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Patagon Journal launches magazine

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New International Magazine on Patagonia’s Nature, Culture, Travel and Outdoors Launches

 

Puerto Varas, CHILE, Dec. 17, 2011 – Leading journalists specialized in Patagonia have come together in Patagon Journal, a new, international magazine in print and digital about nature, culture, travel and outdoors whose mission is to “build a greater appreciation, understanding and environmental stewardship of Patagonia.”

 

Blue whales threatened by coastal wind farm on Chiloe Island?

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On a recent visit to the Canelo de Nos office in Ancud, Chiloe, I was greeted by a packed room of local residents angry about the prospects of a wind farm in their backyard. They were there to express their concerns about noise from turbines, disturbance of an ancient indigenous burial ground, contamination to wetlands, and threats to migratory birds. Many tourist business owners talked of the potential negative impacts for nearby Punihuil, a launching pad to visit a rare colony of both Magallanic and Humboldt penguins that is one of Chiloe Island’s top tourism attractions. A local indigenous leader was emphatic in his rejection of a wind farm at Cocotue Bay on the northwest coast of Chiloe: “This company has not taken our opinions into account -- not indigenous communities nor anyone else in the sector. There was no consultation process.”
 

Haciendo patria en Aysén

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La primera vez que llegue a Aysén en el verano del año 1983 como un estudiante de Sociología en busca de material para una tesis de grado, llegar a la región no era tan fácil como hoy. Tuvimos que conseguir una embarcación que fue la barcaza río cisnes, que solo con la buena voluntad del capitán embarcarnos en Puerto Montt, hacia Puerto Aysén. El recorrido duró tres días, y compartimos el viaje con 200 vacunos que iban a Melinka, durmiendo en el puente a la intemperie. Al llegar a Puerto Aysén, nos embarcamos en un camión muy peculiar de marca Internacional atestado de carga y gente, demoramos unas ocho horas en llegar a Coyhaique. Para llegar a Puerto Ibáñez a tomar la barcaza que nos conduciría a Puerto Guadal por el lago General Carrera, tuvimos que hacer a pie los 110 km, ya que no había una línea de buses que hiciera regularmente el recorrido; demoramos 3 días y no paso ni un vehiculo que nos alzara, solo horas antes de la salida de la barcaza empezó la procesión de vehículos particulares pero nada mas, y ninguno nos alzo. Luego tomamos la barcaza y navegamos doce horas por un lago rebelde, malicioso y chucaro, de una belleza que me conmovió, en condiciones bastante precarias; con un baño inmundo, lleno de vomito con acomodaciones para 10 pasajeros, e iban por lo menos 90.

 

Paso San Carlos: National Monument?

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An unprotected Laguna San Rafael National Park

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Caleta Tortel and defining progress

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Several years ago, on my first trip down the entire length of southern Chile’s spectacular Carretera Austral, or Southern Highway -- a 1240-kilometer journey from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins -- on the return trip northward I had one of my most memorable adventures as a journalist.
 

A four day trek around Fitz Roy

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"It's called the Guillaumet pass. It's generally used by climbers. There's a little crevasse danger but as long as the weather holds it'd be fine. You'd be right underneath Monte Fitz Roy."
 
The e-mail I'd opened was from a 29-year old Argentinean mountain guide, Pedro Fina. I'd first met Pedro in 2004, when he was one of two guides I'd had on a 4-week trekking expedition in South America. During that trip, we'd climbed a glacier beside two of the great peaks of the Patagonian Andes, Monte Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, and traversed a small portion of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap, a flat expanse of thick ice - 13,000km2 - that flows west from the mountains and down into the Pacific Ocean.
 
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