The Gaucho

The Gaucho

The Gaucho featured several times in our recent travels but I waited until we were home and I had access to some other photographs to write about it here.

La Portena03

When we were last in Argentina, in 2004, we spent some time at the beautiful Estancia La Portena,  home of the writer Ricardo Guiraldes whose classic work Don Segundo Sombra tells the story of a young gaucho out on the pampas.

La Portena horses03

We met the gauchos working on the estancia there and one took our boy out riding for a bit of an adventure.

La Portena04

We ate lunch, cooked in traditional gaucho style on the asado, under the Ombu tree and learned a little about these men and their culture.

San A di Areco silversmith06

In San Antonio de Areco we visited the gaucho museum and a workshop where the tools of their trade – possibly more decorative than functional! – were made.

As a result of all of this, I thought I knew what to expect when a gaucho turned up on board to perform some of his skills to the ship’s company one evening and rather looked forward to the show.  But there was a hitch – somewhere between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, his luggage had gone astray.  Oh no – lost luggage is a nightmare when travelling on a ship, because coordinating delivery with the limited time in a port is tricky to say the least.  We were told that he expected to receive it in Punta del Este, Uruguay, after which he would be able to perform his show.

In the meantime, people asked if we’d seen the gaucho about the ship?  Well, no we hadn’t.  How might we recognise him?  Well, it seemed he was dressed from head to toe in black and had a distinctive look. 

Nevertheless, we still didn’t catch sight of him.

Or his wife. Who, apparently had a similarly distinctive look.  But taller.

OK.  We kept an eye out for them but still didn’t see them.


Imagine our surprise when the show began, then.

Sadly, his half hour show proved to be mostly a badly edited video resume of his career, interspersed with some moves from his contortionist wife (yes, really).  They did do some drumming and he did a couple of tricks with the boleadores but really, we felt short changed.

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Fortunately, the gaucho at the tango show (dressed in black when we were there) showed what could be done.  (the bola show begins around 6.20 minutes in by the way)  The performance we saw was even more edgy and involved him spinning the bola so close to his head that his mullet haircut wafted in the draught!!

Winking smile

Never let it be said that we don’t see the best in life

A big sky weekend

A big sky weekend

Good to be home

Good to be home