Except for its capital, Montevideo, which is located in the south, the rest of the country is characterized by large extensions of land dedicated to agricultural purposes and livestock production. The Rio Negro river crosses and divides the country into two almost equal halves, the vast majority of sheep producers are in the northern part. These animals live in perfect harmony with their environment, enjoying large areas where they can develop freely, access natural waters and take refuge in native forests. Rural life in the country is the same when visiting any farmer. Farms are establishments managed by families for generations. Farmers enjoy a calmer rhythm of life, covering the property on horseback and abiding by the rhythm set by nature and not by the city.
To visit the farm of the Artola family, one must travel approximately 600 km. As soon as one leaves the city, great meadows with animals living in freedom begin to surround the route. Fernando, as a good host, awaits us with ready horses and mate, a national drink that is part of the Uruguayan culture. Before going out to explore the countryside, he shows us the great valley that can be admired from the main house. “You must stay to watch the sunset, the sun sets in the middle, it is the most beautiful moment of the day,” he tells us. It is clear that of his family, who have been working in the farm for 3 generations, he is the one who takes care of the establishment for his love for country life and for the sheep in particular. Over 20,000 merino sheep live freely together with cows and rheas amongst kilometers and kilometers of land.
Something that also characterizes the countryside is the indigenous heritage that makes Fernando so proud. As a visitor, what strikes one the most is seeing the enormity of the land with its small hills and valleys and how, although there are many animals, they are lost among natural meadows. The greatness of the countryside is absorbing and one forgets that the city is 600 km away. The rhythm of the countryside is the rhythm of nature and ending the day watching the sunset is the perfect ending to the visit. Fernando was right.