"I don't know how Terry does it, but without any sight, he has excellent vision, truly great vision."

- Hugo (Camp Cook)

Hugo embodies the noblest of gaucho values: hospitality, honor and humor. He respects tradition but isn’t bound by convention. He has devoted his life to the Cordillera, the Criollo horses and “agua” (wine).

If not connected by language (Hugo only speaks Spanish while Terry only speaks English), they are united by disposition. Both men share an equally lyrical view of the world and express their vision with grace.

Hugo compares how he and Terry see the world (translation below).

  • Close-up portrait of Hugo - the camp cook - shouting his dawn wake-up call.
  • Bundled in their wool ponchos and berets, two gauchos lead the mules into the stormy mountains.
  • A heroic portrait of Hugo, tall in the saddle, as he surveys the route ahead.

"I don't know how Terry does it, but without any sight, he has excellent vision, truly great vision. He can definitely identify the details of what's happening around him. He can identify the details of what's happening around him simply from what he hears. He has a sensitive ear that is in tune with his surroundings.

I've spent my life working outdoors. I don't know if sight 'extends' to adjust to the horizon, but I have trouble reading up close. I can distinguish if an animal in the distance is a sheep, or a goat, or a cow, or a horse. With experience, you learn to accurately recognize any movement in the hills. You can see the difference in the colors of the pasture and the trees to find the animals."

  • Close-up of maté gourd overflowing with fresh yerba and hot water, bombilla (metal straw) at the ready.
  • World-weary and weather-worn hands exchange the maté gourd over the campfire.
  • Close-up of Gaucho’s mouth as he sips from the maté gourd’s bombilla.

Maté is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink. It is prepared by steeping dried leaves of yerba maté in hot water and served with a metal straw (bombilla) from a shared hollow calabash gourd (cuia).

Maté is typically drunk in a particular social setting, such as family gatherings or with friends. The same gourd and straw are used by everyone drinking. One person (cébador) assumes the task of server. Maté has a strong cultural significance as both national identity and social gatherer, at the extent of being the national drink of Argentina, it is considered to be a tradition taken from the gauchos.

Next: Ascent