Meet the Gauchos of Argentina
Stevie Anna describes herself “as a former West Texas rodeo kid who has spent more days with horses in her life than without.” After guiding backcountry horse trips in Alaska and Minnesota, she completed a 1,600 km solo journey throughout the amazing wilderness of Patagonia with her English shepherd Darcie and two criollos (the native horse breed of the southern cone of Latin America, capable of surviving in extreme conditions). Today, she continues to live between the USA and Argentina, while organizing horseback trips for those who would like to immerse themselves in the lifestyle of gauchos (Latin American cowboys), an endangered tradition in our globalized age.
Crossing 1000 miles across the Argentinian Patagonia on a horseback seems to have given Stevie Anna a unique insight into the life of gauchos. In her travelogue on Patagonia, Anna tells vivid stories on the daily life of gauchos, including how to drink mate properly. She also gives a detailed account of the local horse breed of Criollos and how to buy or take care of one.
During her trip of a life-time, Anna meets Carol Jones, a gaucha whose family has been living in a ranch near Bariloche and breeding horses for generations. Carol Jones is a charming character for anyone who would like to interact with horses and explore the Patagonian Andes. You can have tours of her family farm, have Argentinian asado (BBQ), or take a daily or multi-daily horseback trips in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Her rides take guests through valleys and mountains up to 2000 meters high, while guests enjoy the beautiful countryside between November and April (from Spring to Fall of the southern hemisphere).
To follow Stevie Anna: www.stevieanna.com
Photos above, from left: Drinking mate gaucho style; Carol Jones, whose family has been breeding horses in Bariloche for generations (Photo: Erik Ljung).