The Feria de Mataderos, in my opinion, really does not get enough hype in the guidebooks.  I never met a single local who had been, and yet I wasn’t surprised when my friend Noa and I arrived and seemed to be the only tourists.  The fair offers a very authentic taste of Argentinean culture from the countryside and had a great array of cultural performances from around South America (at the least the day we went it was).  There were vendors selling local food from all over Argentina, parilla restaurants, craft stalls, and the best part – gauchos (Argentine cowboys).  I must say, it was well worth the accident-waiting-to-happen hour bus ride.

Gauchos preparing for the Carrera de Sortija, Feria de Mataderos

The Carrera de Sortija (The Race of the Ring) sounds a bit strange but I was hooked.  It takes place in the middle of a long straight-away road where gauchos race at insane speeds (at times I thought the horses might slide and wipe out on the dirt-less roads) towards a frame similar to a soccer goal but taller that holds a tiny metal loop that they are trying to jab a small stick into. Some pretty ridiculous horsemanship skills and from gauchos of all ages. I read somewhere that Matadero, the neighborhood the festival is in, used to be where cattle was brought in from around the country and then slaughtered and shipped back out as meat.  Definitely a place worth exploring and a great photo op.

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