Dick and Jane's Travels

A Travelblog (click on any picture to enlarge -- then click again to make it even bigger)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A visit to a Patagonian ranch

Visited Monday, 21 November, 2005

Quite the fun do?

On Monday, the tour flew south on LAN Chile to Puerto Montt (more on that later). On the way to the hotel, we stopped at a working ranch, Fundo Olguita – although the place probably works the tourist trade more than the land. Before lunch, we were treated to a slippery demonstration by a Chilean cowboy, called a huaso. Typically huasos pass their skills father-to-son, as was the case with the Garcia family who owned this Fundo. After lunch we were “treated” with a videotape of the father/son team’s recent competition. (Come to my house, and I’ll show you the grandkids’ pics).

Calves 1, humans 0

Unlike our rodeo with its multiplicity of events, huasos compete in a single event where two of them (with horses) ram a calf into a padded wall. Calves compete only once since they’re smart enough not to do that again. Not so the huasos—Our host, Senor Garcia, limped in to meet us with a fresh injury from his last competition. Our animal lovers were able to pet the St. Bernard who was bigger than the calves and seemed to have the local humans under better control.

Above is a photo of a ranch hand who demonstrated some clever footwork (like staying vertical) in the muddy half-moon arena as the rain visited us with varying intensity. He wears the traditional black and flat hat and the manta (like a poncho but shorter and sporting the team’s colors similar to a soccer jersey). I failed to get a picture of the huge spears but you can see them and much more by clicking here.

After lunch, we had a tour of the horse barns and jumped back on the bus for the trip to nearby Puerto Varas.
Where are we now?
Click here for an interactive map of Chile.



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