‘May I tell you how to get to Annie’s place?’ Someone from Kaiken lodge kindly asked and indicated us the road to Estancia
Rolito, owned by Annie Luna and her family, who were also our hosts.
On our arrival at Estancia
Rolito, we were welcomed by Annie and her daughter Ana with delicious mates
-which we drunk next to the firewood stove- and freshly baked salt biscuits. The house was very cozy, decorated with rural utensils and built with huge windows which let the natural light stream in.
As Annie prepared lunch, she told us how her grandfather, Sebastián Luna, had settled down in the area in 1927. On lands once part of Estancia
San Pablo, he built his house with local wood and two years later he managed to fetch his wife and his son Rodolfo, called “Rolito” by his family, after whom this ranch was named.
Although both Sebastián and Rodolfo were dentists, they gave up their careers to devote their time to raising sheep, the typical rural activity in estancias
in Tierra del Fuego
. However, they started cattle-raising activities only in the last few years.
The foreman’s house and the shearing shed are the original buildings of the main house. Even though some of them were refurbished after a fire, they preserve the rural typical style of these countryside buildings in Tierra del Fuego.
José, Annie’s husband, invited us to tour the area and see the activities which were being carried out that day. Shifting sky and tough winds accompanied us during our walk. The first thing we learned about Rolito was that it is situated on a transition area between the steppe and the forest hills. Beloved Green
Proud of the beautiful 500-hectare ancient lenga
forest growing in this field, José took us on his truck and crossed several gates which we closed behind us. We got past the clear area and went deeper into a thick green pathway with the smell of wild mint and the chirping of birds dwelling in the foliage.
With the sound of branches floating in the air, we walked amidst rough trunk trees leaned towards the sun and small secondary forests growing next to them. José showed his enthusiasm for protecting this environment to such an extent that a detour on the road was created to allow animals to walk towards the summer cattle transhumance area.
On the way back to the house, we visited the shearing shed, where there were already some wool bales from the first shearing. It also houses an artificial insemination lab. José is an AI technician and is in charge of improving wool production.
We knew that Annie was preparing lunch for all of us and the smell coming from the grill in the outdoor barbecue area gathered us with some French guests who were spending some days in the ranch. We enjoyed the meal and chatted about rural and travelers’ stories, which little by little intertwined with one another after lunch.
Our plans made us say goodbye to Annie, José and the rest of the family without forgetting to thank them all their kindness and simplicity as well as the good time we spent during our stay in Rolito. We promised to lodge there in our next visit to the island of Tierra del Fuego.