National Geographic : 1969 Oct
" The gauchos are... perfect riders. The idea of On his inland explorations, Darwin often rode being thrown.., never enters their head." with cowboys of the pampas, like these Uruguay an gauchos, matching his skill on horseback with "In many parts," wrote Darwin, "magnifi cent glaciers extend from the mountainside to the water's edge." He thought it "scarcely possible to imagine any thing more beautiful." I find it hard to share his enthusiasm. Now the pilot banks sharply, slips off height, straightens up; and there is the frozen runway of Puerto Williams's snow-covered airport. A blizzard roars across the field as we touch down, very smoothly. A low black cloud comes in to land too, as fast as we do. I found myself looking around for the likes 460 of Jemmy Button, York Minster, and other Indians. There were many Fuegians in Dar win's time. "Scarcely protected from... this tempestuous climate," he noted, "[they] sleep on the wet ground, coiled up like animals." Most astonishing to him was the sight of a young Fuegian woman, suckling a recently born child, who came alongside the Beagle in a canoe "and remained there out of mere curiosity, whilst the sleet fell and thawed on her naked bosom, and on the skin of her naked baby!"