I listened to my book and closed my eyes for a while on the drive while most folks took the opportunity to get some more sleep. These early starts haven't been great for anyone, especially for 12 hr. days.
We got to the Marcado around 8:30 and unloaded. They kept warning us about the smell and I was curious as to whether we were also going to go into a slaughterhouse, but apparently they were just talking about the smell of the cows. Jared and I, who had both been around cows before, joked that it "smelled like money" and laughed it off:) Some of the other girls were a bit beside themselves. The market had Angus, Hereford, and Holstein (old stink cows;) but since it's going into Fall here many of them were very underfed and it was a little sad to see how bad of shape they were in. I'm used to seeing the VERY well fed cows down South. These were much smaller than Beefmasters, in terms of size, and so thin that their bones stuck out pretty badly for some of them. It was really interesting to see the market work, only about 15 men were bidding on 10,000 head of cattle, which was impressive.
After we saw the market we drove back into town to meet with Ivan Ordonez, an Agribusinss consultant, who had a great presentation on some of the new management techniques in farming. I've kicked around the idea of wanting a small subsistence farm on the side for something to do in the future, and he had some really interesting ideas for how to make things more efficient for small farms and factory farms, very interesting!
Next we headed to lunch at El Figon de Bonilla where we got to try the Pollo Milanese, an Argentine dish that could best be described as a thin slice of chicken, breaded and fried. It was very good, and we got to top it off with some excellent gelato.
Our whirlwind day headed to Zott Producciones, outside of Buenos Aires, to meet with the Co-founder and CEO, Rodolfo Montes de Oca, easily the most enthusiastic and positive thinking person I've met in a while! Zott is a promotional item manufacturing facility that produces things like cups, cardboard sleeves for McDonalds coffee, lunch boxes, etc. for businesses around the world. It was like seeing the TV show "How it's Made" in person. So cool! Robots and plastic injection machines everywhere. I took lots of pictures. Rodolfo even sent us each home with some gear so that we can cheer on Argentina in the World Cup in soccer.
We finally headed back to the hotel around 6:15, and I got to listen to my book some more on the hour long drive back into town. I have to say, I've gotten to see a fair amount of Buenos Aires and it all reminds me of other places I've seen, Cairo, Amman, Jerusalem, Paris...big cities start looking the same I guess after a while.
I got back to the hotel around 7:15 and came upstairs to start packing to leave tomorrow. We have a free morning to finish some shopping before lunch, and then the boat ride across the way to Uruguay and Montevideo.