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P a t a g o n i a • P u n t a A r e n a s • P u e r t o N a t a l e s • To r r e s d e l P a i n e

February 2008

Black

FREE

Sheep

Volume 3 • Issue 6 • February 2008 • www.patagoniablacksheep.com • cover image by Baguales Group

Patagonia’s Monthly Travel Information Magazine

Spotlight Issue!

Río Serrano Patagonia’s biggest little secret

ACCOMMODATION RESTAURANTS GUIDES CULTURE MAPS TRAVEL ADVENTURE


February.08



Word from the front line

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Rio Serrano, Patagonia - Rustyn Mesdag, publisher

www.patagoniablacksheep.com

Cover Image:

Getting off the too-trodden path to experience pristine Patagonia on horseback at the foot of Glacier Geikie. Photo by Baguales Group Published by Southern Cross Ltda.

Black Sheep

Patagonia’s Monthly Travel Magazine Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile ph +56•61 977090141

Publisher: Rustyn Mesdag editor@patagoniablacksheep.com

Director: Pilar Irribarra sales@patagoniablacksheep.com

Editor: Heather Poyhonen editor@patagoniablacksheep.com

Sales: Sebastian Borgwardt sebastian@patagoniablacksheep.com Marnix Doorn ptarenas@patagoniablacksheep.com CJ Wilson cjwilson07@gmail.com Anthony Riggs anthony@patagoniablacksheep.com

Contributors: Pia Urbina Victoria Mattison Juan Pablo Solay Mauricio Cortes Bo Hageman

Webmaster: Carla Cuadra webmaster@patagoniablacksheep.com Black Sheep is an independently and locally owned paper, inspired by Puerto Natales, Chile--the epicenter of Patagonia.The opinions within Black Sheep, written or implied, are not necessarily those of the advertizers. We therefore reserve the right to live true to our name and always remain the Black Sheep.

Suscripción Valido para Chile Black Sheep es un periódico gratuito, el valor de la suscripción es por gastos de envio por un periódo de ocho meses Valor 8 meses $10.000 Envía tus datos por correo o email e inmediatamente nos comunicaremos contigo. Nombre y Apellidos Dirección Email

Black Sheep Baquedano 719 Puerto Natales, Chile sales@patagoniablacksheep.com celular 77090141

When we decided to do a special report on the Río Serrano area for this month’s issue, I thought it was a great way to justify a few days out of the office. With the help of Victoria and Gonzalo from Estancia Vista al Paine and Juan Pablo from the Baquales Group, I was on my way out for a five-day horseback ride in the most beautiful hidden community of the Torres del Paine region. I loaded my wife and boys into the Rover and drove the new road to the southern end of the park. As we rode our horses through the center of ‘town’ I made a reference to one of the dirt paths that run through the center of the community as “Main Street,” which coaxed a laugh from Victoria. “It’s not ‘Main Street’ because it’s not a town,” she said amused. Río Serrano is not a town, but it feels like it is. When you arrive to the green valley that holds this “non-town,” you see the spread beneath you like a storybook village. Río Serrano is just a sector, it holds no official town status. And it seems like the sector has been hiding from the world for years. But the truth is, that although the area holds much history, the non-town itself is relatively new. The serpentine river runs down from the Park toward Puerto Natales, and it makes for great sport and leisure, allowing kayakers and boaters backdoor access into the Park. You’ll find the valley that holds the secret community is surrounded by mountains on all sides and makes for some of the best horseback riding in southern Patagonia. With the Torres del Paine mountains hovering over the valley and the river rolling through at your feet, you may even find yourself trying to figure out how to stay longer. I was. The horseback rides from Río Serrano head up and out of the valley in all directions.Whether you are a horseback expert or first timer looking to etch a very unique memory while in Patagonia, there is nothing in the world like walking your horse through the icebergs at the base of Glacier Geikie. With Patagonia booming, expansion is everywhere. Every corner of Patagonia is being explored and opened to a hungry public looking for rare adventures.The valley that cradles Río Serrano is one of the few places that can’t ever be totally over-

Rollin’ down the river - Ellen and 8-year-old son, Noah - adventure made in Patagonia. run, just for the simple fact the valley is small and has no room to grow. The property that already exists and is owned by families, is all that will ever be there. When travelers do realize the magnificence of this area and rush toward it, the valley still won’t be gobbled up by mass tourism, allowing it to keep the charm it has now. The valley and its views can be deemed nothing less than world class. Located only a stone’s throw from the southern Park entrance (Administración), Río Serrano hands you everything Patagonia has to offer: trekking trails and camping, horseback riding, kayaking, zodiac boat tours, luxury lodging, restaurants, and most importantly, it offers peace and fresh, crisp air. Quiet and relaxed, the town is separated enough from the bustle of tourism that when you walk the dirt roads and soak in the views, you start to understand how life would be if you lived in Patagonia. After camping and riding for five days in Río Serrano, I had almost forgotten the real world and taken on this new reality as my own. I galloped along the riverside and threw a wave to the Indomita boys, who were kayaking by. I couldn’t tell who was hav-

ing more fun, me on my horse, or them on the water. It was all just so perfect. This was the exact moment I started wondering how I could stay longer in Río Serrano. Most travelers who come to Torres del Paine have a rigid schedule. They come, they have their reservations somewhere, they head to the park for a quick five-day ‘W,’ and then they’re out. Ciao. This unfortunately is the reason that most travelers miss hidden jewels like Río Serrano, not just the river itself, but the community. It is clear to us now that Río Serrano area is the future of Patagonia. We expect to see great things happen here, without compromising its peaceful and serene energy. The campsite and lodgings in Río Serrano are some of the best in the area.They are waiting for the adventure seekers who step off of the gringo trail and take the time to see what Patagonia is really all about.

- Pilar Irribarra, directora ¡El avión, el avión!... es la expresión que nos recuerda a la serie de televisión “La Isla de la Fantasía” en la que con emoción se esperaba la llegada de los turistas. Hoy Puerto Natales, espera con entusiasmo el arribo del Boeing. La conectividad aérea es un sueño de los Natalinos desde 1990, año en el que el gobernador de la época Don Manuel Suárez logró su construcción del aeropuerto y luego, su inauguración en 1995. Posteriormente, se realizaron una serie de mejorías a la pista para ofrecer las máximas condiciones de seguridad que incluye un moderno sistema de luces que permite aumentar su operatividad a las 24 horas del día, mejorando su acceso en horario nocturno. El aeropuerto Teniente Julio Gallardo, dispone de una pista de asfalto de 1760 metros de largo y 30 de ancho, que esta absolutamente operativa para recibir aviones del tipo: Boeing 737 (110-189 pasajeros) o Airbus A320.

La apertura comercial del aeropuerto representa un instrumento para potenciar el recurso turístico de la provincia y presentará ventajas; tales como, la posibilidad de acceder a la localidad de Puerto Natales en cualquier época del año, lo que puede ayudar a romper la marcada estacionalidad que registra nuestro turismo. Por el momento, es imposible hacer una valoración exacta acerca del impacto de aeropuerto, pero sin duda, la posibilidad de acceder directamente a la localidad permite que los turistas valoren más positivamente su estadía y a su vez aumenten su estadía en nuestra ciudad. Sin duda, habrá un cambio de hábitos importante en el itinerario de los turistas que se reflejará en una estadía de mejor calidad ya que hay más tiempo para visitar el Parque Nacional y otros atractivos y de estar más tiempo en Natales. La llegada de Sky Airlines y Air Comet Chile, es literalmente un despegue para nuestra ciudad que nos dará aún más fuerza y competitividad como destino. Además, deseo contarles que esta

edición de Black Sheep, ha preparado un interesante especial sobre “Río Serrano” en el cual podrás encontrar toda la informacion necesaria para realizar actividades tales como kayaking, flyfishing, cabalgatas, navegaciones, etc. Río Serrano es un área aledaña al Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, posee una panorámica increíble del macizo. El sector cuenta con la infraestructura necesaria para acampar o pernoctar en hoteles de excelente categoría. Además, vía marítima puedes acceder a espectaculares glaciares tales como Tyndall, Geikie, Serrano y Balmaceda. Río Serrano es la puerta de entrada al Parque Nacional Bernardo O’higgins el área protegida más grande de nuestro país. Esperamos que la información recopilada en este número sea de gran utilidad para todos nuestros lectores. .




Black Sheep What’s the weather going to be like for the next few days? That’s the forbidden question. But we put this one in just for fun! .... No, really, what’s the weather going to be like? I need to know what to pack! Plan for everything, but mostly cold. The weather changes constantly. How far is it to the park from here? From Natales, by bus, it takes about 2 to 2.5 hours. What time do the buses leave in the morning? Most of the buses pick up and leave between 7 and 8 a.m. What’s up with all the dogs? Half of them are street dogs, half of them are owned but run free anyway. Together they make more street dogs. It’s a circle of life thing... Can the buses to the park pick me up from my hostel? Some do. It depends on if your hostel is friendly with the bus company. How much does camping cost in the park? Camping costs 3.500 to 4.000 pesos per person, not per tent, at the privately run sites. The CONAF sites are free. From April to May, in the off-season, closed campsites are free. So, I pay an entrance fee AND pay to camp? Yep, and don’t forget your bus ticket, mini shuttle or catamaran, as well. Which campsites are free? Los Guardes, Italiano, Británico, Japones, Camp Las Torres, Paso, Pingo and Las Carretas. What about shopping hours midday? Between 12 and 3 p.m. everything is pretty locked down, except for the supermarkets. Where can I buy camping food in town? Don Bosco and Super Mix are both on the main streets of Baquedano and Bulnes, respectively. How do I contact the park’s Search and Rescue if something happens? There is no official Search and Rescue in the park, but any of the CONAF ranger stations can help you. What are the winters like around here? Calm, blue, clear, freezing and beautiful. Can I rent a tent, sleeping bag and matress at the refugios? Yes, but you can’t take them with you as you trek. Keep in mind, too, that many refugios stay closed during the winter off-season How much does the catamaran to Pehoe cost in the park? The Catamaran costs 11.000 pesos per person one way. 17.000 round trip. But it also shuts down during winter. Is there food sold in the park? You can buy hot meals in the refugios. As far as buying camp food, you can find some staples at refugios. Why do all the girls here wear those uniform mini skirts to school in such a cold and windy place? Another big mystery, but we are pretty sure it was a man’s idea. How much do the taxis cost? From 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. it’s 800 pesos. From 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. it’s 1.000 pesos. (Within city limits.)

Torres del Paine, Chile • Q&A How long does the trekking season last? Roughly from October to April, but it’s growing more every year. The truth is that it’s beautiful here all the time, and the park is great in winter.

Why is there so much garbage on the beach? That’s a great question...You could always help and pick some up.

What time is sunrise and sunset? It changes, of course, but you can find out the specifics on the back of the map they give you when you enter the park. During summer, from roughly December to March, you have about 18 hours of daylight.

Do I have to worry about making a reservation for the bus on my way back from Torres del Paine?

What’s up with me not being able to flush my toilet paper down the toilet? Do I really have to throw it in the waste basket?! It depends on where you are. Sometimes it’s fine to flush it, but if it says not to, DON’T! A bit gross and bizarre, but the pipes from yester-year just can’t handle it. Where does all the garbage go that is produced in the National Park? Good question... ask around. If the weather is nice on the first day, should I go see the towers first? Any experienced climber, trekker or hiker will tell you to make a plan and stick to it, but as long as your logistics all work out there is nothing wrong in a little improv. Are the times on the trail maps accurate? The times are pretty accurate on the CONAF map, depending on your physical condition. Some of the books seem to be a little off though. Is it worth renting a car to get around instead of using the buses? Depends on your budget and your destination. Public transportation is always a good idea when possible, but there’s a lot of Patagonia out there that can’t be accessed by public transportation. To see those places, getting a few people to pitch in for a car can make for a unique experience. Do I get a map when I enter the park? Yes.You can also buy a nicer wall map in town. Do I need sunscreen in the park? Absolutely! The hole in the ozone hovers right over us during the spring and summer months. It can and will cause problems after a multi-day trek in the park. The UV rays come through the clouds too, so don’t skimp on the sun protection. Where can I buy white gas? The pharmacies carry clean white gas.You can find them in some of the outdoor and building material stores too. What’s up with all the military guys walking around town? There is a military base located right outside of town.

No. There is almost always room, and they never leave anyone behind. They always work it out for you, and all the buses and all the boats meet up with each other perfectly. Crazy, eh? Do I have to worry about bugs in the Park? You will see bugs on the back circuit if there is no wind and some warmer weather. Bug repellent is a good idea.

www.er r aticr ock.com

?

Baquedano 719 Puerto Natales, Chile

A free information seminar is held every day at erratic rock at 3 p.m. in Puerto Natales.

24-Hour Emergency Gear Hotline in Natales Heading to the park and realize you need another sleeping bag... and it’s 2 a.m.? Wondering how the heck you can get gas for your stove before the bus leaves? You’re in luck. La Maddera Outdoors mountain shop offers 24hour emergency service, the only one of its kind in the region. La Maddera sells mountain clothing, camping equipment, rain gear,batteries, gas, and just about anything you need before heading

out on your adventures. They also rent camping equipment, from sleeping bags and backpacks to tents, stoves and cook sets. From November 1 to April 30, their extended hours offer doors-open service from 8 a.m. to midnight (closed an hour for lunch). Located in the center of town, at the corner of Bulnes and Pratt, their after-hours numbers are: (cell) 09 418 4100 and (house) 412 591.

CATAMARAN HIELOS PATAGONICOS TEMPORADA 2007-2008 Regular Schedule Pudeto

Pehoe

09:30am

10:30am

12:00pm

12:30pm

18:00pm

18:30pm

March 16 to 31, 2008

12:00pm

12:30pm

18:00pm

18:30pm

April 2008

12:00pm

12:30pm

Janruary 1 to March 15, 2008

One way ticket $11.000 per person (one backpack is allowed) Round trip ticket $17.000 per person Los Arrieros 1517, Puerto Natales Ph 61-411380, Email: maclean@entelchile.net

Why do I receive a little piece of receipt paper every time I buy something? It’s the law, no joke. Everyone takes it very seriously. Do I need to tie up my food in the park? Not really. But mice or foxes might get into your stuff. It’s best to sleep with your food in the tent, with you.

Fotografia © 2007 Daniel Bruhin W.

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Can you drink the water in the park? You bet! Best water in the world. Just make sure it’s fresh run off, not lake water or anything downstream from a camp or refugio. Why do I seem to understand LESS Spanish in Chile than anywhere else? Chileans down here talk super fast and use a whole lotta slang.

A comfortable & secure voyage across Lake Pehoe...


February.08



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Daily

Ph. 221812

12.45

Terminal Río Gallegos

13.00

buses

A. Sanhueza 745 Buses Ghisoni

Mon. & Wed.

Buses Ghisoni

Tues. & Thu. thru

Ph. 613420

thru Sat.

Terminal Río Gallegos

Sun.

L. Navarro 975

11.00

Buses Pacheco

Tue., Fri., Sun.

Buses Pacheco

Tue., Fri., Sun.

Ph. 242174

11.30

Terminal Río Gallegos

12.00

12.00

Chile / Argentina

Colón 900

Punta Arenas - Ushuaia

Ushuaia - Punta Arenas

Buses Pacheco

Tue., Thu., Sun.

Buses Pacheco

Mon., Wed., Fri.

Ph. 242174

09.00

San Martín 1267

08.00

Buses Barria

Wed. & Sat.

Buses Barria

Thu. & Sun.

Av. España 124

08.00

Comapa, San Martín 245

08.00

Colón 900

Ph. 240646 Tecni Austral

Tue., Thu., Sat.

Tecni Austral

Mon., Wed., Fri.

Ph. 613422

08.00

Roca 157

05.30

L. Navarro 975

Puerto Natales - Río Turbio

Río Turbio - Puerto Natales

Turis Sur

M-F:

Turis Sur

M-F:

Ph. 411202

08.15 & 13.30

Av. de los Mineros, Central

10.30 & 14.30

B. Encalada 555

Sat.: 11.00

Cootra

Daily

Cootra

Daily

Ph. 412785

08.30

Av. de los Mineros 100

12.15

Baquedano 456

18.15

Sat.: 14.30

19.45

Puerto Natales - El Calafate

El Calafate - Puerto Natales

Cootra

Daily

Cootra

Daily

Ph. 412785

08.30

Terminal Of. 06

08.30

Baquedano 456

El Calafate - Chalten

Chalten - El Calafate

Calafate Travel

Daily

Calafate Travel

Daily

Ph. 414456

08.00

Ph. 414456

06.30

Baquedano 459, Natales

18.30

Baquedano 459, Natales

18.00

Torres del Paine Refugio Information Prices are in U.S. dollars

Fantastico Sur +56-61 360361, ext. 380, albergue@lastorres.com Las Torres, Chileno, Los Cuernos

Breakfast

$8.00

Dorm bed

$34.00

Lunch

$13.00

Camping

$8.00

Dinner

$14.00

Sleeping bag

$8.00

Full board

$64.00

2-person tent

$12.00

Mattress

$3.00

Vertice +56-61 412742, ventas@verticepatagonia.cl Paine Grande Mountain Lodge

Breakfast

$9.00

Dorm bed

$35.00

Lunch

$12.00

Camping

$7.00

Dinner

$15.00

Sleeping bag

$9.00

Full board

$65.00

2-person tent

$14.00

Mattress

$3.00

buses

Buses Pinguinos

Paine

Daily

del

Buses Pinguinos

Torres

Río Gallegos - Punta Arenas

Pta. Arenas / Pto. Natales

Punta Arenas - Río Gallegos

Travel Times

Torres del Paine Buses & Maps

Approximate travel times from Puerto Natales (allow time for border crossings and tour connections within park) El Calafate

5 hrs

TdP Laguna Amarga

2 hrs 30

Punta Arenas

3 hrs

TdP Pudeto

3 hrs 15

Ushuaia

15 hrs

Torres del Paine Admin.

3 hrs 45

Approximate travel times from Punta Arenas (allow time for border crossings) Puerto Natales

3 hrs

Río Gallegos

6 hrs

Río Grande

8 hrs

Ushuaia

13 hrs

Trans Via Paine - Bulnes 518 - office Puma Tours 413672 Puerto Natales – Torres del Paine Trip 1 Puerto Natales Laguna Amarga

Torres del Paine – Puerto Natales Trip 1

Trip 2

7.00

14.30

Trip 2 Administration

13.00

18.00

9.45

16.30

Pudeto

13.30

19.00

Pudeto

10.45

17.30

Laguna Amarga

14.30

19.45

Administration

11.45

18.00

Puerto Natales

17.00

22.00

Gomez - Arturo Prat 234 - Ph 411971 Puerto Natales Laguna Amarga

7.30

14.00

Administration

13.00

18.15

9.45

16.30

Pudeto

13.45

19.00

Pudeto

10.45

17.30

Laguna Amarga

15.00

19.45

Administration

11.45

18.00

Puerto Natales

17.00

22.00

Administration

13.00

18.30

Buses JB - Arturo Prat 258 - Ph 410242 Puerto Natales Laguna Amarga

7.30

14.00

9.45

16.30

Pudeto

13.30

19.00

Pudeto

10.45

17.30

Laguna Amarga

14.30

17.30

Administration

11.45

18.00

Puerto Natales

17.00

19.30

Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales

Buses Fernandez

07.15

Buses Fernandez

08.00

Ph. 411111

09.00

Ph. 221812

09.00

E. Ramírez 399

13.00

A. Sanhueza 745

13.00

14.30

14.30

17.00

17.00

18.30

18.30

20.00

20.00

Buses Pacheco

07.30

Buses Pacheco

08.30

Ph. 414513

08.30

Ph. 242174

14.00

Baquedano 500

10.00

Colón 900

17.00

13.30

18.30

19.00

19.30

Bus Sur

07.00

Bus Sur

09.00

Ph. 411859

15.00

Ph. 244464

15.00

Baquedano 668

19.00

José Menéndez 552

19.00

For more details about terms and conditions, please contact the bus companies directly.




Black Sheep w w w. p a t a g o n i a b l a c k s h e e p . c o m

Leave No Trace in Patagonia 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you plan to visit. Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies. Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use. Visit areas in small groups, or split larger parties into groups of 4-6. Repackage food to minimize waste. Use a map and compass to eliminate use of rock cairns, flagging or marking paint.

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses, or snow. Protect riparian areas by camping at least 200 feet away from lakes and streams. Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary. In popular areas: Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when it’s wet or muddy. Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent. In pristine areas: Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.

3. Dispose of Waste Properly Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter. Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.

4. Leave What You Find Preserve the past. Observe, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts. Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. Do not build structures or furniture. Don’t dig trenches.

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the back country. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light. Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans or mound fires. Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand. Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.

6. Respect Wildlife Do not follow or approach wildlife; observe from a distance. Never feed the animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviours, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. Control pets at all times, or leave them at home. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times, such as during mating, nesting, raising young, or during winter.

7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Be courteous, yield to other users on the trail. Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.Take breaks away from trails and other visitors. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Don’t yell or be overly noisy. Leave No Trace is a program developed by the U.S. Forest Service, the National Outdoors Leadership School (NOLS) and The Bureau of Land Management. It is designed to educate people on how to minimize their impact on the environment while camping. This is an abbreviated version of the seven principles. For more information, please visit www.nols.edu.


February.08



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Patagoniax

Café & Books Book exchange Second-hand books Bike Rentals B. Encalada 226, Puerto Natales Ph. 414725 - info@patagoniax.com

Nueva Imagen Gymnasium & Spa machine & free weights sauna sun bed Massage room Chocolate Therapy

Patagonia

Expedition Race:

Adventure at the end of the world

Eusebio Lillo 1417 Puerto Natales, Chile

ph +56-61 412052

MOUNTAIN GEAR RENTAL EQUIPMENT INFO BY LOCAL GUIDES fono 56-61 410429 EBERHARD 226 PUERTO NATALES

www.cormorandelasrocas.com

The Patagonia Expedition Race is an international sports event that combines the spirit of expedition and adventure. It’s a voyage to the faraway, to the unknown, to virgin and wild territories, which make teamwork essential. It’s a race characterized by the mystics of exploring, discovering and dealing with untamed nature. It’s the adventure at the end of the world. In every edition, there is a new route in the geographic area between 49º and 56º Southern Latitude. An extensive area where you can find the Southern Ice Field, Torres del Paine National Park, the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego, the Darwin Range, the Beagle Channel, and Cape Horn. The race goes through very diverse landscapes with strong climatic contrasts. To compete, mixed groups of four are formed that have to find their way through mountains, glacial valleys, native forests, swamp areas, rivers, lakes, and canals. Fundamental disciplines are: mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, orientation, rope management, team work, and strategy. In the four summer editions (2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007), athletes from 18 different countries have raced: Canada, USA, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Spain, France, Germany, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile.

Kayakers paddling in the Patagonia Expedition Race

The 2008 Race... On February 12, the 5th edition of Patagonia Expedition Race will have approximately 600 kilometers of adventure through the most unexplored corners of the mythical and legendary Tierra del Fuego. The route of the race will present a grand variety of landscapes and climates, moving through vast steppes, sub-Antarctic forests and mushy peat bogs, traversing mountain regions, looking for a new crossing of the majestic Darwin Range, crossing the Beagle Channel again and keep on southbound, reaching a southern latitude never before achieved by an expedition race in history. For more information or to register for next year’s race, visit www.patagoniaexpeditionrace.com.

r u c k s ac k s & r a i n On the corner of Magallanes and Señoret ph 56-61-413723 cormorandelasrocas@gmail.com

Waterproofing your pack Water is heavy. A quart of water weighs about two pounds. A rucksack full of rainwater would be impossible to lift. This is why folks buy backpack covers, but they’re expensive. They weigh up to half a pound and usually leave much of your pack exposed anyway. Plus down here in Patagonia, the wind is prone to grab the flimsy cover up like a kite and set it flying. What’s more, they won´t even protect your pack if it takes a dip in a creek or river. Tip: Try lining your pack with a heavy-duty trash bag. A regular garbage bag is fine too, but the thicker the better. The trash bag offers FULL protection for everything in your pack, without having to carry the extra weight of a pricy backpack cover. Just be careful not to rip a hole in the bag while packing. And remember to have the top storage pouch lined at all times as well. When you’re ready to turn in for the night, just pull the plastic bag out of your wet backpack and move it--and your dry gear--into your tent with you. The outside of your pack might spend the night a little wet, but it’ll dry easily when the sun pops out. Next time the clouds open up and dump rain without notice, everyone will scramble to protect their packs. But not you. You’ll be calm as a Hindu cow, knowing all your clothes and gear are wrapped and waterproof safely in a plastic bag.




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The Isla Navarino Dientes Circuit

E L CO N V E NT I L L O

by J.Williams

HOSTAL - ALBERGUE

Punta Arenas, Chile Pje Korner 1034 Phone +56-61 242311

info@hostalelconventillo.com www.hostalelconventillo.com

Early morning on Isla Navarino, hiking the Dientes Circuit Billed as the southernmost trekking opportunity in the world, the rugged Dientes Circuit on Isla Navarino is miles beyond any ordinary trekking experience. For 53 kilometers, the route winds through an otherworldly landscape. Mountains broken out from the floor of the ocean. Where the Andes crumble into the Antarctic Plate.Where tenuous passes defy the staggering winds. Where spartan vegetation clings precariously bracing itself against the punishing climate and the manipulations of the introduced beaver. For the serious trekker, the five-day Dientes Circuit is a chance to experience unique terrain at what is literally the last scrap of land before the legendary Cape Horn and Antarctic Sea. And while the route offers many worthy experiences, like awesome views that stretch as far as the Cape Horn straits, it is also impressive for what it lacks, like crowded trails, clearly defined paths, and over-crowded refugios. In fact, there are no refugios on the route. There is not even an entrance fee to pay.Trekkers are only required to check in with the carabineros in Puerto Williams. From there, the trailhead is just three kms from the tiny village of Puerto Williams with a good possibility that you won’t see anyone else in the course of the circuit. The Dientes Circuit is relatively new, developed in the early ’90s by Lonely Planet trekking guide author Clem Lindemayer. A few of the more prominent peaks along the circuit have been named after him. Cierro Clem, for example, makes an impressive profile and serves as an important landmark. Because of the difficulty of the route and the distance of Isla Navarino from the beaten path, the Dientes Circuit receives a fraction of Chile’s annual trekking visitors.The route was marked with the Chilean numbered trail marker system in early 2001, but it is still far from a well-marked path.The Dientes trekker needs to be self-reliant and good at route finding. The 38 trail points are spread over a 53 km route, with four significant passes to cross and a myriad maze of beaver ponds and dams to negotiate in the valleys between. It is strongly advised to follow the route from Puerto Williams, as the markers are only painted on one side. Since the markers are cairns (rock piles), individual trail markers are often difficult to distin-

guish from their surroundings without the red signage painted on them to mark the route. Weather is also a strong factor, particulary the strength of the winds that sweep up from the white continent and make the passes, especially the final pass, Paso Virginia, very dangerous. Blasts of wind strong enough to knock a heavily loaded trekker from their feet are not uncommon and come without warning. The Dientes Circuit is broken into five stages, each stage requiring about five hours to complete. With the long daylight hours of the southern hemisphere summer, some trekkers might be tempted to combine two stages into one day. While it is possible to do the circuit in four days, it would involve a day with two passes to surmount or a very long final day, descending from the nearly 900-meter Paso Virginia back to sea level, over a distance of 23 kms. The route markers end more than 300 meters above sea level, looking down on Bahia Virginia, and from there, the trekker must negotiate through the cow pastures and calafate bushes to the coastal road. Then hike the final 8 kms of pavement back to Puerto Williams. Passing trucks will often stop for trekkers on the final stretch. Otherwise, it’s about a two-hour walk back to Puerto Williams. Just getting to Isla Navarino is part of the adventure itself.The Patagonian airline company DAP flies a 20-odd seat twin otter from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams daily in the summer. The flight over Tierra del Fuego and the Strait of Magellan is incredibly scenic, and oddly enough, the least expensive option. There are, however, other options.Though more expensive than flying, it’s possible to travel by boat from Ushuaia across the Beagle Channel to Puerto Navarino and then travel the 50-odd kms of coastal road east to Puerto Williams. For the truly intrepid traveler, the Punta Arenas-based Transbordadora Austral Broom operates a once a week passenger ferry to Puerto Williams, a 30-hour trip through the Straits of Magellan and along the Beagle Channel. Though spartan in accommodations and service, the passing scenery of hanging glaciers and mountains that float on water truly convey an end of the world sensation.

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Climbing Report: The Insider’s Scoop to This Season’s Ups and Downs by Steve Schneider My recent travels took me to Turkey for a rigging job with the famed vertical dance troupe Project Bandaloop. We opened a large new shopping mall, and I was responsible for the rigging and safety of 11 sexy dancers, who graced the space with artistic acrobatics six stories above the floor. After enjoying perfect winter days on limestone crags and visting Instanbul’s impressive, 1500year-old cathedrals, I’m back in Natales in the middle of an unprecedented heat wave. Meanwhile, my fellow climbers have been active in the Park... •

The French Canadian ladies, Mary Dianne and Emmanuelle, made a highpoint of three pitches on Taller del Sol. It’s a difficult route on Torre Norte, and sadly, they had to leave the park before the good weather hit. The ladies certainly added a touch of class to Valle del Silencio, which will be sorely missed. Earlier in January, the Columbian/Venezuelan team opened a new line on the Oja in

Valle del Frances, despite being hammered by incessant winds. • Last month, the normal route on Torre Norte saw two ascents by an American team and a Norwegian group. • During the recent heat wave, the South Africans climbed all three towers by their normal routes, with Marianne becoming the first female to climb all three towers, and doing so in less than 10 days! • A team of three Korean ladies climbed the normal route on the Torre Central, the first all-woman team to ever climb to this summit. • And a strong Dutch team climbed Torres Norte and Central by the normal routes, with the Dutch climbing Torre Central in 12 hours roundtrip from advance base camp. All these victories occurred from January 16 to January 24. Congratulations to all of these proud summiters.

B

ut the real hero up there in the Park is American, Dave Turner. He left the ground on December 23, and after 34 days, he’s reached the top of the grand 4500-foot face of Escudo... and

he did it all alone. On January 25, Dave reported via radio that he was able to attain the true summit, despite the rotten rock. His completion of a new route up the wall stands as one of the greatest solo climbs in history. When he gets down from the rock, he’ll receive a hero’s welcome from all who have watched this magnificent effort, much to the relief of his worrying mother, Beatrice. Well, as the heat wave continues, my wife and I are scrambling to hit the park to make our own hunt for the summits of Paine. We’ll be back to Natales again when it starts to rain.

About Steve Schneider... Steve is Puerto Natales’ resident climber. He has been teaching people to climb ever since his dad taught him on the local rocks of Berkeley in the 1960s. Since then, Steve has climbed El Capitán 87 times, served 10 years on the Yosemite Search and Rescue Team, and made groundbreaking first ascents in the most remote areas of the planet, including Pakistan, Mongolia, and Chile. Steve has dedicated his life to the pursuit of climbing and its various forms.

File photo: Climberous patagonicous


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Banff Film Festival in Puerto Natales February 13-15, 2008 For a second consecutive season, the Banff Mountain Film Festival will be held in Puerto Natales, Chile. This exciting event is open to any and all outdoor enthusiasts. Local sponsors have worked diligently to bring this remarkable event to Patagonia. The Banff Fest. is an international competition featuring the world’s best films and videos on mountain and adventure subjects. Each year during the festival week, an international jury determines the best films and awards prizes in eight categories. In 2007, 296 films from 29 countries were submitted to the competition. Our pre-screening committee selected over 50 film finalists and many of these were later screened for audiences all over the world. On February 13, 14, and 15, the festival brings its films and enthusiasm to Puerto Natales, Chile, in Patagonia, a mecca for climbers. They’ll show the year’s best films on mountain expeditions, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, and skiing. The first two nights will show films from all over the world, saving the third night for Latin American films. The Festival will be held at the school, on the corner of E. Ramirez and Miraflores, in Gymnasium E1. Events start at 8 p.m. on February 13. Tickets are $1.500 each night or $4.000 for all three nights. For more information about the festival in general, see their web site: www.banff.com. 2008 Guest Speakers Renan Ozturk Renan discovered his passion for climbing while attending Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During the last three years Renan has spent multiple seasons climbing in Indian Creek,Yosem-

ite, Joshua Tree, Squamish, and the Bugaboos. Footage of Renan’s onsight solo of the 300-foot North Six Shooter tower in the Utah desert can be seen in the current climbing film: Return2Sender: Parallelojams. Kevin Thaw Often heralded as the U.K.’s number one all-around climber, Kevin has consistently performed at the top level of many mountaineering disciplines: alpine, big wall, traditional, ice, mixed, and bouldering. And he shows no sign of slowing down. Jon Bowermaster Over the past 20 years Jon has written about adventure, the environment and exotic corners of the world for a variety of national and international publications, ranging from the National Geographic to the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly to Outside. His most recent expedition is to Antarctica, to the Larsen Ice Shelf, which will provide a very empirical look at how the seventh continent is changing and evolving and dramatically influencing the world’s oceans. The eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula is less-seen, by both scientists and explorers, because it is more exposed to big seas and fast-changing weather, unprotected by big islands. He is presently spending five weeks exploring the Weddell Sea side of the Peninsula by sea kayak, foot and sailboat beginning the last week of December 2007, until the end of January. He intends to get as close as he can to what remains of the Larsen Ice Shelf, to document how it is today.

Camino a Bories, Km 0.5, Puerto Natales, Chile (061) 414 168 www.weskar.cl contacto@weskar.cl

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Fiesta a la Chilena in Cerro Castillo

by Maarten Hageman

Jineteada is an explosion of strength, skill, and elegance. And the season has begun. All over Latin America, there are people riding wild horses. In Cerro Castillo on February 1, 2, and 3, you have a chance to see the very best Chilean Patagonia has to offer. Jineteada is a longstanding gaucho tradition, where gauchos demonstrate their wild horse riding skills. It’s basically like bullriding, except on wild horses. The closest comparison would be the United States rodeo. Gauchos start by rounding up all the wild horses. A raffle decides who will mount which horse. Then, each horse is tied to a pole, and its gaucho prepares to mount the wild animal. The build-up takes a few painstaking minutes. It’s done carefully, as these babies are WILD and have A LOT OF POWER. Finally, the horse is set loose, with its cargo aiming to stay on the horse for a set period of time (8, 12, or 15 seconds, depending on the category). The next 10-15 seconds seem to go by so slowly, yet everything is a blur. Sometimes it looks like a well-choreographed ballet, especially when the gaucho stays on for the full time, and is lifted off the wild horse by his fellow gauchos. Other times, the gaucho is not so lucky, as he’s thrown 3-4 meters through the air, before plummeting to a painful landing. This whole experience can be enjoyed at Cerro Castillo, with sandwiches, or even a locally prepared asado.You’ll find camping, toilets, and food stands.

Getting there... Take any of the regular buses from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine, and get off at Cerro Castillo. This will leave you just outside the small community. Afterward, you’ll wait for the regular bus returning from Torres del Paine to pick you up and take you back to Natales. Program... Friday, February 1: • 22.00 hrs: Night Rodeo, basto con encimera Saturday, February 2: • 10:30 hrs: Bull riding • Followed by a roping competition • Gyncana for three different age groups: children 2-5 years old; 5-13 years old; and adults 14 and up • Sheep herding competition • Chilean horse race • 21.00-05.00 hrs: Huge dance fiesta until sunrise Sunday, February 3: • 9:30 hrs: Horse race for minors with parental permission • 14:00 hrs: Catch the pig • Followed by a sheep rodeo (children 5-8 years old will mount a sheep) • Final rodeo in three categories: basto con encimera, montura completa, and grupa novicio

Upcoming Events 2008 Jineteada, Cerro Castillo February 1, 2 & 3 Experience the wild, raw Chilean rodeo. With camping, toilets, food stands, and an all-night Chilean dance party.

Free live music in Puerto Natales The Psychedelic Funtrip Chillout Jazz, every Thursday, 9.30 p.m. Chillout and Rock, every Saturday, 9.30 p.m. L a d r i l l e ro s 1 0 5 - w a t e r f ro n t - t e l . 0 6 1 6 1 5 7 3 0

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2008 Big Rock Festival

Puerto Natales, Chile

April 11, 12 & 13, 2008 The 3rd annual Big Rock Festival countdown has started. Big Rock activities include live music around Puerto Natales, athletic competitions, beach clean-up races, and more.Three days of fun and music sponsored by multiple local businesses. Join locals and travelers alike for the end of the season blow out bash!


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Si tu destino es El Calafate, Cauquenes de Nimez Lodge te espera...

Bulnes 622 & Bulnes 555 Puerto Natales, Chile phone 56-61 410931 & 415860 miriamparra_s@hotmail.com

The Patagonia Five by Bill Penhollow Most of us are familiar with Africa’s famous “big five”: the buffalo, elephant, rhinoceros, lion, and leopard. However, few are familiar with the Patagonian Five (probably because I just came up with it to get published). Though they are not as big or dangerous as their counterparts in Africa, the P5 prove to be just as unique and even harder to observe (except for the guanacos!). A lot of luck is needed to observe all five in the Park. Hopefully, the descriptions that follow will help trekkers in Torres del Paine be aware of what to look for and where to look for them.

Cauquenes de Nimes - Manzana 363 Calafate, Arg Tel 492306 www.cauquenesdenimez.com.ar

GUANACO: A South American cameloid relative of the llama and the alpaca. Sleek and strong, with brownish-white bodies and long necks. They are found in the steppe areas of Laguna Amarga, Laguna Azul, on the drive from the entrance to Lago Pehoe, and Laguna Verde. Guanacos feed on grasses, lichen, and shrubs. They breed once a year and give birth to their “chulengos” between November and February. In the winter months they congragate in herds of up to 400 animals grazing in the Lago Pehoe area of the park.

HUEMUL: The huemul, or Andean deer, is a 568 Eberhard, Puerto Natales, Chile 56-61 412766 reservas@southwindhostel.cl • www.southwindhostel.cl Downtown Puerto Natales, located a half block from the main square.

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small, compact deer, that measures on average just 1.5 meters in length. They can be found on the road between Administración and Hostería Grey, near Western Boundries, around Lago Grey, and along the Pingo trail. The huemul is on the brink of extinction. Due to man’s forest fires and encroachment on its habitat, they are now strictly protected. They are very shy and difficult to observe. In 1834, the huemul was incorporated into the Chilean coat of arms.

PUMA: The largest of Patagonia’s predators, pumas are closely related to the North American mountain lion. Pumas thrive in a variety of habitats from Alaska to the bottom of Tierra del Fuego. It has the largest range of any of the big cats, and it can be found both inside and outside of the Park, from the steppe to dense forest. The puma’s only enemy is man. Though pumas are protected by law, they are still hunted by ranchers. Trekkers are lucky to see more than a track.

ÑANDU: Also known as rheas, the ñandu is a member of the ostrich family. They are found on the main entrance drive to the Park, and along the road towards Laguna Verde. There is no visual difference between male and female ñandues. The hareem of females lay all of their eggs in one nest and the male sits on the eggs and watches over the 30 to 40 charitas (chicks). They are noted for their speed and zig-zag escape patterns. The ñandu is recognized as the Chilean symbol of the Magellan region.

CONDOR: The condor is the largest member of the Vultrine family. It nests on high cliff faces and soars over the entire Park. The black “fingers” at the tips of the 2.5-meter wings, plus its bright white collar, are the trademarks of this symbol of Chile. They produce only one chick every other year. The condor appears with the huemul on Chile’s national emblem.


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Patagonia Climbing 101

T

by Jon Shea

he name alone quickens the pulse a galleon, clad with animal skins and speaking Argentina have both recognized the value the and sets the imagination in motion. in strange tongues, were sought after for many unique region and have taken steps to ensure Patagonia. It has been a place of years by any sailor coming through the straits its preservation. Nahuel Huapi National Park adventure, trial and discovery for near Tierra del Fuego. In reality, however, pre- in Argentina, created in 1922, was the first hundreds of years. A truly unique region, contact times saw four major tribes of indigenous national park established in South America. It Patagonia has both an astounding environment people inhabiting this region. The Aonikenk, occupies 785,000 hectares of Patagonian steppe and an equally engaging history. and Andean forest and exemplifies the Dictated mostly by the accumulation, mountainous environment characteristic movement, and ablation of ice, Patagonia of Patagonia. Los Glaciares National Park boasts some of the world’s most sculpted is another important Argentine park, landscapes. From the Torres Del Paine covering 600,000 hectares. Designated a and Los Cuernos to Mt. Fitzroy and world heritage site in 1981 by the United Cerro Torre, huge granite towers shroud Nations Educational, Scientific and the area in grandeur. Cultural Organization, Los Glaciares is The names of the early home to Mt. Fitzroy and Perito Moreno explorers of Patagonia read like Glacier, with an 80-meter ice cliff that a who’s who of the international has become a huge tourist attraction. In mountaineering community. From the Chile, Torres del Paine National Park, famous English explorers H.W. Tillman established in 1959, is the most popular of and Eric Shipton, to the Italians Toni the Patagonian parks. In 1978, UNESCO Egger and Cesare Maestri, and countless declared this park a world biosphere others, Patagonia has drawn some of the reserve, and it is home to the famous biggest names in climbing to its unique, Torres del Paine and Cuernos del Paine. isolated landscape. Laguna San Rafael National Park is With serious climbing another important national park, located “Going big, means pointing fear up. Modern equipment is great, but on Chile’s coast. It alone encompasses expeditions dating back to at least climbers did it all before, with much less...” more that 1.7 million hectares and is 1914, it took some years before the monster towers of Patagonia were home to the tallest peak in the southern climbed. The 1950s may have been the Andes, Mt. San Valentín, at 4,058 meters. the Kaweskar, the Yamana and the Selk’nam biggest decade for Patagonian exploration and lived in the different regions of Patagonia and The austere but astounding landscape climbing. In 1952, Mt. Fitzroy saw its first ascent Tierra Del Fuego. Unfortunately paralleling the of Patagonia has attracted many conservation by Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone. Famed story of North American native tribes, these groups. Perhaps the most recognized of these English explorer H.W. Tillman completed indigenous people faced constant relocation groups is Patagonia, Ltd., a clothing company. the first traverse of the Southern Patagonia to various reservations, as well as diseases that Started by world famous climber Yvonn Ice Field in 27 days in 1955 to 1956, covering severely reduced their populations. Some early Chouinard, Patagonia pledges one percent of its 60 kilometers. Eric Shipton, another notable anthropological studies, however, were able profits to conservation efforts in the area. After Englishman, completed three large expeditions to document the elaborate ceremonial lives of retiring in 1993 from her CEO position with the to the area in 1958, collecting a large number some of these tribes. Patagonia clothing company, Kristine Tompkins of plant species from remote areas. 1959 saw the Another famous expedition to come moved to Patagonian Chile. In 2000, she now controversial first ascent of Cerro Torre by to Patagonia was headed by an ambitious captain founded the Patagonia Land Trust, now known Italians Cesare Maestri and Toni Egger. Egger of the British navy. Robert Fitzroy took two as Conservación Patagonica, in order to raise died in an avalanche after reportedly reaching trips to Patagonia aboard the Beagle. Although funds to protect natural areas in Patagonia. It has the summit. Maestri claimed that the camera Fitzroy played a large role in surveying much of saved over 1.4 million acres in Chile’s Valdivian was taken away with Egger. Although Egger’s Patagonia and in the development of modern day rainforest and Argentina’s Esteros wetlands, body was found in subsequent years, no camera meteorology, the Beagle is perhaps most well- and in 2002, made possible the designation of or any other evidence of their reaching the known for its second journey, when a young Argentina’s first coastal national park, Monte summit has ever been produced. With well over man named Charles Darwin accompanied the Leon, with a 1.7 million dollar donation. 20 attempts to repeat this route, no one to this ship as a naturalist. As the tourism industry grows day has been able to conquer the upper north Many sailors would come to see the in the area, the governments of both Chile face, adding some doubt about the first ascent. rugged coastline of Patagonia as the straits near and Argentina will be faced with new issues In 1959, Shipton completed another expedition Tierra del Fuego made it an important trading surrounding the preservation of Patagonia’s near the Southern Ice Field, rediscovering the route. Being one of the most viable trade routes to unique environment. The various conservation Lautaro Volcano, which had been forgotten for and from the west coast of North America, Punta groups and the international outdoor community 30 years. Arenas, established in 1848, quickly became an will play a large role in shaping the future of this Subsequent years saw more and important port town during the California gold distinct region. more exploration and first ascents by Shipton rush. It was however not Californian gold, but and his peers. Patagonia has now become an the “white gold of Magellan” that brought true international destination for any serious climber prosperity to the region. Sheep were introduced Comfortable Rooms Fully equiped Kitchen looking for long alpine routes. The weather is to the area between 1852 and 1877, and with Laundry Service most often the limiting factor of the climbs. First the vast plains of eastern Patagonia, wool quickly Internet and Telephone ascents are still being seen every year, not only became the primary product of the area. The View of the Strait of Magellan on new routes on previously summited peaks, wealth of the city is seen in the various mansions, Patagonian Drinks but also on peaks that have never before been artwork, and delicate architecture of Punta Coffee shop climbed. The development of Patagonia as a Arenas.The wealth of the city declined, however, José Noguiera 1600 testing ground for up-and-coming climbers will almost as quickly as it developed. As a port city, +56-61 241357 be interesting to watch in the years to come, as Punta Arenas relied heavily on trade. Ships from hotelhain@hotmail.com Punta Arenas, Patagonia, Chile more and more routes are added to climber’s all over the world would come through, leaving tick lists. goods from around the world and taking away The climbing history of Patagonia, raw materials such as wool. With the opening Cocina Salvaje de la Patagonia however, is only a small part of the region’s of the Panama Canal, however, this region was identity. First reached by Westerners in the quickly forgotten as a trade route. Guanaco 1520s, Patagonia has always been a place of Today, many of the cities in Patagonia Ñandú adventure and wild imagination. Magellan’s rely heavily on tourism. Towns like Puerto Centolla Caiquen famous circumnavigation of the globe brought Natales, only miles from the entrance to Torres Castor Patagonia into contact with the rest of the world. del Paine National Park, cater to largely seasonal Krill Cordero Magellan’s crew, the few that survived anyhow, crowds who come to walk and wonder at the would spread the fame of the Patagones, or rugged mountains of this famous part of the 21 de Mayo 1469 Punta Arenas +56-61 241029 the big-feet. The Patagonian giants, taller than globe. The governments of both Chile and remezon@hotmail.com

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Rio Serrano, P

Horseback riding

Kayaking Aquanativa www.aquanativapatagonia.com Eberhard 161, Puerto Natales (56-61) 414143 info@aquanativapatagonia.com Baguales Group www.bagualesgroup.com Barros Arana 66, Puerto Natales (56-61) 412654 info@bagualesgroup.com Bella Patagonia www.bellapatagonia.com Barros Arana 160, (56-61) 412489 info@bellapatagonia.com Blue Green Adventures www.bluegreenadventures.com Bulnes 1200, Puerto Natales (56-61) 410009 info@bluegreenadventures.com Fortaleza www.fortalezapatagonia.com Tomas Rogers 235, Puerto Natales (56-61) 410595 explore@fortalezapatagonia.com

Indomita www.indomitapatagonia.com Bories 206, Puerto Natales (56-61) 414525 indomitakayak@hotmail.com KallpaMayu www.aventurakallpamayu.com Bulnes 495, (56-61) 413318 info@aventurakallpamayu.com Onas www.onaspatagonia.com Blanco Encalada 211, Puerto Natales (56-61) 614303 reservas@onaspatagonia.com Rutas Patagonia www.rutaspatagonia.cl Blanco Encalada 353, (56-61) 613874 info@rutaspatagonia.cl Serrano Aventura http://serranoaventur.blogspot.com Arturo Prat 739, Puerto Natales (56-61) 410100 serranoaventura@yahoo.com Tu Travesia www.tutravesia.com Bulnes 37, (56-61) 415747 info@tutravesia.com

Fishing

Kayaking

Hotel, dinner

Motorized Boat Rides

Horseback Riding

Lodging

21 de Mayo (Río Arriba) www.chileaustral.com/21demayo Eberhard 560, (56-61) 614420 21demayo@chileaustral.com

Blue Green Adventures www.bluegreenadventures.com Bulnes 1200, (56-61) 410009 info@bluegreenadventures.com

Cabañas del Paine www.cabanasdelpaine.com (56-61) 210179 reservaspuq@cabanasdelpaine.cl

Punta Alta/Outboard Patagonia www.puntaalta.cl Blanco Encalada 244, (56-61) 410115 jvera@puntaalta.cl

Estancia Vista al Paine Lote AR2, Río Serrano Radio frequency: 150.900 Cel. (09) 77 318157 info@horseridingpatagonia.com

Camping Río Serrano (Los Andes) Across the footbridge in Río Serrano Cel. (09-2) 1960447/1960448 rodrigosouto@msn.com

Fishing Baguales Group www.bagualesgroup.com Barros Arana 66, (56-61) 412654 info@bagualesgroup.com Fishing Patagonia www.fishing-patagonia.com Bulnes 100, Puerto Natales (56-61) 410349 Turismo Viento Sur www.vientosur.com 414 Baquedano, (56-61) 613842 agencia@vientosur.com

Transfers El Mochilero 97 Radio frequency: 151.100 (56-61) 414890 Estancia Vista al Paine Lote AR2, Río Serrano, Radio: 150.900 Cel. (09) 77 318157 Transfers Cordillera Paine Segundo Avendaño, Radio: 150.200 cordillera_p@hotmail.com Via Terra Transfers Bulnes 632, (56-61) 410775 viaterra@viaterra.cl

Estancia Vista al Paine Lote AR2, Río Serrano, Radio: 150.900 Cel. (09) 77 318157 info@campingtorresdelpaine.com Hosteria Lago del Toro www.lagodeltoro.com (56-61) 412481 hosteria@lagodeltoro.com Hotel Lago Tyndall & Cabañas Tyndall www.hoteltyndall.cl (56-61) 614682 reservas@hoteltyndall.cl Hotel Río Serrano www.hotelrioserrano.cl Cel. (56) (2) 889 1137 info@rioserrano.com


Patagonia

Navigation

Camping

Río Serrano in Brief by CJ Wilson The pace is slower in the village of Río Serrano. You feel it when you get off the boat, step out of the car, or walk through the valley. Although Río Serrano is located literally on the edge of Torres del Paine National Park, it’s a world away from any sense of “beaten track,” traffic, or sense of urgency. Bordered by beautiful Río Serrano itself, the settlement consists of a few families, who have farmed there for generations, and a handful of services catering to tourists. The views are jaw-dropping. The Paine Massif dominates, but the valley is literally surrounded by mountains, many of which are snow-covered year round. It’s a stunning place to spend a few hours or several days, and enjoy the adventures of your choice: horseback riding, boat rides, sea kayaking, trekking, bird-watching, fishing, or just walking along the river and through the valley. Once part of the enormous Associación Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego, and later the huge Estancia Río Paine, this land has been used for herding animals since white man arrived to the region. The Astorgas family has inhabited the valley for at least four generations, starting as caretakers for larger estates and later becoming landowners themselves. After the large estancias were broken up, in the land reform of the 1960s under President Frei, men could apply for small portions of land. The government often gave them animals to start their herd. Men with wives and children were given priority over those who already knew the nature of herding and estancia life. (In fact, this happened all over the region and meant that many new estancias failed, for lack of experienced workers.) And, so, Señor Astorgas went from being a caretaker for a wealthy landowner to the owner of a smaller estancia. Life since then has changed. Before the roads reached Serrano, supplies were brought in on horseback across the pampas. Eventually the northern road to the park reached Río Serrano, but there was no bridge for vehicles to cross the river. Until recently supplies had to be carried across the river via a footbridge (which washed away in a flood) or by rafts, pulled by rope. This is how the materials arrived to Serrrano to build the first hotels. On more than one occasion, the uneven load caused the raft to tilt, dumping its cargo (vehicle and driver!) into the river. In 1984, Cristian Bore, a mechanical engineer retired from the navy, first came to Río Serrano. He fell in love with the valley, eventually bought land, and spent weekends there while working in Punta Arenas. In 1994, he began construction on a cabin, and built a raft to carry supplies across the river, building cabañas and later Hotel Tyndall, which were the beginning of tourism in Río Serrano. Today Río Serrano retains its peaceful character, even as it expands its tourist facilities, with new modern camping facilities, expanding hotels, and more activities being offered. Options for boat rides, kayak trips, horseback riding, tours of the Park, and other activities based in the valley are growing every year. But the pace still remains tranquil, or as they say here, “tranqui.”

Trekking

Torres Del Paine National Park

Track to Pampa & Río Nutria

Rutas Patagonicas Transfers

Transfers

Via Terra

Hostería Lago Toro

Map: Sector Río Serrano, Torresl Del Paine Not to scale

Tra

Río Serrano

PRIVADO

Hostería & Cabanas Tyndall

Río Serrano

PRIVADO PRIADO

lon ck a

Footbridge (But soon to be removed)

Camping Los Andes

Transfers Camping Horse-Riding Asados Almacen

ver

g ri

PRIVADO Hotel Río Serrano

Corral

To Administracíon

Cabañas del Paine

Mirador Río Serrano

To Serrano

To Puerto Natales


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For the Love of Horses: Getting Your Ride on in Patagonia

There is almost no such thing as a bad ride in Patagonia. Even so, on our way out of town for a day trip with Boris and Magan of Criollo Expeditions, we could tell this ride was going to be something extraordinary. Boris and Magan Radich are a husband-wife team, who emphasize offering personalized adventures on horseback, creating memories which will stay with you for a lifetime.     Stories of Boris Radich and his horsemanship had reached us long before we met him. Born and raised with the traditional ways of a baqueano, Boris has earned himself a reputation as the horsewhisperer of Patagonia--a name grown up from his unique and gentle approach to training horses. Much of what he knows, he learned from observing the interactions of horses in the wild, and from techniques

by Ellen Mesdag & Becca Friell

well-known and loved by his community. He was young, kind, handsome, mysterious, and intelligent, all of the adjectives that are usually associated with the hero in a paperback romance novel. I like to think people were whispering similar adjectives in Boris’s ear about the crazy gringa who could ride a horse backwards, while shooting wine from a bota bag into her mouth an arms length away, but I really doubt it. “Our first encounter was on the banks of the Río Paine, while I was waiting for a transfer to take my group to Estancia Tercerra Barranca, where Boris was working. Over dinner that night (with much Boris & Megan doing what they do best help from my Spanish/ English Dictionary), that were passed on to him by an Argentinean indian I learned that he had tribe that he lived with for several summers. grown up in the Sierra Baguales mountains, which Magan is an Arizona gal, a biologist by separate Argentina from Chile, and can be identified trade, and an accomplished horsewoman. Originally from almost any distance by their strange, craggy she came to Natales for a two-week trip, but one peaks. adventure led to the next. Magan says that she “never “Boris was planning a trip on horseback thought destiny would lure [her] down to the bot- into Sierra Baguales to round up his horses that tom of the world, but she was completely drawn had joined a herd of wild horses several years bein by its’ incredible landscape and culture.” Magan fore. I promptly invited myself to accompany him, didn’t return to the States as planned, after she was to which the reply was an unhesitating, ‘No.’ But this offered a job as a horseback riding guide for a local is not a word that I like to hear. I interrogated my adventure tour operator. Megan tells her story of de- gaucho friends about this wild horse round-up, and ciding to stay in Patagonia like so... their responses were also either incredulous stares, “I lived the enviable life of a guide and or a vigorous shaking of the head while muttering, discoverer, completely embracing the gaucho cul- ‘Muy peligroso.’ ture. And then I heard about Boris, a local Natalino, “Boris ended up asking me to join him.

We rode several days through the wide, colorful river valley to reach the area known as La Cumbre, where the horses had last been seen.We took with us: half of a lamb, peanut butter, churasco (like fry-bread) four oranges, and plenty of máte. This was my kind of adventure. As we rode forever upward on an increasingly steep mountainside, I glanced out into the expanses of Argentinean pampa to the south, the tip of the Southern Ice Field, like a frozen sea to the north, and Torres del Paine to the east. I began to wonder how I’d gotten myself into this situation. Well, now several years, 12 horses, one husband, and a two-yearold daughter later, I’m co-owner of Criollo Expeditions. And we still own the same horses that we rounded up that fateful day in La Cumbre.” Boris and Magan’s shared passion for horses brought them together and now they run and guide for their business, Criollo Expeditions. They are an eco-conscious company, practicing Leave No Trace methods, and they support their community by using local services and compensating land owners. Based on the outskirts of Natales, their affordable prices and easily accessible stables make it possible for anybody to experience the Patagonian landscape by horseback. Boris and Magan’s own herd of horses are like their extended family, so they’re able to match you with the perfect partner.You can choose excursions that last a day all the way up to 12 days. We were very impressed with the emphasis that Boris and Magan place upon their horses’ welfare. They’re happy to discuss how they break and care for their horses. This is especially important in an industry where horses are required to spend long seasons out on the trail. Knowing that the horses were happy, made us enjoy our day out on the trail all the more. Through Criollo Expeditions, you can also book other sorts of tailor-made adventure, including fishing, bird watching, kayaking, photography, and cultural immersions. For more information, visit their web site: www.criolloexpeditions.com. Or contact them at (56-9) 88 107 121 or info@criolloexpeditions.com. Prices for their single-day horseback riding excursions are as follows: 2-hour ride: 17.500; half-day ride: 30.000; full-day ride: 50.000.

Isla Morena - Hosteria, Resto & Bar

La cocina de la casa del sur con un toque original. Tasty, traditional Patagonian food, with a personal touch... Salmon, hake, pejerrey, seafood, pastas, homemade pizzas. Dinner from 18.30-23.30 To m á s R o g e r s 3 8 P u e r t o N at a l e s, Pat a g o n i a . 6 0 m e t e r s f r o m t h e P l a z a d e A r m a s. P h : 4 1 4 7 7 3 . w w w. i s l a m o r e n a . c l


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The Art of the Silversmith: Visit the Taller del Arbol Workshop in Natales

wa s h i n g w i t h d i r t

Ricardo Varela (left) and Felipe Marambio (right) in their workshop,Taller del Arbol, Eberhard 318 While traveling in Patagonia, it’s easy enough to find a typical souvenir for yourself or a loved one. But if you want to bring home a real piece of Patagonia, made by good people, who live, work, and play locally, go talk to Ricardo and Felipe. Ricardo Varela and Felipe Marambio, Taller del Arbol store owners and artist silversmiths have been working together, on and off, since 1985. Their partnership is the result of a series of happy accidents, an example of how one road leads to the

next, until there you are, not entirely sure how you got there and not having planned for where you end up. They describe the craft of the jewelry maker: “Any material is valuable if you work it. A stone is just a stone until you work it.” And that just what they do. When talking about the importance of passion in his work, Ricardo explains he has “to keep changing to keep the passion in [his] work. Somehow, you have to conserve part of the passion you have for your artistry, so that your work gives you back some passion and energy to produce more work.” And you see this all over Taller del Arbol, the first silversmith shop in Puerto Natales. Don’t leave Natales without meeting these guys and seeing their work. Visiting their workshop is like checking out a small art gallery. They work with anything you can imagine, any type of rock, gem, leather, silver, gourds, you name it.You can find them in the store with a red door, Eberhard 318, with the hippy and artisan jewelry in the window display, among succulents, fossils, and horns. They’re open year round, and during the high season (approximately October-March), they’re open all day long: 9 a.m. to midnight, Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, phone: +56 61 411461.

Fat. Fat and grease. We love it. Even if you don’t think you love it, you actually do. Whether you are a vegetarian or not, we all crave foods that hold some kind of fat; the grease on meat, the oils in avacados, the whole cream in ice cream. We not only like it, we need it. We need it for energy while trekking. A couple of facts: 1.) Soaps are a threat to fresh water supplies. It´s best not to use these products at all. 2.) Cold stream or lake water turns left over greases on dishes into a thick, lard-like glue (impossible to remove without soap & water)... or is it? Here’s the trick: take your dirty dinner dishes to an area of sand or small rocks, grab a fist-full of dirt, and scrub! The small granuals of dirt and pebbles will absorb all the oils from your meal and will remove almost any difficult foods. Even burnt dinner pots clean up quickly with gravel! Your pots and dishes are left with nothing more than a clean coat of dust that is easily rinsed with only a small amount of water, soap-free!

by Bill Penhollow

Yes. You can drink the water in Patagonia We’re so programmed to the idea that tap water is bad for us. Better avoid drinking water from rivers and streams or you’ll fall victim to all sorts of waterborne illnesses, like diarrhea, e coli infection, or cholera. I like to call the myriad sicknesses “beaver fever.” Don’t let yourselves be fooled by the corporate rhetoric brought to us by water-bottling companies, you know the ones who tell us that their plastic bottles full of cool ancient artesian water are the only drops of water safe enough to pass your thirsty lips. Well, let me tell you, that at least here in Patagonia, not only is the water safe to drink, but also it happens to taste better than any water out of a plastic bottle! As some one who is trying to recycle (trying being the key word), I was appalled to learn that plastic water bottles account for 80% of all plastic trash collected in Patagonia! This is completely unnecessary. As citizens of Puerto Natales, we pay dearly for what little recycling service that exists.Torres del Paine National Park also feels burdened under the mountain of trash that is produced in the park on a daily basis. So, please do yourself and pacha mama (Mother Earth) a favor: Save your precious pesos, and leave the two-liter bottles of flashy imported 1st-world water in the store. Fill your cup with the glacier-fed goodness of Patagonia’s still-pristine, cool clean water. And when you get back to Puerto Natales, ask for “agua de la llave,” or just help yourself to a glass of sweet H2O from the tap. Or better still, spend your saved cash on a couple of local beers--brewed with the same natural freshwater--sans plastic!

Locally owned & operated. Coffee Shop Souvenirs Horseback Rides ovejeropatagonico@gmail.com +56-61-691932 Cerro Castillo - Torres del Paine

The Milodon Laundry Service

Drop your pants here. Drop off before noon for same-day service. Closed Sundays. Open 10am-12pm & 2:30pm-8:00pm Phone 413466 • Baquedano 642

Hosteria Tunkelen Cerro Sombrero, Tierra del Fuego The only real rest stop between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia.

Arturo Prat 101, Cerro Sombrero, TdF, Chile - Phone 56+61 296696 or 56+61 212757 - hosteria_tunkelen@hotmail.com


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Cámara de Turismo de Última Esperanza les da la bienvenida y les desea un buen viaje Phillipi 600, mod.28. Pueblito Artesanal www.camaraturismoue.com camaraturismoue@yahoo.es - Fono 415721

Patagoniax Café & Books Delicious, real, organic coffee and espresso. Kick back and enjoy the cozy atmosphere.

torres del paine

Open all day

tested in patagonia

8am to 10:30pm

New clothing from the heart of Patagonia Baquedano 622 Pto Natales, Chile info@torresdelpaine-store.cl +56-61 614310

B. Encalada 226 Pto. Natales - Ph. 414725 info@patagoniax.com

Hotel Posada Tres Pasos Your country hotel...

Sky Airline Inauguró Ruta Comercial a Natales por La Cámara de Turismo de Última Esperanza Sky Airline se convierte en la primera línea aérea comercial en arribar a esta lejana ciudad de la Patagonia chilena. El día 12 de Enero 2008, se vivió una jornada histórica en la ciudad de Puerto Natales que con inmensa alegría recibió la llegada del vuelo inaugural de Sky Airline, el cual al arribar en la losa del Aeropuerto Teniente Julio Gallardo de Puerto Natales, se convierte en la primera empresa aérea en cubrir este destino. Lo que es un gran aporte a esta zona turística que posee atractivos naturales inigualables y que no tenía acceso directo vía aérea. Las autoridades locales, la cámara de turismo de Ultima Esperanza, empresarios y habitantes de Natales esperaban con grandes expectativas este momento y se mostraron felices y agradecidos. En la ocasión el alcalde de Puerto Natales, Mario Margoni, fue el más demostrativo, quien agradeció en su intervención a Sky Airline: “Bienvenidos, bienvenidos a la comuna de Puerto Natales. Cuando el Gobierno, Municipio y sector privado se ponen de acuerdo y se ponen los pantalones largos, los resultados son siempre buenos; aquí están alrededor de ustedes múltiples representantes de la co-

muna de Natales, empresarios, dueñas de casa y el pueblo natalino que les da la bienvenida. Hace tres años en este mismo aeropuerto nos reunimos con la gerente regional Elena Cárdenas a quien le dije que necesitábamos un vuelo. Aplaudo también a Rafael Morales, gerente de regiones de Sky, con quien en noviembre recorrimos la pista de aterrizaje y tú dijiste tres años atrás, Rafael, me gusta esta pista, la vamos a ocupar muy pronto. Hoy día este fruto maduró; costó, pero finalmente sucedió y hoy con la satisfacción de toda la gente de la comunidad natalina ese sueño se está transformando en realidad.” El primer vuelo comercial de la aerolínea procedente de la ciudad de Santiago trasladó a 74 pasajeros y fue piloteado por un natalino Gonzalo Lavín. La conectividad aérea estuvo presente en la agenda de trabajo de la Cámara de Turismo de Ultima Esperanza por varios años ya que se considera fundamental en el desarrollo de la actividad turística provincial. Este es el primer paso con el tiempo irán aumentando la frecuencia de los vuelos lo que permitirá que más turistas visiten nuestra ciudad.

Banning the Plastic Bags If you weren’t catching up on your shut eye on the bus when you arrived to Patagonia, then you likely saw the horrific plastic bag graveyards around the major cities and towns.Thin, flapping bags wave from just about every bush that’s big enough to catch some wind. These plastic monsters are distributed with every single article you buy in these parts, their sizes adapting to the size of your purchase. Every succulent piece of fruit, every toothbrush, or postcard you buy will come enveloped in plastic, unless you object. An average weekly visit to the supermarket adds about eight new plastic bags to your collection. Looking at the plastic flags littering the landscape, one might think that folks make a sport of getting as many bags as they can just to

see how far the wind will kite them. A project to eliminate plastic bags from Puerto Natales stores has been in the works, started by Enviu Foundation and Fundación Patagonia. They started a campaign to give out firm, reusable bags instead of flimsy plastic ones. But there has been some trouble getting this project off the ground. A better idea to help reduce the amount of plastic bags distributed every day is to simply BYOB. Bring your own bag or backpack to carry your purchases around town. If every tourist refused plastic bags, it would significantly reduce the landscape trash. Then, would be only a matter of cleaning up the graveyards to once again enjoy the flowering calafate and mata bushes surrounding these pretty Patagonian cities.

F u e l Eff i c i e n c y While trying to pack lightly, it helps to take your fuel into consideration. Bringing more fuel then you really need just means more weight to carry. On the other hand, not having enough fuel might mean a cold dinner. Here are a few ideas to make the most of your fuel... 1.

2. 3.

4.

 Tel:(56) (2) 1969630

reservas@hotel3pasos.cl

Km.38 norte, Comuna Torres del Payne Patagonia Chile

Don´t over-boil your water; it can only get so hot. Leaving the water boiling after its first moment is a waste. Lighting the stove before you’re ready to start a boil is only heating the fresh air. Put a lid on your pot. It holds in the heat making for a faster boil. Use a wind screen. Wind carries the heat from under your pot and redirects it from your food. Using a wind shield aims the heat where you want it, up and under your pot. If you don´t have an aluminum wind screen, try making a shield using rocks from your campsite. Many outdoor manufactures (such as MSR) now make heat exchangers that fit around your pot as insulation. Between this and a wind screen, you’ll be able to cook in almost any weather conditions.


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Break in Your Hiking Boots Sobre la Patagonia on the World’s Longest Trek Se Ha Escrito Mucho The Sendero de Chile is a huge project that aims to link the natural, cultural, ethnic, and scenic variety of the country. By 2010, it will be the longest trail in the world at 8,500 kilometers. This path will unite the most barren desert in the world (Atacama) with the rest of Chile’s varied landscapes: its plateaus, central valleys, cities, national parks, forests, lakes, volcanoes, pampas, and glaciers. There will even be trails allowing people to easily explore the main island ecosystems, with paths in Isla de Pascua, Archipielago de Juan Fernández, and Isla Grande de Chiloé. Currently, Sendero de Chile has 35 treks that form this amazing route with more than 1,200 kilometers throughout the country. In the Magallanes region, three trails exist: Isla Navarino in Cabo de Hornos, Reserva Nacional de Magallanes, and Ruta Patrimonial Milodón (just a few kilometers outside Puerto Natales). Ruta Patrimonial Milodón This trail begins 20 kilometers to the north of the Milodón cave, at the New Road to Torres del Paine Nataional Park, Lago Porteño road. The trail is 60 centimeters wide and 42 kilometers in length, beginning at the foot of the Cerro Tenerife. It’s a fairly easy walk with magnificent views of the landscape, the Paine Grande Massif, and three nearby lakes: Porteño, Maravilla, and Toro. On a clear day, you’ll catch glimpses of glaciers Tyndall and Grey as well as part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. The journey ends at Río Serrano, next to Torres del Paine Administration.

Standing on the edge at the end of the world. Walking this entire path takes three to four days, with camping at Río Ventisquero, El Salto, and Río Serrano. On the trail, you’ll get to know the environmental characteristics of the region and how the Patagonian climate has left a strong footprint. You’ll traverse forests of native lengas, coigues, ñirres, ciruelillos, and calafate. You’ll also get a chance to view all kinds of birdlife, including condors, eagles, and austral parakeets, as well as other fauna, like foxes, bobcats, huemul, and maybe even puma. When you finish up the trail in Río Serrano, you can make a descent by zodiac through Río Serrano, stopping to visit Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers, then continue by boat to Puerto Natales. Or just continue your hike in Torres del Paine National Park.

Una de las tantas riquezas de esta zona se encuentran entre las hojas de los diferentes libros que nos cuentan sus aventuras, vivencias y experiencias en torno a este pedazo de tierra que es tan especial. La prolífica producción literaria es maravillosa. Es un placer entrar a cualquiera de esas tiendas de libros y enfrentarse a tanta variedad de temas, fotos, generos, ediciones y portadas. No creo que exista otra región de Chile que concentre tanto material literario en el cual se refleja tan bien a su gente, sus paisajes y su historia. Para conocer bien a esta Patagonia simplemente hay que leerla (y caminarla y conversarla también). Una forma de introducirse en la historia Patagónica, conocer sus orígenes, sus raíces, es leyendo los varios libros que existen a modo de resumen. Esta vez me voy a detener en dos libros que son especialmente fáciles de leer, completos e interesantes. El primer libro se llama “Breve Historia de Magallanes,” escrito por Mateo Matinic, Premio Nacional de Historia 2000. Este libro es basicamente un resumen de su trabajo anterior “Historia de la Región Magallánica,” por lo que en “Breve Historia” encontramos la información más relevante de la región: el poblamiento de Magallanes y sus antiguos habitantes, los primeros intentos de colonización, la fundación del Fuerte Bulnes y posteriormente de Punta Arenas, sus

por Max Vergara

motines y revueltas, los primeros inmigrantes, el comienzo de la actividad ganadera y más. En solo 137 páginas de amena lectura uno puede hacerse un mapa cronológico de la breve historia de la región para después dejarse atraer por cada uno de los capítulos que componen la corta vida de Magallanes. El segundo libro que es una buena introducción a la historia de la región es “Pequeña Historia Patagónica,” escrito por Armando Braun Menéndez, prolífico estudioso e historiador de la región. En este libro de no más de 200 páginas nos relata diferentes sucesos que ocurrieron en nuestra Patagonia que finalmente construyen un todo dejando la sensación de haberse empapado con datos y anécdotas sabrosas. Descripciones de los indígenas de la zona por los primeros navegantes que cruzaron estos mares, relatos de cacerías, naufragios y motines condimentan esta historia para dejarnos con una curiosidad enorme y hambre de lectura. Al llegar al refugio, después de armar tu carpa, en esas tres horas de bus o en la navegación a algún glaciar por los canales, o simplemente en tu casa, después de haber terminado tu viaje leer y reconocer la Patagonia es una dulce nostalgia.

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The Dried Fruit Guy Baquedano 443 Puerto Natales

HOTEL ALCAZAR

M.Balmaceda 722 • 412889 hotelalcazar@gmail.com

...with all private bathrooms Eberhard 161 - Puerto Natales, Chile ph+56-61 415749

relax Clean & Natural Outdoor Tubs Massages & Natural Bar Relaxation Therapies

Falkland Islands

What,Where,When,Why & How by Miguel Barrientos The Falkland Islands have a total land area of 4,700 square miles (12,173 sq km) and are located 400 miles (640 kilometers) east of the South American mainland. They are one of the 14 U.K. overseas territories. They are made up of two large islands (East Falkland and West Falkland) and several hundred smaller ones. According to the 2001 Census, The Islands have a population of 2,913, of whom 1,989 live in Stanley, the capital. Most of the rest of the population live on sheep farms. King Penguins strutting their stuff on a Falklands beach Falkland Islanders make up 45% of the total population, Now, although there are not many restauwhich also includes U.K. citizens, Chileans, Austra- rants to go to,The Falklands offer you a good variety lians, New Zelanders, and Russians, among others. of dishes. Among the good local seafood, you can The official language is English and the currency is find mussels, oysters, snow crab, squid, and Patagothe Falkland pound (1FKP=1GBP). The fisheries nian Toothfish. Also lamb, beef, and mutton dishes, sector, having two types of squid (Illex argentinus plus local veggies and a good variety of international and Loligo gahi) as its main products, is the main wines make up an important part of the menus. The contributor to the island’s economy. best way to finish off the night is to visit one of the British-style local pubs, which are mostly located What to do... around the town center. If you are looking for a wildlife experience, search no more. The Falklands have 17 differ- When to go... ent mammals, 5 species of penguins (including King The best weather is usually between Noand Macaroni penguins) and over 70 species of birds vember and March. The average temperature of the breed on the Islands. In the Falklands you will have warmest months is 9.3º (48.7ºF) and for the coldest the opportunity of enjoying these animals in their months is 2º (35.6ºF). Like most places, accommodanatural habitat, something so unique that it will al- tion is more expensive during the summer months. most make you feel like an intruder. Some of the Prices range from about £130 for a single room in a main attractions include Volunteer Point to see King hotel to about £15 for a room in a B&B. Penguins; Sea Lion Islands to see sea lions, elephant seals, and penguins (The Falklands have the world’s How to go... largest populations of rockhopper and gentoo pen- There is a Lan flight that leaves every Satguins); Bleaker Island for penguins and sea lions; and urday from Santiago, Chile, and stops over in Puerto Saunders Islands for penguins and Black-browed Montt and Punta Arenas. Once a month, it also stops Albatross (The Falklands have the world’s largest off at Río Gallegos, in Argentina. If you are in the Black-browed Albatross population). U.K., you can catch a flight at RAF Brize Norton, Other options are sea trout fishing. The which is located near Burford, Oxfordshire, Engbest times are in September and October, and in land. March and April. If golfing is your thing, there are Visitors from Britain, North America, a few golf courses on the Islands. Shopping as in Mercosur, Chile, and most Commonwealth and Eu“shop till you drop” is not why people come to the ropean Community countries do not need visas. AnIslands. You can always find something to buy, like other important point is that all tourists are required local woollen goods, leather items, paintings, stamps, to demonstrate on arrival that they have return tickand a good variety of souvenirs. However, you will ets or secure accommodation and sufficient funds to not find any chain restaurants or shops. To give you cover their expenses during their intended stay. For an idea, you will not even find a supermarket open more information, please visit www.falklandislands.com after 9:00 p.m. You won’t be able to get cash with or www.falklands.info. your credit card, because there are no ATMs on the Islands. If you don’t have Falkland pounds on you, British pounds are equally accepted, and most shops will take U.S. dollars, Euros or major credit cards.


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El Sector Río Serrano by Baquales Group

Vista del Río Serrano serpenteado desde arriba View of the snaking Río Serrano from above El sector del Río Serrano se extiende por 44 Km. aprox. desde el Lago toro hasta el Fiordo Ultima Esperanza, dividiendo sus orillas en terrenos privados y los parques nacionales Torres del Paine y Bernardo O´Higgins. Su caudal de agua aumenta considerablemente en verano, debido a los deshielos del campo de hielo sur y de ríos que vierten sus aguas al lago toro. Este sector nos permite realizar paseos y excursiones de uno o varios días combinando actividades como kayaking, cabalgatas, trekking, pesca deportiva, turismo de estancias y navegaciones, disfrutando de la tranquilidad y de lugares únicos como el Lago Brush, Glaciar Gueikie, Monte Balmaceda y acompañados de la majestuosa vista del Macizo Paine. También debemos tener en cuenta que en estos paseos se puede conocer a los verdaderos pobladores del Paine, quienes nos guían y acompañan para darnos seguridad y una agradable compañía durante nuestro recorrido. Sin duda este sector es uno de los mejores lugares para visitar y sentir estas tierras, sin ver ni cruzarse con cientos de visitantes y así disfrutar de un original paseo de aventura por la Patagonia.

Inspired by the beauty of Torres del Paine itself. • • • •

Full-service hotel expanding for 2008/2009 season Restaurant with stellar views of the Paine Massif Conference facilities Wi-Fi Internet access

• www.hotelrioserrano.cl

• • • •

Reservations: 056 61 240528

Horseback riding Río Serrano boat rides Sport fishing Tours of Torres del Paine Hotel: 056-2-2948865

reservas@hotelrioserrano.cl


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Patagonia belongs to everyone.

www.aquanativapatagonia.com

Aqua Nativa Sea Kayak Patagonia

Are you being herd?

Travel. Discover. Paddle. Live. Daily trips to Glaciers Balmaceda, Serrano, Geikie, and Tyndall. Blanco Encalada 244

Puerto Natales Patagonia,Chile www.puntaalta.cl Ph: 56-61-410115

Eberhar d 161 Puer to Natales, Chile ph 414143

Write us with your comments, stories, discoveries, praises, gripes, and photos. editor@patagoniablacksheep.com


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La Protectora

People do care for the stray dogs

A piece of Patagonian history...

by Bruce Willett of La Protectora The Punta Arenas humane society, La Protectora de Punta Arenas, needs your help! Although they provide critical services for stray animals, they are close to shutting down due to lack of resources. Operating on a very limited budget in a town with a huge population of stray dogs, La Protectora (or Corporacion de la Defensa de los Derechos de los Animales, CODDA) runs the southernmost animal shelter in the world. Founded in 1990 by Señora Elia Tagle to stop the cruel poisoning of stray dogs by the local and federal governments (who used strychnine), the nonprofit runs essential sterilization and educational programs. The shelter literally has only a handful of supporters and volunteers operating in a human population of 120,000 and a stray animal population as high as 15,000. La Protectora receives no public funding, but they manage to stretch their $20,000 USD per year budget pretty far. On this budget, they operate a shelter with 100-140 dogs and 25 cats. Most of their animals are not locked in cages and run around freely in several pens, eating twice daily, playing, and sometimes fighting. La Protectora provides low-cost medical services, discounted spay/neuter, and dignified euthanasia when necessary. With the help of the police, they also respond to cruelty and neglect cases. One of their eductaional projects teaches people about the important responsibility of pet ownership. Another project hosts a group of high school students from the local British School, who are obligated to volunteer in order to graduate. Sterilization is another big priority. Many people in Punta Arenas cannot afford to sterilize their pets. In a country where a normal

monthly salary can be as low as $120 USD, the cost to spay a female dog runs about $40-$60 USD. They work with the local government and veterinarians to provide this service at low cost, but the program needs to be expanded. What can you do to help? Financially, make a donation.Visit their web site (www.chileaustral.com/perros) with a PayPal account. Or better yet, stop by in person. La Protectora is located on the outskirts of Punta Arenas on the road to Club Andino at Avenida Circunvalación 1950. You can also help pressure the local and regional governments to support La Protectora. Write a letter to the editor of La Prensa Austral, the Punta Arenas-based regional paper, discussing how this issue affects tourism. The more letters they receive, the more local officials will respond. Draw attention to the issue by speaking with tourist-related businesses, such as travel agencies, tourist offices, and hostels. This helps raise the awareness of locals, who want happy tourists and a good reputation for their town. Volunteers are always welcome as well. They need help with animal care, cleaning, building maintenance, marketing, and fundraising. To volunteer or make a donation, please contact La Protectora at (56-61) 262607 or perros@ chileaustral.com. Or stop by to visit them at Av. Circunvalación 1950, For more, visit: www.chileaustral.com/perros.

Mate and Typical Herbs of the Region Mate is an herb made from the leaves and stalks of a shrub (Ilex paraguariensis). In Patagonia drinking mate is a ritual often involving a group of friends who have gathered to matear (drink and gossip). It’s usually taken on an empty stomach in the morning or afternoon. Mate is said to be an appetite suppressant, an anti-oxidant, and rich in vitamins C, B1, B2, potassium, and magnesium. Considered to be a healthier option to tea or coffee, mate is a stimulant and does contain caffeine. If you’re looking for something that aids digestion and won’t keep you awake all night, there are options. Try one of the herbal teas that are very popular with Chileans. Mint (menta) and camomile (manzanilla) are probably familiar to many, but there are lots others. Herbal teas are usually taken after meals and are caffeinefree. And they’re recommended for a range of ailments. Following is a list of herbal teas and their benefits. • • • •

Boldo: calming, headaches, gallstones Bailahuen: aphrodisiac, cleanses the liver Llanten (plantain): anti-inflammatory, coughs, stimulates the appetite Matíco: for after eating meat

Guided water tours of Glacier Balmeceda • Glacier Serrano • Bernardo O’Higgins National Park

• • • • •

Menta (mint): nausea, gas, bad breath, colds Manzanilla (camomile): calming, antiinflammatory, high blood pressure Paico: flatulence, diarrhea Tilo: lowers cholesterol, fever, cramps Cedrón (lemon verbena): – calming, insomnia, flatulence, cramps

These teas can be found in most shops and supermarkets. There is one tea that’s a blend of herbs called ocho hierbas, which is particularly recommended for after meals. If you’re interested in a more natural approach to treating more persistent ailments, try visiting an Hierberia. There are several in Puerto Natales, where you can find the teas listed above in leaf form, as well as many others offering a range of benefits. The leaves can be made into infusions and taken hot or cold. Even if your Spanish isn’t great, you may be able to get an idea of their uses just from the amusing drawings on some of the packets. Caution: The infusions are much stronger than the teabags, so if you are pregnant or suffer from any particular illness, you should check before drinking.

Turismo “21 de Mayo” Puerto Natales Patagonia Chile Eberhard 560 • Phone 56-61 614420 • www.chileaustral.com/21demayo • 21demayo@chileaustral.com

Call center Books & Maps Postcards & Stamps Souvenirs

ÑANDÚ Hand Crafts

Eberhard 301 Puerto Natales, Chile ph. 414382 - 415660 - 413360

Cerro Castillo - Coffee shop & money exchange ph. 691932 - 413063 ANEXO 122

el SOSIEGO HOSTEL

L AU N D RY S E RV I C E S TO R E • PA R K I N G Miraflores 798, Puerto Natales Phone 74502944 / 83169151 www.chamorromilosevic@yahoo.es


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Get out! Getting Out of Natales on a Bike In just a half day of biking, you can have a “so close, but so far away” view of Puerto Natales and its surroundings. All you need is a bike, a picnic, and your camera. If you follow the road by the sea, going in the exact opposite direction of everyone else (who will all be going to the Park), you will pass the main dock. Keep pedaling until the pavement turns into dirt. When you get to where all the fishing boats are, you will have to turn down some streets, but always try to keep closest to the sea (if you get lost, just ask anyone how to get to “El Camino a Dumestre”). You will reach a dirt road out of town, and as you get farther away from the town, all of the mountains will start to show you how tremendous they really are, and how endless ly they careen by the sea. The farther you get,

Free Climbing Wall in Natales, With Mountain Views

the greater your view of the different mountains will be. On a clear day, you’ll see Tenerife, Prat, Chacabuco, Ballena, Cordillera Moore, and even the Caín Mountains of the beautiful Roca Peninsula. If you come prepared, you can even camp along the beach.The law in Chile states that no one can own the edges of the ocean, fjords, or lakes. A two-day bike ride, with all your kit, is a great way to see a quieter (and cheaper) Patagonia. Puerto Natales claims some of the best views in Chile and should not be missed. Biking south, out of town, will serve you an unforgettable helping of eye-candy. If this sounds nice, but you’re still unsure, ask yourself this simple question:When do you think you’ll be back?

The University of Magallanes Puerto Natales Campus boasts a climbing wall that’s open to the public. It’s 8.5 meters high (~28 feet), with three faces varying in difficulty. If you’re looking forward to climbing the Torres or bouldering in Cerro Dorotea but would like to test out your climbing legs beforehand, head on over to UMAG Natales (Camino Puerto Bories, Kilometer 1.5). Wall hours are Monday through Friday, 09.00-13.00 and 15.00-19.00. And it’s free! Once you get to the university, visit the office, let them know you want to climb the wall, and sign a waiver. You’ll need to make sure there are at least two of you

doing the climb. They even have equipment you can borrow (ropes, harnesses, carabiners), though it’s always a better idea to bring your own if you have it. Enjoy the spectacular views of Seno Ultima Esperanza and the surrounding mountain ranges.

Backpacking Recipes That Pop

Where the Wild Things Are

FREE

Bored with 5-minute rice dinners and dried pasta meals? Looking for an alternative lunch? Ready for a healthy, light-weight breakfast suggestion? Is there something that will help you survive cold Patagonian nights in a tent? Yes, yes, yes! Here are a few recipes to spice up your trip.

Lake District & Patagonia

use of knives, forks & chairs

56-61 224819 56-9 8827569 www.adel.cl

el Living. La Plaza. Pto Natales.

Personalized climbs with Steve Schneider

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www.blondeambitionguiding.com AMGA Aspirant Rock Guide Patagonia cell: 07-6351059

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Jorge Montt 847 Fono 56-61-222774 Punta Arenas, Patagonia Chilena info@hostalbustamante.cl www.hostalbustamante.cl

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Climb the North Tower

Bill’s Trekkers Breaky For a ‘W’ breakfast for two you’ll need... • 1 box of instant oatmeal (Quaker, Avena Instantánea) • 1 can of Svelty powdered milk. (Don’t go for the cheaper brand. Your breakfast will taste so much better if you just go for Svelty.) • 1 bag of brown sugar, which you can find at the pharmacy. Toss oatmeal in a resealable Ziploc bag and add powdered milk and sugar to taste. In the morning all you have to do is put your cup into the Ziploc bag, add some boiling water, and you’re ready to go for another day. For some variation, take a bag of jam or some dried fruit to flavor up your oats. Wrap It Up For this alternative lunch or cold dinner for two, you’ll need... • 1 pack of integral tortillas, which you can find at Vergel on Blanco Encalada • 250 grams of cream cheese • Aji Pebre (some spicy goodness that you can find the small bottles, next to the ketchup) • 1 pack of Serrano ham • A handful of white raisins (pasas blancas) • A handful of fresh cilantro Mix the cream cheese with some Aji Pebre to taste and spread it on the tortillas. Divide the Serrano ham onto each tortilla, sprinkle on some chopped-up raisins, finish it all off with cilantro, and wrap these bad boys up. Provecho! Candola If you’re in your tent with all your layers on and still freezing your toes off, consider walking up to the refugio and buying a box of wine. For this typical Chilean recipe you’ll need... • A box of wine • Sugar • The skin of half an orange • A couple of sticks of cinnamon • And… to get out of that cozy sleeping bag to put up your stove Mix all the ingredients in a pot, add sugar to taste, and heat until you can just drink it, but the alcohol is still in there. Sleep tight!

Getting there... Follow the road on the way to Torres del Paine for about 1.5 km (almost 1 mile). Turn right at the Remota driveway, but instead of going left for Remota, take the right fork in the road and follow it up the hill to the university parking lot.

It sounds like common sense to those of us who grew up trekking and camping, but if you do the “W” or circuit, it’s soon apparent that the common-sense rule of not feeding the animals isn’t always followed. Feeding local wild animals has hazardous effects. The food that’s offered to animals is often processed or just plain “junk food,” which is unnatural for wild animals. After a generation or two of handouts, animals lose their hunting edge and end up suffering during the long winter seasons without human intrusion. These wild animals become accustomed to people that they end up becoming a nuisance or even a threat. This often results in relocation at best or, at worst--death! So matter what you see people do in the Park, please keep your sandwich to yourself and DON’T FEED THE ANIMALS!

What Patagonia Tastes Like by Sandra Pendelin Traveling trough Patagonia often includes strong winds, rain, and frosty temperatures. But there is something to warm and comfort you. Good cazuela soup. Chileans love this meal, which belongs to their cocina criolla (tradicional cuisine). It’s a perfect combination of rice, potatoes, seasonal vegetables, including pumkin, corn, and carrots as well as big chunks of meat, like chicken or hen. Cazuela has its origin in a typical Spanish meal, the olla podrida. It was first served on Chilean territory in 1826 to the Spanish admiral Blanco Encalada. Other typical Chilean main dishes include pastel de choclo (corn pie with mincemeat, chicken, and egg), empanadas (with mincemeat, cheese, or seafood pies), charcicán (a Chilean stew of mincemeat and vegetables), and humitas con ensalada chilena (flavored mashed corn served in its own leaf with a tomato-onion salad). To sate the sweet tooth, there are also very lovely desserts, such as mote con huesillos (sweet, canned peaches with wheat) or semola con salsa de vino tinto (semolina stewed in a red wine sauce). ¡Provecho!


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Free Paine Campsites Spotlight: Campamento Italiano

Campamento Italiano got its name long ago from an Italian climbing expedition up Los Cuernos. After being just a climbers campsite for years, from 1980 onwards Italiano is an official free Conaf campsite. In 2002, the first park rangers were stationed there, mostly to prevent tourists from starting forest fires. They lived in tents for a couple years until 2004, when a guard hut was built. All materials arrived carried by humans. The number of people spending the night at Italiano has been growing ever since. In high season there are up to 150 tents a night at the campsite. Staying at Italiano is a great way to visit Valle del Frances with fewer time constraints. Waking up in the morning in Italiano provides ample time to see the Valley and move on to your next camp before dark. Valle de Frances got its name from a Frenchman named Bader, who used to have cattle in the area, though the animals were more in the area around Pehoe and Italiano and never really up in the valley. The valley between Valle del Frances and Valle Ascencio still bares his name,Valle Bader. Today Italiano has restrooms and a hut to protect campers while cooking and relaxing, in out of the weather. The campsite is situated in a Lenga forest that offers trekkers decent protection from wind and rain, as nearby Valle del Frances tends to attract bad weather.

Where in the World...? Cool web site meets tracking technology EXpeNews, created by Chilean mountaineer and scientist Camilo Rada, is a web site that allows expeditions to easily communicate their location and progress to family and friends. Anyone with a satellite phone can send text messages to EXpeNews. Upon receiving a text message, the site automatically locates the expedition’s coordinates and shows where they are on a tracking map. ExpeNews currently has no external funding, so it is open to donations, which will make it possible to enhance the site and keep it online. www.expenews.org

Will Work for Pisco Sour In Chile, the food is not sophisticated, but it’s delicious.There’s a wide variety of meats, including lamb, pork, beef, fish, shellfish, and poultry. You might even taste guanaco, ñandu, boar, or deer. (Yes, there’s a lot of meat... good luck if you’re a vegetarian!) But you’ll also find good, strong drinks and a pisco culture. Pisco is like a whiskey made from grapes.There are many pisco-mixed drinks out there, piscola (pisco and coke) being one of the most common. Pisco sour is the most popular pisco drink among tourists. It’s a good idea to try pisco sours at different places, because each restaurant or bar has their own touch or flavor. You can even find delicious calafate sour based on the same mix. But you can also make pisco sour yourself, in your hostel or once you get home.

Parque de los Patagones

Cave paintings and cultural attraction site horario: 7.30 a.m - 8 p.m. fono (56-61) 225312

www.patagonia-etnias.cl

Blue Green Adventures

Pisco Sour • • • • •

www.bluegreenadventures.com

3 parts pisco 1 part lemon juice Powdered sugar 1 egg white Ice cubes

Blend the pisco and lemon juice. While blending, add powdered sugar to taste, the egg white, and the ice cubes. In a minute, it will be ready to drink. In some families, it’s a tradition to welcome guests with a toast of pisco sour, so go for it and enjoy!

Loving Torres del Paine Agrupacion Medioambiental Torres del Paine (AMA Torres del Paine) was created in 2004 to address environmental issues and to protect the wilderness within Torres del Paine National Park. The group’s work includes: addressing environmental issues of concern to those who live and work in the park; educating the local community and visitors about the benefits of caring for the environment; trail improvement; improving the ability to respond to fires; and supporting environmental research projects in the Park. Volunteer efforts and donations from the public help support the group’s efforts. To learn more, visit their web site: www.amatorresdelpaine.org

wat e r While trekking or climbing, the idea is to drink about three to four liters a day. But this really depends on where you are and what you are doing. In a hot desert, you´d probably want to double this, but a rest day at camp in mild weather would require less. A good way to monitor your hydration level is to look at your urine output: Clear and copious is what you’re looking for. Bold yellow urine is a sure sign of dehydration, but remember that some vitamins will turn urine bright yellow; that´s different. If you’re feeling thirsty, then you’re already lacking up to a liter of water, and may have lost up to 20 percent of your endurance. Headaches or cramping are also signs of dehydration. Take time to drink. Don´t feel pressured by the clock or the team´s agenda. A clever group will schedule in regular drink breaks together. It´s better to drink small amounts of water over time than to guzzle down a liter in one sitting. This gives your body time to absorb the water, which is why it´s so important to continually drink all day. Torres del Paine is one of the last great destinations in the world where you CAN drink water fresh from streams and creeks along its trail. So, bottoms up!

A 2kms de la Cueva del Milodón

Torres del Paine

Trekking programs Departing weekly 990 USD

Bulnes 1200 Puerto Natales, Chile

phone 56-61 410009

The warmest place in the coldest spot of the world.

Las Carretas HOSTEL

Galvarino 745, Puerto Natales, 56 61 414584 www.portalmagallanes.com/lascarretas Hostel Excursions Ascents Ranch Tourism Kayaking Horse Riding Welcome to the world of Adventure. Welcome to Patagonic People Adventure. Bulnes 280 Puerto Natales, Chile Phone 412014 www.patagonicpeopleadventure.com


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vegetarian. juices. shakes. cakes

FREE your taste buds

el Living La Plaza. Pto Natales

Bookings for Hosterias, Lodges, Shuttles, Navegation to Torres del Paine and more...

Tapas wine bar. sofas. book exchange

pathagone@entelchile.net Eberhard 595 • ph 56 61 413291

The Legendary Penguins of Patagonia Every year in mid-September, the first black and white heads timidly pop out of the cold water from the Strait of Magellan. Spring has begun and soon the first brave Magellanic Penguin steps onto one of Patagonia’s lone pebble beaches, just like their anscesters have done for thousands of years. Only males arrive at the beginning, but it doesn’t take long for the females to join the males and start finding their soul mates for the sole but definite purpose of reproduction. They then stay all summer until their chicks are big enough to join their parents at the end of March on their long journey north. There are five colonies that you can visit around Punta Arenas: Seno Otway, Isla Magdalena, Cabo Virgenes, Tucker Islet, and Ruppert Islet. All of contain the same species: Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus). So what are your options? Pretty much all tour operators and travel agencies in Punta Arenas offer daily departures to Seno Otway in the afternoon, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., picking folks up at their accommodations. It’s an hour drive through the Patagonian pampas to reach private property, where about 11,000 penguins nest. The landlord officially opened his terrain for visitors on October 15, 2007, and will close it up at the end of March, when the penguins start to head north.This year, the entrance fee at Seno Otway is 4.500 pesos. There’s also a fee of 1.000 pesos to use the private road, the only way to access the colony. The ferry boat that connects Punta Arenas and Porvenir takes you to Isla Magdalena on

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, but it doesn’t start operating until the end of November or beginning of December. There’s about 120,000 penguins

Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) on Isla Magdalena. This excursion begins at “Tres Puentes” port, which you can reach from downtown Punta Arenas by hopping on one of the colectivos,

either nº 15 or 20. The price for this tour will be 20.000 pesos, including entrance fee. Every day at 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (weather permitting), you can catch a fast zodiac boat across the Strait of Magellan to Isla Magdalena and Isla Marta. The latter island is home to about 1,000 sea lions, who consider Isla Magdalena their special penguin restaurant. This is an adventurous yet safe alternative to the ferry. Price: 32.000 pesos, including the shuttle transfer from/to Punta Arenas and to/from the dock, and the entrance fee. The Eastern entrance of the Strait of Magellan is called Cabo Virgenes. Nearby, on Argentine soil, is a penguin colony that is said to be the second largest in South America (after Punta Tombo), with about 200,000 birds. It is best reached by joining a tour from Río Gallegos or by renting a car and driving the dirt road southeast of Río Gallegos yourself. It’s a pretty large distance, but the chances that you and the penguins will be the only ones there are pretty good! Price from Río Gallegos: 120 Argentinian pesos plus 15ARP entrance fee. A visit to Tucker Islet is only possible by joining one of the weekly expedition cruises from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia onboard the Mare Australis or Via Australis. Prices for the 5 day/4 night cruise start at USD 1,150 per person. To get there, you can join a Humpback Whale Watching tour that runs from December to April from/to Punta Arenas.The penguin colony has an estimated 20,000 members. This season’s prices for the 3 day/2 night all-inclusive tour is USD 900 per person.

Punta Arenas Museums Museo Salesiano Av. Bulnes 374 South Patagonian culture, history, and nature. $2.000 Tue.-Sun. a.m.: 10:00-12:30 Tue.-Sun. p.m.:15.00-18.00 Museo Regional Magallanes 949, next to the plaza ph (61) 244216 The former mansion of Mauricio Braun, containing regional history. Tue.-Sat.: $1.000 Sun.: free Tue.-Sat.: 10:30-17:00 Sun.: 10:30-14:00 Museo Naval y Marítimo Pedro Montt at O´Higgins ph (61) 205479 Shipwrecks, cartography, meteorology, local, and national maritime history. Tue.-Sat. a.m.: 9:30 - 12:30 Tue.-Sat. p.m.: 14:00 - 17:00


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What are the highlights of PA center? To start with, the plaza. It’s a nice square surrounded by old trees and with an outstanding central monument honoring Magellan, the Portuguese discoverer. Walk four blocks up from the plaza to the mirador de la Cruz where you have a beautiful view of Tierra del Fuego Island and the Strait of Magellan. You can also depart from the plaza along Magallanes Street to visit the cemetery which is considered one of the most beautiful in South America, reflecting the many explorers and pioneers who created the cosmopolitan Punta Arenas society. On your way back visit the Salesian museum which will give you a full overview of the regional flora, fauna and indigenous cultures. And next door you can visit the enormous Don Bosco church.

How to get to Torres del Paine from Punta Arenas? Most people make a stop over in the town of Puerto Natales. However, there are straight buses to Torres del Paine. For more info ask at Buses Barria.

Mario Toledo

Julia Garay

Caupolican

Quillota

Jorge Montt

O‘Higgins

Magallanes

Lautaro Navarro

I. Carrera Pinto

ra ne

ta os .C v A

Jose Menedez Pedro Montt

Waldo Seguel Av. España

How far is Torres del Paine from here? 4.5 hrs. to the new park entrance at Río Serrano. 5hrs to Laguna Amarga entrance.

Sarmiento

Mejicana

Av. Colon

Can I drink the tap water? Yes, tap water is absolutely safe. Does Punta Arenas have a camping? Not at walking distance from the centre.

Downtown Punta Arenas, Chile

Croacia Pl. Sampaio

Maipu

Roca

Fagnano Errazuriz Balmaceda

Av. Independencia Boliviana

21 de Mayo

Where can I change money? There are a couple of agencies, mainly concentrated on Lautaro Navarro between Pedro Montt and Fagnano.

What are my penguin options? 1) Tours leave every afternoon to Seno Otway. 2) Ferry to Isla Magdalena afternoon on Tue, Thu, and Sat. 3) Zodiac boat trips in the morning and afternoon to Isla Magdalena – every day.

Arauco

How do I know where the colectivos go? There are no plans or maps. People just know... or they don’t. It always says on the sign, but then they blast by you, it’s difficult to read. Have fun! How much do taxis cost? All taxis have a taximeter, in and around the centre you should pay between 1500 and 2500 pesos.

How many people live here? About 120.000. That’s about 0.8% of Chile’s total population.

How far is the airport out of town? About 20km or 30 minutes.

Angamos

When are store open? Except for the supermarkets and farmacies, everything opens around 9:30am and is closed around lunch time between 13:00 and 15:00pm. Also on Sundays most shops are closed, except for the supermarkets.

What’s with all the street dogs? Do they bite? Yes, gringos only.

Av. Bulnes

Is there any public transportation? Yes! “Micro” is the name for our public buses. A great option to get to know Punta Arenas. Just hop onto one take it as far as it goes – which is until you are the last one on the bus an the driver nevously starts to look at you all the time and then just ask him to take you back to the “centro.” “Colectivos” are car-type public transportation. Like a bus, they have a defined route, but they “collect” people along the road, so you may hop on and off. Both options a pretty inexpensive.

How much is an airport transfer? A taxi to the airport usually costs 5.000 CLP. From the airport to town you’d usually pay about 8.000 CLP. The difference is due to the concession that the taxi companies have to wait for you at the airport. The ones that don’t have this concession may only take you to the airport, but may not wait there. There are also minibus shuttles.

Bories

Are there tours to the park from Punta Arenas? Most of the travel agencies in Punta Arenas can organise trips to the park. Be aware that a “full day Torres del Paine” will be a very long bus ride. However, if you’re short of time…

When does ski season start? Depending on snow conditions of course about June – August. You can see the Strait of Magellan from the slopes.

Jose Nogueira

Where is the bus station? Unfortunately Punta Arenas doesn’t have a central bus station. Every company has its own terminal somewhere in the centre. There are numerous buses to Natales until 8pm. Buses to Argentina and to Torres del Paine National Park are a little less frequent.

Can I reach the end of the continent? From Punta Arenas the road continuous about 60 km south. From there it is about a three days hike to Cabo Froward which is the southernmost tip of South America´s continent.

What type of day tours are there? Options include: Penguin Colonies. Historic Fuerte Bulnes (some operatores include side trips to Laguna Parriar National Forest) Also recommended.

Chiloe

Why are there ropes on the main square corners? Punta Arenas is a windy city especially in spring time and summer with winds up to 120 km/h. The ropes are put up to prevent people from being blown into the street.

Is P.A. safe at night? Yup, no worries.

Is there a boat to Ushuaia? Yes, a fancy ship called the “Expedition Cruise.”

Armando Sanhueza

What does Punta Arenas mean? Punta Arenas means “sandy point” after its sandy soil and rocky beaches. A swim however isn’t recommended with an average water temperature of 5 degrees C.

How far to Puerto Natales, Provenir & Ushuia? 250 km to Puerto Natales. 40 km as the crow flies to Porvenir, about 2.5 hrs by ferry, 600 km to Ushuaia via Primera Angostura.

Señoret

What is ‘downtown’ Punta Arenas? Mainly the blocks around the plaza which are shown on the map.

Punta Arenas, Chile • Q&A

Port

Punta Arenas, Chile


February.08

28

w w w. p a t a g o n i a b l a c k s h e e p . c o m

open 12.30-15.00, 18.30-22.30

The sea & food restaurant

Drinks & coffee with a view

L a d r i l l e r o s 1 0 5 - w a t e r f ro n t - Pu e r t o Na t a l e s - t e l . 0 6 1 6 1 5 7 3 0

Ladrilleros 105 - waterfront - tel. 061 615 730 - open 12.30-01.00

Voluntarios en Chile: Otra Manera de Viajar por Isabel Chamorro Milosevic

Volunteers volunteering voluntarily

Mi hijo Felipe (17) decidió tomarsé un año sabático con el fin de buscar diferentes alternativas y de esta manera viajar fuera de Chile y así tratar de conocer otra cultura y adquirir nuevas experiencias de vida, por cierto, apoyamos su decisión siempre y cuando esta se transformara en una experiencia enriquecedora. Cierto día encontró un interesante artículo en el Black Sheep con algunos datos sobre organizaciones internacionales por medio de las cuales viajan internos de distintos países del mundo a trabajar y a aprender una lengua diferente. La mayoría de ellos tienen entre 18 y 24 años y estudios superiores, esto es un au pair. Patagonia es un destino increíble para quienes desean realizar trabajos voluntarios, no sólo por estar en un escenario único, sino que además es un lugar en pleno desarrollo donde los voluntarios pueden aportar en diferentes ámbitos. Es así, como desde hace un par de años se estan desarrollando en la Región de Magallanes dife-

rentes programas. Desde el 2006, se implemento el programa Abriendo Puertas que tiene por objetivo reforzar la enseñanza del idioma inglés en los establecimientos educacionales municipales de tal manera que niños y jóvenes tengan un mayor acercamiento con esta lengua. Para los voluntarios del programa ha sido todo un desafío ya que se deben adaptar a sus nuevas familias y al sistema educativo, pero finalmente son tan felices con esta experiencia que muchos optan por quedarse un tiempo más prolongado o incluso se plantean comenzar una vida nueva en Patagonia. Otro programa de voluntariado en Magallanes es el impulsado por la fundación Ama Torres del Paine, la cual esta orientada a la preservación y cuidado del parque nacional Torres del Paine, los voluntarios realizan diferentes tareas que ayudan a minimizar el impacto sobre el medio ambiente. Sin duda, realizar un voluntariado permite conocer otra cultura, aprender otra lengua y

sobretodo nos da la inmensa satisfacción de entregar un aporte significativo a la sociedad. A lo largo de todo Chile hay instituciones y empresas que están dispuestas a tener en sus equipos de trabajo a un extranjero ya que con este intercambio cultural podemos ampliar los horizontes no sólo de conocimientos y capacidades técnicas sino que además vivir una experiencia humana que nos enriquece. Me pareció tan interesante que quise comentarlo a través de este artículo. Si estas interesado te sugerimos las siguientes alternativas www.contactchile.com • www.enemundo.com • www.easyaupair.com • www.curturalcare.com • www.aupairplacement.com • www.amatorresdelpaine.org •

erratic rock .5

Miraflores 816 Puerto Natales 56 61 410355 erraticrock@gmail.com

the crashpad the Towers

the original

bed & breakfast by popular demand

erratic rock

baquedano 719 Puerto Natales 56 61 410355 erraticrock@gmail.com

erratic rock 2

benjamin zamora 732 Puerto Natales 56 61 414317 info@patagoniafortwo.com

erratic rock 3

errazuriz 567 Punta Arenas 56 61 221130 erraticrockpa@gmail.com

Run by backpackers. Not businessmen.

erratic rock hostels, patagonia

www.erraticrock.com

Black Sheep Feb 08  

Patagonia Travel Newspaper

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