of a native shrub. It is the most popular beverage in Argentina and Uruguay. It is steeped in a hollowed out gourd and drunk through a metal straw called a "bombilla" which has a strainer at the end. It is rather bitter, but with sugar is not bad.
We were also given a demonstration of a typical gaucho sport, "sortija". A ring ("sortija") is suspended from an upright.
The gauchos then gallop on horseback under the upright. They hold a small wooden peg in their hand, and attempt to grab the ring.
A lunch of grilled meats was prepared for us.
During lunch we were entertained by a performance of traditional gaucho music and dancing.