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This Way Southward: The Account of a Journey Through Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego (Equestrian Travel Classics) Paperback – September 1, 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Equestrian Travel Classics
  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: The Long Riders' Guild Press (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590480147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590480144
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,494,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A. R. Tschiffely gained his fame in the 1920s, when he took two Patagonian colts and rode them from Argentina all the way to New York. In the U.S., he was widely feted, featured in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, and even met with then-president Calvin Coolidge.

Twenty years later, toward the end of his life, Tschiffely had another fantastic trek. By car mostly (and some horseback riding), he travelled the whole length of Argentina along the coast down to Tierra del Fuego, and then he turned around and rode along the eastern edge of the Andes (along what is today Ruta 40) all the way back to Buenos Aires. Along the way, he stopped at the estancia where the two horses that helped make him famous, Mancha and Gato, were stabled. He was surprised and delighted to see that they still recognized him.

Although Bruce Chatwin is probably the most famous writer about Patagonia with his 1977 book IN PATAGONIA, I would recommend THIS WAY SOUTHWARD as the better book. Chatwin did not know the land and the people as well as Tschiffely did, nor did he love them as much -- and it shows! Some of the most poignant scenes were encounters with the last of the Tehuelche Indians, far advanced in alcoholism and driven from the open land by the miners and sheep ranchers.

A big plus is that Tschiffely is one of the great raconteurs of his time: He knew how to keep his listeners spellbound as he wove a humorous or harrowing tale, and this ability translates well into print. This is one author I would love to have met, sat down and had a drink with during his heyday.

Even if Patagonia is not your cup of tea (it certainly is mine), this is a book you will enjoy. Our ancestors would see a blank spot on the map and proceed to explore it irrespective of danger or discomfort. Now, if someone rides more than a few miles, they call in a camera crew!
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I have been after this book for a long time, and finally found it on
Equestrian Travel Classics.
It should be noted that the author took this trip, alone, and on automobile, but most
of his trip was over just barely discernible paths.
I enjoyed it very much, and since I took a similar trip on 2007, but on
paved and gravel roads, I was able to recognize the scenery which is
described in a very colorful prose.
Great find!
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