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Stories of the Villa Gesell Anglers` Club

Texts Photos Pablo Etchevers

The Villa Gesell seaside resort hides a story without any precise dates or names that is part of the experience of its dwellers beyond the local tourist attractions. A love story full of nobility. The story of Pancho.

Pancho, the dog at the Anglers' Club Pier in Villa Gesell
Just Another Day of Fishing

The inhabitants of Villa Gesell say that the truth lies hidden down there, lost in time and in the depths of the sea.

A dark-eyed German Shepherd dog with a vivacious look called “Pancho” became friends both with tourists and the neighbors of 129 Street and Costanera, where the Anglers' Club lies.

The legend goes that a dog escorted his master to the pier like every morning approximately 10 years ago. The angler fell to the water. No one knows if it was a voluntary act, bad luck or an accident. The truth is that the sea took his life for ever.

Pancho, without understanding what was going on, used to his daily routine of going back with his owner and the fish he had caught, began searching for him frantically for hours on end until the sunset suggested a dissapointing idea, which he refused to accept.
Pancho, the dog at the Anglers' Club Pier in Villa Gesell
Pancho, the dog at the Anglers' Club Pier in Villa Gesell
And thus, without knowing if it was a farewell or what, Pancho was tied to the pier by his own will, waiting for the moment his owner would be back.

Like a Lighthouse Looking onto the Sea

He spent years on end looking at the sea. With his sad eyes, which gradually began to reflect the blue color of the ocean thus replacing the old black of his pupils.

No one could change his mind: neither delicious dishes nor intense care or timely strokes. Many have wanted to adopt him and offer him a new house, a new life or just a place to keep on waiting, but just a door left ajar or a brief memory would make him flee again towards the pier.

Sixty-six-year-old Ofelia de Fontana, local writer, has dedicated him a nice poem called "Noble Dog", which perfectly conveys this painful love story and is hanged at the entrance of the pier.
Pancho, the dog at the Anglers' Club Pier in Villa Gesell
He put up with heartless cold temperatures, cruel storms and the heat of the sun. And he only left in order to do his most urgent business on some woods under the pier or to watch the arrival of some raft carrying anglers to see if his friend was among them. But he would go back to his post at once, standing like a lighthouse that marks the shore for the anglers.

With his dark hair, some fair spots on his chest and a light halo around his face, Pancho was a living treasure for tourists, lifeguards and anglers.

The Story Remains Alive

The owner of the pier coffee-shop, Jorge Ríos and his wife Mabel, remember him with heroism and explain that even when he was old and sick he would keep on waiting for his master to return, until death found him a couple of months after the beginning of the year 2000.

Today, Pancho is buried to the right of the pier, where a plate with his name on it pays tribute to him. The tourists that visit this place year after year are surprised by the story of Pancho, which apart from being “hanged” in the pier along with his photograph, is famous among all the dwellers of Villa Gesell.
Pancho, the dog at the Anglers' Club Pier in Villa Gesell
Pancho, the dog at the Anglers' Club Pier in Villa Gesell
Maybe Pancho has already joined his master in a happy encounter and the answers to such a noble wait have finally been given. And that endless stroke must have extinguished all the pain and anxiousness that, in spite of the passing of time, has never broken the unconditional love a dog could feel for his master.

Related tours:
Beach Bars at Villa Gesell
Villa Gesell has renewed and rebuilt its beaches thinking of the weather changes and effects to come

A Walk by the Sea
The wind on the face and the salty smell in the atmosphere are constant companions while walking alongside the shore

    See also:
Hotels and accommodation in Villa Gesell

Welcome Argentina - People & Characters in Villa Gesell
© 2003-2021 Total or partial reproduction forbidden. Derechos de Autor 675246 Ley 11723


Useful Data

All day.

The pier is open 24 hours a day, but dawn and sunset are the most beautiful moments to visit it. It is not necessary to be an angler in order to enter the pier. You only have to pay the visitors entrance ticket.


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