There are moments — often unrecognized — that life pivots around. As I watched a man on horseback step into the Pedigroso river, I knew, I wanted to travel this country like the people who lived here. I wanted to know this place as only one on horseback could.
Ten years later, standing in the plaza of the capital city with 120 pioneers and their magnificent horses, I realized I had slipped into this place in an irrevocable way. These people were now my friends, their problems were my problems, and a long, hard fight still loomed ahead.
— Nancy Pfeiffer about Riding Into the Heart of Patagonia
As a neophyte horsewoman with a minimal command of the Spanish language, Nancy rode off across Patagonia alone on horseback. Over the next two decades and three thousand kilometers of rugged horse trail, Patagonia’s wild country and the hardy pioneers who settled there took her in and changed her. Her lessons —acceptance, tenacity, patience, contentment — ran far beyond shoeing horses and milking cows.
When a scheme to dam Patagonia’s largest rivers threatened the land and lifestyle she had come to love, Nancy joined the Cabalgata Sin Represas, a 330-kilometer protest ride against the dams, and her story became history- on horseback.
Saddle up. These gutsy journeys will not only take you into the wild, tangled, changing heart of Patagonia, but also lead you deep into its soul. Pfeiffer is extraordinarily spunky and tough, but it is her gentleness, astute observations, and seasoned insight that will make her story resonate long after you have warmed up by the fire.
Author, Rowing to Latitude- winner of the National Outdoor Book Award
This book begins as one kind of epic–a novice horseback rider in her 30s, making her solitary way across one of the world’s great wildernesses. That would be reason enough to read this absorbing account–but at the end it morphs into something even deeper, the story of her participation in the glorious nonviolent struggle (conducted largely from the saddle) to stop the damming of Patagonia’s great rivers. An adventure in the truest sense of the word.
Author, Wandering Home
As a lifelong adventurer and outdoor educator, Nancy Pfeiffer has traveled from Antarctica to the Arctic Ocean. Life as a mountaineering guide has given her the opportunity to experience the world’s highest summits, yet it is the landscapes and cultures encountered along the way that intrigue her most. Her published works range from poetry to scientific research, and explore subjects from the joys and frustrations of building a house as a single woman, to mountaineering for paraplegics.