On July 23rd, Road visited the Exposición Rural, an annual agriculture and livestock show in the center of Palermo. The exhibition has a lot to offer for Gauchos, other Argentines and tourists: From horse riding shows to cattle competitions, from huge tractors to driving in a jeep around obstacles, from tasting regional honey, jam and dulce de leche to purchasing a bag full of bread, cheese, salami and wine for cheap. You can even listen to Andean folklore music while eating a bife de chorizo – La Rural has it all!
For those who plan to go to the Rural for the first time, be aware: The exhibition is huge! It covers an area of around eight football pitches and there are six different buildings, the central arena and also many stands and pavilions outside. If you enter the Rural through the main entrance at Plaza Italia, on first thought you’ll think you’ve entered a farm. Cows, llamas, pigs, sheep and goats await you in the first building. Although you’re not allowed to touch them, they’re really close and if you’re lucky you’ll even get a selfie with a cute lamb or a Brahman cattle, those cows who have a big hump. In total, the Rural features more than 4500 animals.
Great shows: Horse Riding Pyramides or Polo
One of the highlights of the Rural are the activities and shows on the central court. At Road’s event, there was a big group dressed in traditional Andean costumes and riding their horses to folklore music.
A few minutes later the Escuadra Albiceleste, a cavalry section of the police of the Buenos Aires Province, showcased a spectacular horse riding show. They swung themselves from one side of the horse to the other side, stood up or crossed their paths only preventing a crash through exact timing. The show culminated in a pyramid on horses: A total of eight people piled on top of four horses while riding.
Free Food and Tremendous Tractors
After this performance, it was time to try some regional delicacies. You can try whatever they have: Wild boar sausage, dulce de leche, a variety of cheese, mate ice cream, different salamis, yam, olive oil or eucalyptus honey. But take care to not mix them too much or your stomach will revolt. After this feast of free food, you can walk through the other exhibition halls. You can talk shop about the latest giant tractors on the market or purchase local handicrafts or listen to a spontaneous jazz concert.
Also recommended are the sausage and cheese stands close to the entrance. You can get a bag full of specialities including homemade bread, wine, and different salamis at bargain prices. If you like jeeps, you can also queue up for a ride in a jeep climbing steep ramps and driving around obstacles.
The Rural is a great place to catch a glimpse of Gaucho life without actually leaving the capital.