Ranches are called estancias this far south, and to protect their sheep from wild puma predators Argentineans do not hesitate to make an example out of intruders. It’s a brutal juxtaposition with the natural beauty of the landscape and a reminder of just how tough these remote landowners have to be to coax a living from this barren landscape.
It wasn’t always such a solitary place. Caves preserved near the private Estancia la Maria show hundreds of different stone age handprints from original peoples. The purpose of the paintings are long forgotten but it isn’t a stretch to imagine a similar warning to outsiders: keep away, we are many and you do not belong.
Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa. Like travel anthologies? I’m in a brand new one called Alone Together: Tales of Sisterhood and Solitude in Latin America which you can get here.