22 February 2024

Cerro Guido’s Estancia Tradition: Shearing and Weaving

Preserving the spirit of Patagonia is the mission of Estancia Cerro Guido and therefore, among the activities that our hotel offers is the Cultural Tour through the historic center of the Estancia where we are located.

When we arrive at the hotel, we are told that the Cultural Tour that Estancia Cerro Guido has prepared for us will be at three o’clock in the afternoon. That is, we must have lunch, rest for a while and then meet the guide who will take us to know the facilities of the Estancia.

We were resting in our comfortable beds, when we were called from the hotel reception to let us know that our guide was waiting for us to start the tour.

The trip here was long and without a doubt, I’m tired, but being locked up or in my room, I feel like I’m missing out on something. Patagonia has an energy that begins to captivate you as soon as you set foot in it, and it grabs you little by little.

Thus, enthusiastic, I got up, washed my face in order to remove any hint of drowsiness and headed to the Salon, where they were waiting for me to start the tour. I must admit that, on the way to the agreed place, I got lazy at the thought of my comfortable room, but I love to learn about the culture and history of the places I visit, so it was not so difficult to forget about my laziness.

Cultural Tour

The Cultural Tour begins with a brief presentation at the Administration House of Estancia Cerro Guido, an old construction dating from 1906. It is the first building of the facilities.

In the house you can appreciate very distinctive details of previous times and the area where we are. For example, the main room of the house has a wood stove that is right in the center, which shows how necessary heating was and still is here, at the end of the world.

After the presentation, which gave us a very good explanation about the history of Estancia Cerro Guido and which builds a reliable profile of the Patagonian traditions and culture still present in the Magallanes region, we began to walk through the historic center of the Estancia.

So, we started at the stables where we talked with the “baqueanos”, while we shared a mate, brewed by themselves. We learned about the work and life of a Patagonian gaucho and his animals, faithful daily companions.

We continue our tour of the orchard, where they explain the work, production and maintenance of the fruits of the Patagonian soil. Jackie, the person in charge of the orchard that day, comments on how difficult agricultural production is in lands where climatic conditions simply do not allow anything to grow without a major effort.

However, the garden, besides being an organic production, is rich in many products such as rhubarb, garlic, lettuce, radishes and in the greenhouse, tomatoes, among other fruits and vegetables, which are used in the hotel’s kitchen every day.

We continue our tour and after passing by the facilities of the Cerro Guido Cattle Ranch, which includes the Dining Room, a historic building of the Estancia that was used as a place of rest and food for the former workers of the Estancia, we arrive at the Shearing Shed where Victor Sharp, the “baqueano” and Mrs. Jaqueline, a neighbor of Villa Cerro Guido, are waiting for us.

Shearing and Weaving

Once in the shearing shed of Estancia Cerro Guido, we realize that it was a very important point for the production of wool because of its size. Here, Victor Sharp will give us a sample of shearing, a task often forgotten in time.

Shearing is an ancient craft. There are very few people who dedicate themselves to this work. There are many reasons why it is no longer practiced. Among them, the modernization of the methods and the value of the wool.

However, in some corners of the world it is still performed. In fact, starting January 13, Estancia Cerro Guido will hold the great annual shearing when the Comparsa, a group of professional shearers, will come to perform the service in the Shearing Shed.

It is very striking to watch. Victor drags the sheep, places it between his legs and, even though the animal looks uncomfortable, it is comfortable and relaxed. You can see this because, otherwise, the sheep would start kicking to get rid of the pressure, which is not the case.

Starting with the sheep’s stomach, the shearing machine, very similar to the shaving machines used in barber shops, but with a different comb, begins to pass through the sheep. Thus, it advances through the whole animal: legs, back, neck and head. Before you know it, the sheep leaves with seven kilos less (weight of its wool), more comfortable and fresh.

Immediately, Victor takes the fleece (wool extracted from the sheep) and stretches it in a single movement on a kind of display table. He explains to us the process of the wool, how it is piled, pressed and packaged for sale.

After this demonstration, we went to Jessica’s stand, who is an artisan and has lived in Villa Cerro Guido for many years. She works with wool, that is, she spins it, dyes it, rolls it and uses it to create beautiful products.

Our experience in the Cultural Tour, ending at the Shearing Shed has been a journey through time. We learned about the ranching tradition, Patagonian life and a lifestyle that is rarely seen.

Faced with an imposing and unique landscape such as the Torres del Paine that rise on the horizon, observable from the hotel, it is normal for tourists or visitors to overlook the culture of people at the end of the world. Our mission and objective is to value and preserve the legacy of Patagonia, recognizing its actors and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Visit Estancia Cerro Guido

Do you want to travel and experience the cultures of the world? Estancia Cerro Guido welcomes you with open arms so you can immerse yourself in a village at the end of the world. Here you will get to know a different lifestyle, unique characters and pristine landscapes.

Book your stay at Estancia Cerro Guido by clicking here, we
are waiting for you!

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