Lightfoot Travel — Horseback Riding with a Chilean Cowboy

The mountains were vast, the sky was endless, and only the sounds of birds calling and our horses’ footsteps could be heard. There were no other people in sight and no trails in the remote Chilean wilderness — I was relying completely on Lucho, the experienced cowboy who led the way across the tall, grassy plains and through the trees of this desolate landscape.

Patagonia is a wild and rugged place, and riding horseback through the Sierra Dorotea Mountains was an adventurous, yet peaceful, way to explore and take in the inspiring beauty found in Southern Chile. Here in the Ultima Esperanza Seno — “Channel of Last Hope” — fjords carve through craggy mountain ranges that creep down hundreds of miles to the Balameda Glacier, near the end of the South American continent.

Lucho had greeted me at the estancia (ranch) in silence, with a bone-crushing handshake. He had a rough, windbeaten face beneath a jaunty black beret, and was dressed in the poncho and baggy gaucho pants that were the traditional garb for a baqueano, as Chilean cowboys are called. He clearly had an unspoken connection with the horses as he checked their saddles; the animals moved in tune with him, seeming to know what he wanted before he touched them.

Read the full story at http://www.lightfoottravel.com/collections/adventure/horseback-riding-chilean-cowboy/

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