Months ago, I was sitting in a comfy cafe chair, pushing pie into my face. We were in Ushuaia, southernmost Argentina. I was reading a folk tale about a revered gaucho who robbed the rich to give to the poor, congruent with our Robin Hood tales. Currently en route to Caviahue, a mountain village in southwest Argentina, a modern-day gaucho emerged, riding over the plains with his cattle, donning a dusty beret and bombachas. He greeted me warmly as he stopped atop a hill.
A Slice of Argentinian Pie
The guy for whom I’d been seeking subliminally was as stalwart as he was hardy. It made me wonder what he thought of us, straddling our steeds in this unforgiving environment. Urban cowboys, probably.
Cowboys and Monkey Puzzles
The gaucho is one of Argentina’s most enduring icons. Their tradition began centuries ago, herding cattle on the grassy Pampas. We’d since seen scores of these lone cowboy-like figures traveling north through Argentina. I mused at the parallel between them and us, as the nomadic cowboys once lived by breaking in horses, herding cows, and drinking the caffeine-rich herbal drink known as mate.
Motorcycles & Gear
Lisa and Jason used the following motorcycles and gear on their tour through Argentina.
2008 BMW F 800 GS
2001 BMW F 650 GS
Meanwhile, us Brits broke in our motorcycle boots, hunted down the best beef asados in town, and drank tea until the cows came home. I was intrigued by the mate beverage (pronounced mah-teh), the only cultural practice that truly transcends social barriers. Alas, its bitterness dominated the palate even with six sugars stirred in, but at least it keeps you warm.