"First Impressions of Patagonia"

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

There is a terrific website where the scholars have transcribed the writings of many early settlers here in Puerto Natales and the area. (http://patlibros.org/) One early writer was Arthur Button (1880-1965, amatuer naturalist), who wrote the following:


"Do not go" I was advised by various persons. "You will die of cold, and
misery awaits you there. You will get bronchitis or pneumonia. It is
near the Antarctic: the climate is fog and rain. You will know nothing
but ice and cold and terrible winds."

"You do not know what you are doing. There is nothing there. It is a
land of barrenness. You will find that for hundreds of miles there is no
grass, only tufts here and there. It is fit only for cold-blooded
Indians, who keep a fire perpetually burning: hundreds of them, all over
the land and in their boats, when changing camp; them, and the sheep
that have wool on their backs to keep them warm."

“It is not fit for civilized man, for he soon dies, if he does not
return to a warmer climate."

For three days, there have been strong winds (they can reach 100 miles/hr. here) and rain (or snow in the higher elevations). Apparently, it rains more because of global warming, but it is still quite cold and miserable. Regardless, the boys go out and do their best to find guanaco kills or puma tracks. We did go into the town and enjoyed a hot meal.