Monday, June 24, 2013

The Basque with the Wheelbarrow

Guillermo Ugarte Larregui Isidoro, (1885 - 1964), also known as El Vasco de la carretilla (the Basque of the Wheelbarrow) and as the "Don Quixote with one wheel", travelled more than 22,300 km on foot pushing a wheelbarrow of 130 kg.

Initially he worked as a seaman. Later, in Patagonia, as an American oil pawn until 1935.

That year, during a meeting with friends, he made ​​a bet that changed his life and made ​​him one of the most eccentric people of Argentina.

"I dare, I said, to cross all Patagonia and go to Buenos Aires on foot with a wheelbarrow. They took it as a joke and one of them brought me a wheelbarrow. Then, when they saw that I was about to embark on the trip and that it was serious, they were surprised".

He was 50 years old when he set out to fulfil this dream. Larregui was a simple, strong and free man. He carried in his wheelbarrow all he needed for the body and soul. The wheelbarrow proved a great way to discover the unknown.  

The wheelbarrow measured 70 cm x 110 cm and 30 cm high, and contained the following objects: tent 2.5 m long and 2 m wide, foldable bed, mattress and quilt, tools, complete kitchen utensils, heater, washing basin with brushes, a razor and supplies.
He talked and listened to all kind of people and knew several languages, including English, French, Italian, German and Dutch.

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