This photo was taken using a Canon G12 at the estancia El Galpon del Glacier in the Argentine Patagonia outside the town of El Calafate. Like El Galpon, most of the Patagonia estancias in Argentina have been converted into boutique ranch hotels or deserted altogether, but at one time the hundreds of estates that dot the pampas would have employed dozens of traveling gauchos each year like Freddy who could shear a sheep in three minutes flat. When El Galpon was a working estancia, there would have been around 3 acres per sheep due to the sparse vegetation of the steppe, and the estate would have owned approximately 25,000 sheep. All of the sheep would have to be sheared early in the year, or they wouldn’t have time to grow a few layers back before the fatal winters at the end of the world arrived. You could say they would be too sheer to survive…

At one time, Freddy would have been in charge of a group of shearers who would strip almost 200 sheep in their 9-hour day. Now he manages the hotel’s stables and the few sheep the estancia has kept, so guests can witness the tradition. He worked quickly, brutally and without a word, making his departure immediately after rolling out the fruits of his labor.

This moment was captured in 2012. It could be 1890.

February 19, 2012 4 Comments Travel


  1. RITA February 19, 2012

    It is amazing how you are connecting me to the world through the lens of your eye. I am so enjoying the journey.

  2. Melissa Mack February 19, 2012

    You create an exciting adventure.

  3. tod February 20, 2012

    agree with earlier comments. is the countryside as beautiful as i

    have heard and read ???? All my love. Stay safe !!!!

  4. Jim July 17, 2012

    You OK? Are you still out there? Sorry, but I just realized you haven’t posted in quite a while.

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