Category: Patagonia

talking to adrian, a paisano by the nahuel pan cascade

i love how when you talk to the paisanos they don’t ever ask you like where you’re from.

it’s all just about whatever’s happening right here.

this guy, adrian, was like ‘lindo dia no?

and he showed me where there’s a little pozito of agua that’s pure and comes straight up out of the aquifer. you can see the little streaks of sulfur in the water.

and he invited me to go up there with him to explore the monte, al caballo. [to the mountain, by horse]

he said come on over early some sunday morning, come early and we’ll go up there together.

and it’s all just like that, everything’s just like right about the day and what can happen downstream.

and while we were sitting there, a little bit of the waterfall blew, like the wind changed direction and the water sprinkled down over us and he said that the waterfall did that when it was getting jealous.

View from the Plataforma

Our first day back after 25 hour bus ride (snow delay) from Buenos Aires. This is the view from the ‘plataforma’, which is reached after a short chairlift (new this year, last year you had to hike), then 5 minute T-bar ride, then a 20 minute hike. The peaks of cerro Perito Moreno are in the background, with a large back bowl in between.

A couple weeks ago the group who owns the little ski operation bought two new snowcats (‘pisanieves’) and they made corduroy roads deep up into the plataforma. Last year you needed snowshoes to get up here.

There are plans underway to create new infrastructure here, a gondola lift from the base that takes you all the way to the plataforma, with eventual development of these back bowls into runs similar to Cerro Catedral in Bariloche.

For the time being it’s quiet and deep powder conditions.

stoke land is always under attack

Peter Hartmann, activist leader, standing above massive rapids on the Rio Baker. “The biggest problem is that [the HidroAysén hydroelectric project] implies destroying everything, taking everything out of the region without leaving much behind…These projects are immense, on a scale that is absolutely unmanageable for this region. They’re unmanageable because this region is very fragile, ecologically, geologically as well as culturally. For example, in the area where they want to build the HidroAysén mega-project, there are as many people living there as the company is going to need to build the dams. So imagine what that means – practically doubling the area’s population.”

Photo by : Bridget Besaw, courtesy of of iLCP, taken for their RAVE campaign.

Please see more information on how this project basically shits on Chilean Patagonia.

And please also see more photos of what will be lost if the dams are constructed.

horsetail juxtaposition

Micael: 4 months old now. Sick all last week. The antibodies built up so much he had this skin eruption. Still kept smiling mostly. Smiling with red splotches all over his face. Today in the shower I held him on my shoulder and we had a serious beat-boxing session. This kind of victory dance when you see and feel whatever sickness it is going away. Later putting him in the baby-carrier and walking out with Layla. A couple horses loose in the barrio. Should we go look at them nena? It’s a mare and her foal. They’re feeding on Adela’s fallen apples. They broke free, see? See that cut rope on the horse’s bridle? Layla stays back. She’s been scared since we were up on Piltri a week ago, ran into a small herd of cows, one approaching, mooing loudly, wanting us away from her calf. See their tails, all full of briers? They’ve been left out in fields. Nobody’s taking care of them. The way they flip the apples around with their lips. I approach the foal but she’s heads down in the apples, hungry. Working around the dead leaves. Later Micael will fall asleep as we walk in the woods near the airstrip. Layla and I take turns with her dolls, showing each other where they live, their houses in the rocks and brambles. 3:38 am now and I can’t sleep. Feeling this sickness coming on. Maybe Micael’s. Adela’s dogs barking outside my window. Probably at the horses, still feeding out there somewhere. The mare dragging along her rope.