La Bamba de Areco

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sep 2017

Only the pampas’ prairie beyond Buenos Aires’ north-western suburbs can silence the enthusiasm that Big Sur glaciers stirred in us. We have just left them. It is a summer Sunday; the wind pampers the trees’ foliage with deep hypnotic caresses. At the end of a dirt road, a young gaucho awaits us near the gate, as sculpturesque and fierce as the horse he controls with minimal moves. We follow him up to the entrance of a purple residence edged in white, along an intimate procession that cuts in half the neat land at sunset. Everything in this maternal rural landscape seems to be cautiously dancing with ancestral moves. The grass is greener, and the sky is airier and higher. This Land has become, also for us, a promise of happiness.

La Bamba: from the Celtic word ‘Bahamba’, a place of refreshment and reception. The estancia was founded in 1830 as the first stage of Camino Real, where pilgrims seeking their fortune up North could rest, and the last one before they reached the city on their way back. We explore it barefoot, walk through cool muffled rooms and the age-old garden, and experience our ‘refreshment’ dangling our feet in the emerald-green water of the swimming pool. La Bamba de Areco is both a legend and a modern oasis, both country life and polished beauty, both pride and generosity; it is a mix of wishes that stirs sudden involvement and clear affection. Dinner takes place at a shared table in the dining room of the master’s house. Domestic conviviality is shared with the guests and preceded by an aperitif in the living room, among equestrian decorations and chubby sofas. You break the ice as if you were at a home party with curious, unknown guests. The menu consists of a vegetarian composition, delicious loin and a fruit and cream dessert. Some guests retire to their own patio or to the library. We go back to the garden, now dotted with fireflies, our backs at the Pulperia and our stares at the dark fields.

Tomorrow we will wake up at dawn, while the medialunas rise in the oven. For us, being on vacation does not mean oversleeping, but favouring discovery instead. Our prize will be a carpet of soft grass and dew that records each one of our steps. The sun on one side, polo players and their horses on the other, training back and forth on the horizon. Both remind us that the world only needs more simplicity and devotion. And we need more dawns like this.

Words and pictures Laura Taccari. Translation Alessia Andriolo. An artisanal travel experience curated by Mai 10.


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