El Calafate, Argentina

The New Gauchos of Patagonia


Horseback riding in shades of gold
El Chabón Gustavo Holzmann gallops after his herd of horses, which is accompanied by dogs.
Argentine from the Golden Pampas
Worker from the Nibepo Aike estate dressed in the good gaucho style of the province of Santa Cruz.
In full clipping
A sheep is shorn, trapped between the legs of a gaucho from the Nibepo Aike estate.
soaked homestead
View of the Nibepo Aike estate on a rainy day in Patagonia.
a lonely sheep
Sheep investigates the entry of humans into a stable on the Nibepo Aike estate.
of patrol
Bird of prey scans the plain for prey.
Pure Argentina: Mate & Parrilla
Gaucho from the Nibepo Aike estate enjoys mate tea while controlling the slow roasting of a lamb parrilla.
ready parilla
Ready-to-eat parilla after long roasting over hot coals.
fast stream
A stream fed by rain and melting mountains crosses the yellowish pampas near El Calafate.
Dead nature
A hare hunted by Gustavo Holzmann's dogs, hanging from his saddle.
bovine deco
Decorative detail of the "estancia" Nibepo Aike.
ride break
El Chabón - Gustavo Holzmann savors the gentle sun that falls on the Argentine Patagonia area around El Calafate.
intrigued sheep
A small herd gathered in a yellow plain pasture around El Calafate.
In full clipping II
Gaucho shears a sheep from the Nibepo Aika farm, following traditional Patagonian methods.
Anita in Argentina
The entrance to another one of the many "estancias" in this inland area of ​​Argentine Patagonia.
costumes at will
Another of the gauchos from the "estancia" Nibepo Aike, this one in more relaxed clothes than composed.
Conforming costumes
Detail of gaucho fashion on the waist of one of the gauchos from the Nibepo Aike estate.
Around El Calafate, instead of the usual shepherds on horseback, we come across gauchos equestrian breeders and others who exhibit, to the delight of visitors, the traditional life of the golden pampas.

We stopped in the middle of a South American nowhere, determined to contemplate the golden immensity of the steppe.

Five minutes pass. From the confines of that very nothingness, a galloping herd of horses appears, accompanied, side by side by a pack of dogs, all of them determined either to control the herd or lead the race.

In the tail of the bizarre cavalcade, a gaucho with a whip at the ready urges them.

When he sees us on the side of the road, the gaucho abandons the pursuit. Come and greet us.

We noticed that a hare that the dogs had hunted bloodied the saddle and the fur of the mount and we warned him as a joke: “These dogs still break out with such dedication!”.

"No, they're more than used to it." answer us. “When we return, they will eat a lot. Afterwards, they sleep for a good few hours. It's beautiful around here, isn't it? If you want to come on a horseback ride one of these days, ask for me downtown. Everyone knows me. I'm El Chabón.”

We talked a little more and said goodbye. El Chabón, its herd of horses and dogs are back on the run. Vanish over the horizon. We got back to the car and the soggy road.

Later, we would discover that that brave but courteous character, wrapped in leather and something missing in a black hat and a beard as or as darker, had the name of Gustavo Holzmann.

It was an Argentine of Hungarian descent, born in Buenos Aires who moved in 1985 to the outskirts of El Calafate, with the plan to breed horses.

El Chabón was the Argentine term equivalent to the Spanish uncle, the Brazilian guy, and the Portuguese guy because he had become known in the region.

Over time, Gustavo became a kind of local king of horseback riding.

According to the descriptions and compliments that we learned about, he dedicated himself to his business with all his soul, proud to provide clients with moments of genuine adventure, good mood and socializing in the extraordinary scenarios of Patagonia.

It didn't stop there.

He gave himself over to permaculture and began giving hippotherapy sessions. So fruitful has his relationship with horses become that Gustavo has come to consider a “horseman".

We return to Provincial Route RP15 departing from El Calafate towards the Andes and glaciers to the south.

Slowly and, from time to time, to those about the gravel (area) slippery, we advance along the huge cliff that shelters the city and the steppe carpeted in yellow by the countless bushes from the cold, the crowns.

We travel through the endless space where herds of sheep and herds of horses roam at the leisure of the pasture. And where rabbits jump, frightened by the birds of prey and the predatory dogs of El Chabón.

The continuation of road 15 leads us to the entrance of emblematic sheep farms in the area. El Galpon del Glaciar, Nibepo Aike, Anita, among others.

Against good pesos, euros or dollars, almost all of them pamper outsiders with a soothing Patagonian warmth and the best roasts and barbecues from the country. Aware of the reputation of Grill Argentines, we didn't want to be an exception.

We pass under the portal of resort Nibepo Aike decided to undergo one of these treatments, overlooking elevations sprinkled in white. Snow still fell in the higher lands. The rain irrigated the lower lands.

Upon arrival, a trio of gauchos, each dressed in their own style, welcomes us, all within the standards of the gaucho tradition of Santa Cruz province.

They guide us on a short tour of the wooden buildings closest to the property. Afterwards, they are led to an unobstructed but dismal stable where several sheep are waiting for them.

In three times, two of them collaborate to capture and dominate a sheep. They tie her paws and lay her on the floor. With the animal wrapped around, we almost only see a white snout that sticks out from a large ball of cream fur.

The scissors that follow steal most of the sheep's plentiful wool. They leave her looking youthful and innocent, covered in a thin layer of almost white fur.

Against the intermediate cold and torpor, another good-natured and picturesque gaucho in a felt hat, khaki shirt, buttoned maroon vest and apron from the waist down, sips mate tea.

drink it from bulb traditional that you hold with affection as you run your eyes over the grill still roasting over coals.

This is followed by a long lunch much more deserved by these Patagonian cowboys than any of the visitors, who simply admire their work, the scenery of the Nibeko Aike resort and, wherever it may be, find out about their curious past. .

According to what they tell us, the estate originated in the settlement and partnership of a group of Croatian emigrants, at the beginning of the XNUMXth century in which Santiago Peso (the name adapted to Argentina, not the original) and the Trutanic and Stipcic families formed a society in which Santiago participated with his work and the other partners with the purchase of sheep, other animals and equipment.

In 1936, Santiago Peso died of tuberculosis. Six years later, his wife Maria Martinic – who continued to explore the estate with her three daughters – bought the parts that belonged to her husband's partners.

In 1947, he decided to change the name of the resort from La Jerónima to Nibepo Aike. Nibepo was a composite of the first letters of the affectionate nicknames of her descendants, Nini, Bebe and Poroka, followed by Aike, an indigenous term tehuelche which means “place of”.

In 1976, Doña Maria died. Nini bought part of the sisters' homestead. It is Adolfo, one of his sons who is currently in charge of the administration.

Times have also changed across the vast Patagonia. Sheep farming is no longer the livelihood of the estates, especially around El Calafate where the visits and stays of the many tourists who arrive are attracted by the imposing beauty of the Perito Moreno glacier they yield incomparably more to owners.

Accordingly, even if in smaller quantities, some Gauchos see their jobs intact. Instead of taking care of flocks with thousands of sheep, as before, they employ their arts only a few dozen.

Hundreds at best. To compensate, they improve their social skills and talk like never before, with people like us, arriving from across the oceans and from all over the world.

A fine, fluttering snow falls. Gauchos know the treacherous instability of the RP-15, even worse for the small SUVs rented in El Calafate where we used to move.

António, one of them, makes a point of warning us about what awaited us with the best humor he remembered: “well friends, if you were already slipping on your way here, get ready, now it will be much worse!. Don't you want to go back on one of our horses? They get a little wet, but they go much safer! "

We laugh and laugh at the improbability of the suggestion and refuse with any joke that doesn't measure up.

We got into the car with our head and shoulders already covered in flakes and once again we did it at random.

As expected, along the way, we skated and corrected run-off trajectories over and over again.

It took us an eternity, but there we arrived at El Calafate safe, safe and dazzled by the whims of that endless Patagonia of Rio Grande do Sul.

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
El Chalten, Argentina

The Granite Appeal of Patagonia

Two stone mountains have created a border dispute between Argentina and Chile. But these countries are not the only suitors. The Fitz Roy and Torre hills have long attracted die-hard climbers
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Perth, Australia

The Oceania Cowboys

Texas is on the other side of the world, but there is no shortage of cowboys in the country of koalas and kangaroos. Outback rodeos recreate the original version and 8 seconds lasts no less in the Australian Western.
Mendoza, Argentina

From One Side to the Other of the Andes

Departing from Mendoza city, the N7 route gets lost in vineyards, rises to the foot of Mount Aconcagua and crosses the Andes to Chile. Few cross-border stretches reveal the magnificence of this forced ascent
Iguazu/Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina

The Great Water Thunder

After a long tropical journey, the Iguaçu River gives a dip for diving. There, on the border between Brazil and Argentina, form the largest and most impressive waterfalls on the face of the Earth.
San Ignacio Mini, Argentina

The Impossible Jesuit Missions of San Ignacio Mini

In the century. In the XNUMXth century, the Jesuits expanded a religious domain in the heart of South America by converting the Guarani Indians into Jesuit missions. But the Iberian Crowns ruined the tropical utopia of the Society of Jesus.
Beagle Channel, Argentina

Darwin and the Beagle Channel: on the Theory of the Evolution Route

In 1833, Charles Darwin sailed aboard the "Beagle" through the channels of Tierra del Fuego. His passage through these southern confines shaped the revolutionary theory he formulated of the Earth and its species
Ushuaia, Argentina

The Last of the Southern Cities

The capital of Tierra del Fuego marks the southern threshold of civilization. From Ushuaia depart numerous incursions to the frozen continent. None of these play and run adventures compares to life in the final city.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
Safari
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal,

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Adventure
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
orthodox procession
Ceremonies and Festivities
Suzdal, Russia

Centuries of Devotion to a Devoted Monk

Euthymius was a fourteenth-century Russian ascetic who gave himself body and soul to God. His faith inspired Suzdal's religiosity. The city's believers worship him as the saint he has become.
Chania Crete Greece, Venetian Port
Cities
Chania, Crete, Greece

Chania: In the West of Crete's History

Chania was Minoan, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Venetian and Ottoman. It got to the present Hellenic nation as the most seductive city in Crete.
Meal
Markets

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Correspondence verification
Culture
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Sport
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Traveling
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Pisang, Nepal,

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Ngawal when the last snow faded.
Miniature houses, Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Volcano, Cape Verde
Ethnic
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fogo

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Exotic Signs of Life

Dark day
History

Lake Cocibolca, Nicaragua

sea, sweet sea

Indigenous Nicaraguans treated the largest lake in Central America as Cocibolca. On the volcanic island of Ometepe, we realized why the term the Spaniards converted to Mar Dulce made perfect sense.

Dominica, Soufriére and Scotts Head, island background
Islands
Soufriere e Scotts Head, Dominica

The Life That Hangs from Nature's Caribbean Island

It has the reputation of being the wildest island in the Caribbean and, having reached its bottom, we continue to confirm it. From Soufriére to the inhabited southern edge of Scotts Head, Dominica remains extreme and difficult to tame.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
Kukenam reward
Literature
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

Persist on top of Mte. Roraima extraterrestrial scenarios that have withstood millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never set foot on it.
Lenticular cloud, Mount Cook, New Zealand.
Nature
Mount cook, New Zealand

The Cloud Piercer Mountain

Aoraki/Mount Cook may fall far short of the world's roof but it is New Zealand's highest and most imposing mountain.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
PN Timanfaya, Mountains of Fire, Lanzarote, Caldera del Corazoncillo
Natural Parks
PN Timanfaya, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

PN Timanfaya and the Fire Mountains of Lanzarote

Between 1730 and 1736, out of nowhere, dozens of volcanoes in Lanzarote erupted successively. The massive amount of lava they released buried several villages and forced almost half of the inhabitants to emigrate. The legacy of this cataclysm is the current Martian setting of the exuberant PN Timanfaya.
fortress wall of Novgorod and the Orthodox Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, Russia.
UNESCO World Heritage
Novgorod, Russia

Mother Russia's Viking Grandmother

For most of the past century, the USSR authorities have omitted part of the origins of the Russian people. But history leaves no room for doubt. Long before the rise and supremacy of the tsars and the soviets, the first Scandinavian settlers founded their mighty nation in Novgorod.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Characters
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Viti Levu, Fiji Islands, South Pacific, coral reef
Beaches
Viti levu, Fiji

Islands on the edge of Islands

A substantial part of Fiji preserves the agricultural expansions of the British colonial era. In the north and off the large island of Viti Levu, we also came across plantations that have only been named for a long time.
Detail of the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, Assam, India.
Religion
Guwahati, India

The City that Worships Kamakhya and the Fertility

Guwahati is the largest city in the state of Assam and in North East India. It is also one of the fastest growing in the world. For Hindus and devout believers in Tantra, it will be no coincidence that Kamakhya, the mother goddess of creation, is worshiped there.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
View of Fa Island, Tonga, Last Polynesian Monarchy
Society
Tongatapu, Tonga

The Last Polynesian Monarchy

From New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii, no other monarchy has resisted the arrival of European discoverers and modernity. For Tonga, for several decades, the challenge was to resist the monarchy.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Wildlife
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.
PT EN ES FR DE IT