Mostly recognized for their skill in horseback riding, the gauchos of Patagonia are a special breed of men. They are tough, noble, and possess an unquestionable amount of courage. Their solitude is legendary. These men are used to living alone in the wilderness for months on end, with their dogs as their only companions. They usually live in small wooden huts somewhere hidden in the forest close to a river, creek, or water-hole.
A typical day for these men is to wake up before sunrise and sit around a bonfire, mate – a strong herbal tea, traditional in Argentina – in hand, to discuss the day ahead. Their faithful companion (their dog), lying next to them, yawning and waiting patiently to set out on a new adventure. Right before dawn their horse is tacked and ready to go.
The gaucho will first check for the well-being of all the livestock (cattle and horses) around their area, check for any weaknesses on the fences and repair them if needed. They then gather the herd and lead them into the corral to vaccinate, mark, or select a group to be sold at the market. At the end of the day, when the sun goes down and the brisk Andes night approaches, they will put on their ponchos and ride back home.
They were often born and raised at the ranch where they work. They know every inch of the territory intimately. They handle themselves with such ability that it is a real pleasure to go out on a trip with them.
Riding with a gaucho provides a true, authentic Patagonian experience – an experience no one won’t soon forget!