The gauchos of Patagonia are in the shadows of the towering mountains, but they are a rich fabric of this landscape. Occasionally – among the flat golden grasses you’d see one, on his horse, with his signature gaucho beret hat. He'd have an eye on his sheep with the help of his dog on the ground closely controlling the situation.
Near the end of my Patagonia travels I came down from the mountains and got a small taste of the Patagonia estancia and gaucho culture outside the town of El Calafate at the hosteria El Galpon del Glaciar. The estancia is surrounded by a vibrant blue glacial lake, Lago Argentino, on one side and skirted by the Cordillera de Los Andes on the other. A picture perfect setting on the way to Perito Moreno Glacier.
El Galpon translates into “sheering shed” – so it comes as no surprise that the main inhabitant of the estancia are sheep. The estancia is no longer a working ranch – but more of a restored relic of the old gaucho culture and wool trade. Guests learn about the history of the area and see how the ranch operated and survived. Sheep roam around the ranch and gauchos provide demonstrations on herding, shearing, and lead horse-rides.
The rooms are rustic and the food at the restaurant was the best I had in all of El Calafate. A great way to get yet another view of Patagonia.
More Info: http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/patagonia-gaucho/