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Hobo Traveler: Why go to Patagonia?

Made famous by history, and travel agents trying to sell a tour. Travelers will nonchalantly say words like Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, Torres de Paino, and Cape Horn. They have a nice sound to them, but is it worth the trip? I admit I do not understand what those words mean.

Reasons to travel to the end of the world:
  1. Penguins
  2. Say you went to the end of the continent
  3. Trekking
  4. Fishing
  5. Antarctica
  6. Mountain Climbing in the Andes
  7. Ferdinand Magellan, Charles Darwin
  8. Test that sub-zero jacket
  9. Sheep
  10. Oil
  11. Icebergs
  12. Adventure

History and Travel go hand in hand. Wherever I go I need to research history. Sitting here in this cold and barren region of the world I find it difficult to understand why I came here? Why do people say it’s so beautiful? Patagonia is rather bleak. You can see for miles over the flat cold desert terrain, with the mountains in the background.

When I think of a desert, I think of hot dry places, with the sun shining, and drifting sand. But my handy little CD encyclopedia helps me understand. A desert is a place of sparse vegetation. I think all the plants deserted or left this place. Not a tree in sight. This is normally because of little rainfall, and if you have little rainfall the soil turns to dust or sand.

Ok, so back to the idea. Patagonia is a lot of flat ground between the mountains and the ocean. A few glaciers here and there. In the South of Chile between the Andes and the Ocean, there are a lot of Glaciers. They also have fiords like Norway. It is very cold. The beauty of coming to Patagonia is the Mountains, Glaciers, and the adventure. Patagonia is an outdoor adventure. People make treks into the mountains, glaciers, and woods, although not the weak of heart.

This place is beautiful for the adventurer who wants to know “why”. The adventure starts when you explore to understand “why”.

Ferdinand Magellan a Spanish (Born Portuguese) explorer looking for a route to the Indies came through here. The Straits of Magellan is a narrow waterway between Tierra de Fuego (More or less an Island, or Key) and the main continent. Magellan died along the way but his boat went all the way around the world.

Imagine yourself being in a wooden sailboat: freezing your tail off, and looking west over endless water, your crew wanting to mutiny, and some trying, having absolutely no idea what is down the channel, hoping it is not just a river, but a route to the Indies, and debating whether the world was flat or round.

After going through this Straits, or channel he would leave the Atlantic, and enter the Pacific.

Now this story seems easy to understand for us because we know the whole story. The world is round, there is the Pacific Ocean and the Indies to the west. But these guys were adventurers. They were not sure. They were afraid. Was it safe to take a wood boat down a narrow winding channel? The answer was no. But they did it anyway. a.k.a. adventure

Patagonia is for adventure.

Fun definition of Patagonia:

Patagonia. Named by Magellan, in 1520 when his fleet (which was the first to sail around the world) stopped over at San Julian Bay on the Patagonian Atlantic coast to spend the winter. The word comes from the name that they gave the native Tehuelches: PATAGONES. Which means:

“People with Big feet ” The word derives from PATACHI [1] due to the enormous size of their feet. Which probably seemed larger than they actually were, due to the fur boots that they wore. The native Tehuelche Indians seemed gigantic to the small-sized, sixteenth-century Europeans

Quote from:

Boring definition of Patagonia:

Patagonia, the region of southern Argentina, is situated east of the Andes Mountains and south of the Río Colorado. It has an area of about 777,000 sq km (about 300,000 sq mi), marked by desert plateaus, which includes the eastern, or Argentine, part of the Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago off the southern tip of South America. Sheep raising is a principal economic activity of Patagonia. The name Patagonia formerly applied to the southernmost portion of the South American continent, including what is now the southern parts of both Argentina and Chile. The first European to visit Patagonia was the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, in 1520. The region was not settled, however, until after 1880. The final division of Patagonia between Argentina and Chile occurred in 1902.

Definition from: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Compact Disc ROM (CD ROM)

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