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December 2008 Sheep Black ACCOMMODATION RESTAURANTS GUIDES CULTURE MAPS TRAVEL ADVENTURE ® Recycle this paper! Pass it on. Patagonia’s Monthly Travel Newspaper Pucón! Pride of Patagonia FREE Black Sheep Patagonia December 2008 Volume 4 Issue 4 www.patagoniablacksheep.com Cover image by Anthony Riggs Discovering Pucon

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  • December 2008


    Recycle this paper! Pass it on.

    Patagonias Monthly Travel Newspaper

    Pucn!Pride of Patagonia

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  • 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


    - Rustyn Mesdag, publisher

    December.08 About Black Sheep

    We are a grass roots travel newspaper, independently and locally owned, covering all things Patagonia. We are Chiles most widely read English-language paper. We publish eight issues per year, coinciding with Patagonias high season, from September to April. Our web site community, with up-to-the-minute info, gives travelers a space to share their experiences. We are expats and locals. We are travelers, and weve put down roots in Patagonia. Living at the extreme tip of South America is hard. Traveling here isnt any easier. We created Black Sheep to share information with fellow travelers and help them plan their adventures to the bottom of the world. We are backpackers, and we believe in counting experience by blisters, not by years. We believe in unguided adventure. We sleep in tents, and we camp in bad weather. We believe in river crossings and in getting dirty. We climb hills for sunrises, not just sunsets. We paint with bold strokes. We hitchhike. We recycle. We pick up trash that isnt ours. We believe in being a part of the solution, not the problem. We believe that reggae music can change the world. We believe in the road less traveled. We believe in alternative power. We believe in nature remaining open & free for everybody. We believe in conservation and follow the principles of Leave No Trace. We believe in live outdoor music. We believe in healthy living and organic food. We believe in volunteering. We believe YOU can make a difference. We believe that the state of the world is too screwed up to ignore anymore. We believe in deep breaths outside. We believe in Robin Hood. We believe in the golden rule. We believe in testing the boundries. We believe in sharing good advice and in the power of word of mouth. We believe in helping people get out of the office. We believe you should love what you do, or stop. We believe that what you pack in, you pack out. We believe travel is about experience, culture, living like the locals, respecting Pachamama, and going home changed (or not returning home at all). We believe that backpackers abroad are the best representatives of their countries, and we should be united. Black Sheep is a bridge between advertiser and traveler. We search out the hip and reputable tour operators, lodging, restaurants, handicrafts, outdoor stores and mom & pop shops. Businesses that we think are especially groovy merit our stamp of approval, which means they...

    Love the environment and practice eco-friendliness in their businessAre locally ownedGive back to the communityOffer something free to customers and quality service


    Publisher/Designer: Rustyn Mesdag

    [email protected]

    Director: Pilar Irribarra

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    Editor/Layout: Heather Poyhonen

    [email protected]

    Graphic Design: Leslie Venti

    [email protected]

    Punta Arenas, Chile:Marnix Doorn

    [email protected]

    Puerto Natales, Chile:Carolina C.J. [email protected]

    Pucn & Pto. Varas, Chile:Anthony Riggs

    [email protected]

    Bariloche, Argentina:Jamie [email protected] Matthews

    [email protected]

    Calafate, Argentina:Maria Fourcade

    [email protected] [email protected]

    Distribution:Patricio Alderete

    Special Thanks:Bill Penhollow

    Isabel ChamorroPatricio Achurra

    erratic rockSarah Anderson

    Printed by:La Prensa Austral

    Cover Image:Anthony RiggsPucn, Chile

    Chile valor por 8 meses: $10.000 CLP International cost for 8 months: $50.00 USDEnva tus datos al email: [email protected] nos comunicaremos contigo.





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    2008 All rights reserved. The contents of this paper may not be reproduced in whole or in part without consent of the copyright owner. Black Sheep design is a registered trademark. Published by Southern Cross, Ltda. Printed in Chile.

    As an immigrant living in Patagonia full time, Im struck by how lucky I am to have the time it takes

    to begin seeing all of Patagonia. Its wonderful to spend five days in Torres del Paine and get a sense of it, but Patagonia is more than trekking, climbing and camping. Its also world-class kayaking, horseback riding, boating, fishing, bird watching and just plain leisure. Many travelers visit Patagonia on a tight schedule, so they barely get a glimpse of whats here. I had an experienced friend show me around Patagonia my first time here. Without a few insider tips, most people arent even aware of their options. Everyone knows about the W in Torres del Paine: the trek from Campamento Grey, on the west side of the Park, down and around into Valle Frances, then down and around again through the Cuernos area, up to the Towers and back down. Then theres the full circuit: Starting with the W, then around the backside to Refugio Dickson, up and down over John Gardner Pass, and back down to Campamento Grey. The 2% of people who do the full circuit when they visit the Park have an undeniable sense of accomplishment. It takes 7-10 days (depending on the pace and drive) and circumnavigates the Park beautifully.

    But there is more. There is what we consider to be, by far, the way to claim full bragging rights in Torres del Paine. More than the W. More than the Circuit. Ladies and gentlemen, may we present to you... The Q.

    This is how its done...

    Day 1: Leaving from Puerto Natales in the morning, take whatever transportation youve arranged to the Administration center at the south end of the Park. This is where your adventure begins. The Park stretches in front of you like a dream. By starting your hike here, you truly feel like youre walking to Torres del Paine, and not being shuttled in with the masses. (This part of the trek is not quite as impressive if you do it on the way out, because the views lay behind you.) Most trekkers access the park from the Las Torres area and take the catamaran across Lago Pehoe. If you take public transportation, you will probably arrive around 1 p.m. Check out the visitors center at Administration. By the time you are ready to roll, assume its 3 p.m. At this point, your pack will be at its heaviest, day one of what might be a 10 day trip. Trek for two hours and make camp at the free campsite, Las Carrettas. It makes for an early camp, but with your pack being at its heaviest, just enjoy the short day. Day 2: Starting much earlier than the day before, trek up toward Lago Pehoe, approximately four hours, then push on another two hours to the free campsite, Campamento Italiano. Italiano is a magnificent camp area and sits at the mouth of spectacular Valle Frances. Day 3: This morning, leave the tent, extra food, sleeping bag and mat behind. Load your backpack with some food, rain gear, camera, and just a few basics, and head up into Valle Frances light. Its a steep hike, so going light is nice. The valley offers natural lookouts, so even if you dont make it to the very end of the valley, you will understand what all the hype is about. Keep an eye on the time and head down to the camp again by around 4 p.m. Then pack up your camp and progress to Refugio Los Cuernos. This is good spot to spend night three. Day 4: Today, haul your loaded pack all the way around and up to the free campsite Las Torres. This will be a long day, approximately 7-9 hours, depending on how fast you walk and how many times you stop. The signs will direct you to Refugio Chileno, but one hour further, the campsite is free. Chileno is a beautiful spot and its tempting to call it a day and camp there. But the following morning youll wake before dawn to try to see the towers in their breathtaking, red morning glow. The early morning trek to the lookout takes at least 45 minutes from Campamento Las Torres, or 1:45 from Chileno, and then you have to factor in the darkness which makes it more like 2:15. (Talking pre-dawn, I choose the shorter of the options). Day 5: Wake up this morning around 4:30 a.m. (fun!). No matter what the weather is like, at 4:30 in the morning, it will be friggin cold. Most people wrap

    themselves up in hats and jackets before heading up the dark trail to the outlook. It only takes minutes before their body tempature shoots through the roof and they start to sweat like true athletes. By the time they get to the mirador, they are a sweaty mess, the body cools down, the wind hits them, and they start to get really cold. They snap a photo or two, then have to head back down to camp to get warm again. This is not the idea. You need to anticipate this problem and hike up the trail without tons of clothes on. On this morning, leave your camp behind. Only bring your packs loaded with the coats youre not wearing, your sleeping mat, sleeping bag, and breakfast stuff. When you reach the top, all of your sweat will have evaporated. Throw on your warm cloths, put down your sleeping mats (so you dont have to sit on an ice cold rock), and even crawl into your sleeping bags, to truly enjoy the Towers at dawn, warm and toasty. To top it all off, fire up your stoves and make your morning coffee. Theres no better way to enjoy this very special morning. After a couple of hours (long after everyone else has bailed due to cold), you have soaked it all in, and you head back to camp. Pack up and have a nice, downhill trek to the campsite next to Refugio Las Torres. Youll arrive to the campsite around 1 p.m. Itll seem like there is plenty of time to continue on, but remember you woke that morning at 4:30 a.m. Its already been a long day. You close the book on the W, repack, reassess, maybe buy some things from the little store near Hostera Las Torres (to fill in some of the blanks for the back circuit), and call it a day. This is a paid camping area and cost 3.500 pesos per person. Day 6: Today, you start the back circuit, early and refreshed. And its a good thing because you have an 8-10 hour trek to Refugio Dickson. When looking at a map, it seems like a huge distance, but the terrain is milder then the W and you cover a lot of ground fast. Its a much different experience than the W. Day 7: Today, you progress to Campamento Perros. There is no refugio here, but you still have to pay for camping. It seems like a short day and people tend to think that they could push on further. We wouldnt suggest it. (Not to put any limits on anyone.) Last year a guy ran the entire Wand circuit in 18 hours, so anything is possible. But as a general rule, stopping at Perros for night is the way to go. Day 8: This is the day of The Pass. The hardest thing about the Paso John Gardner is the wind. The terrain is manageable, and the view from the pass is unmatched. The view of Glacier Grey (and the Patagonian Ice Field on a clear day) is one of the most amazing moments youll experience in Patagonia, hands down. When you head down the pass, youll have to decide where to camp. There are two free campsite after coming down off the pass. Staying at the Campamento Guardes is a nice way to shorten the day, and it offers more views of the glacier from above. Truly a beautiful camp and free! Day 9: This could be your final day in the Park. If you hurry, you can make it to the mid-day catamaran at 12:30 p.m. If you just want to enjoy the final day at an easier pace, theres a boat at 6:30 p.m. Or maybe camping one more day suits you better. But in either case, you just puilled off the full Q! Congratulations, you are officially on a very small list of Qers. Now personally, if I am doing anything for 9-10 days straight, there is a good chance that the X factor with come into play. The X factor being some very Patagonian change of plans that you never anticipated. I always give myself one extra day just this reason. It might be a bad weather day where I just dont want to submit myself to, or maybe a good weather day where I dont want to to budge. Maybe its an injury day, or maybe you finally meet your soul mate, right here in Torres del Paine. Thats a good reason not to have to keep to some rigid schedule. Any way you look at it, you have a day to play with. That means out on day 10, and 10 days of trekking earns you some serious bragging rights. If you werent experienced before, you will be experienced when you get out. Baptism by fire, Patagonia style.

  • 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

    Black Sheep

    Chile / Argentina BusesPunta Arenas - Ro Gallegos Ro Gallegos - Punta Arenas

    Buses GhisoniPh. 613420L. Navarro 975

    Mon. & Wed. thru Sat. 11.00

    Buses GhisoniTerminal Ro Gallegos

    Tues. & Thu. thru Sun. 12.00

    Buses PachecoPh. 242174Coln 900

    Tue., Fri., Sun. 11.30

    Buses PachecoTerminal Ro Gallegos

    Mon., Wed., Sat. 12.00

    Punta Arenas - Ushuaia Ushuaia - Punta Arenas

    Buses PachecoPh. 242174Coln 900

    Tues., Thurs., Sun.09.00

    Buses PachecoSan Martn 1267

    Mon., Wed., Fri.08.00

    Tecni AustralPh. 613422L. Navarro 975

    Tue., Thu., Sat.07.30

    Tecni AustralRoca 157

    Mon., Wed., Fri.05.30

    Puerto Natales - Ushuaia Ushuaia - Puerto Natales

    Buses PachecoPh. 414513Baquedano 500

    Tues., Thurs., Sun.07.30 (with a bus change near PA)

    Buses PachecoSan Martn 1267

    Mon., Wed., Fri.08.00 (with a bus change near PA)

    Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales

    Buses FernandezPh. 411111E. Ramrez 399

    07.15 09.0013.00 14.30

    17.00 18.30 20.00

    Buses FernandezPh. 221812A. Sanhueza 745



    Buses PachecoPh. 414513Baquedano 500



    Buses PachecoPh. 242174Coln 900



    Bus Sur Ph. 411859Baquedano 668

    M-Th.:07.00 & 15.00Fri.-Sun.:07.15 & 19.00

    Bus SurPh. 614224Jos Menndez 552

    Tues-Thur.:15.00 & 19.00Fri.-Mon.:09.15 & 19.00

    Puerto Natales - El Calafate El Calafate - Puerto Natales

    CootraPh. 412785Baquedano 456


    CootraTerminal de mnibus


    ZaajhPh. 412260Arturo Prat 236

    T, Th & Sat.:08.00

    ZaajhTerminal de mnibus

    M, F & Sun.:08.00

    El Calafate - El Chaltn El Chaltn - El Calafate

    Chaltn TravelPh. 491833 Terminal de mnibus

    Daily08.00, 13.30, 18.30

    Chaltn TravelHostel Rancho Grande

    Daily07.30, 18.00

    CalTurPh. 491842 Terminal de mnibus


    CalTurAvenida San Martn 520


    TaqsaPh. 491843Terminal de mnibus

    M, W, F:17.30

    TaqsaPh. 423130Rancho Grande

    T, Th, Sat.:07.30

    El Calafate - Ro Gallegos Ro Gallegos - El Calafate

    SportsmanPh. 492680Terminal de mnibus


    SportsmanPh. 442595Rancho Grande


    TaqsaPh. 491843Terminal de mnibus

    Daily12.00, 14.30

    TaqsaPh. 423130Rancho Grande

    Daily12.00, 14.00

    Interlagos Ph. 491273Terminal de mnibus


    InterlagosPh. 442080Terminal de mnibus






    e B



    Puerto Natales torres del PaiNe torres del PaiNe Puerto Natales

    Trans Via Paine - Bulnes 518 - office Puma Tours 413672

    Puerto Natales 07.30 14.30 Administration 13.00 18.00Laguna Amarga 09.45 16.30 Pudeto 13.30 19.00Pudeto 10.45 17.30 Laguna Amarga 14.30 19.45Administration 11.45 18.00 Puerto Natales 17.00 22.00

    Gomez - Arturo Prat 234 - Ph 411971

    Puerto Natales 07.30 14.30 Administration 13.00 18.00Laguna Amarga 09.45 16.30 Pudeto 13.30 19.00Pudeto 10.45 17.30 Laguna Amarga 14.30 19.45Administration 11.45 18.00 Puerto Natales 17.00 22.00

    Buses JB - Arturo Prat 258 - Ph 410242

    Puerto Natales 07.30 14.30 Administration 13.00 18.00Laguna Amarga 09.45 16.30 Pudeto 13.30 19.00Pudeto 10.45 17.30 Laguna Amarga 14.30 19.45Administration 11.45 18.00 Puerto Natales 17.00 22.00


    Patagonia Bus Schedules Schedulesmayalterslightlyforthewinterseason.Pleasecheckwiththebuscompaniesdirectlyforthelatestschedules,termsandconditions.Note:Duringdaylightsavingstime,thereisatimedifferencebetweenChileandArgentina.


    www.andeshostel.com (56-2) 632 9990 - 632 9173

  • December.08w w w. p a t a g o n i a b l a c k s h e e p . c o m

    Torres del PaineNational Park






    Cerro Castillo

    PueblitoRo Serrano

    Puerto Toro

    Puerto Natales

    ltima Esperanza Fjord

    Lago del Toro

    Lago Sarm






    l Park

    Torred del



    l Park

    Lago Nrd


    Lago Paine

    Lago Dickson Lago






    Lago PehoeLago Verde



    de l


    l o S



    Pa t





    n Ic

    e F


    Lago Grey

    to w n s

    r o a d s

    t r a i l s

    r i v e r

    c a m p i ng

    G l a c i e rG r e y

    del Paineional Park






    t o w n s

    r o a d s

    t r a i l s

    r i v e r

    c a m p i n g


    park entrance

    Sierra del Toro

    Whats the weather going to be like? Thats the forbidden question. But we put this one in just for fun! ...No, really, whats the weather going to be like? I need to know what to pack! Plan for everything, but mostly cold. The weather changes constantly.

    How long does the trekking season last? Roughly from October to April, but its lasting longer every year. The truth is that its beautiful here all the time, and the Park is great in winter.

    How far is it to the Park from Natales? From Natales, by bus, its about 2 to 2.5 hours.

    What time do the buses leave in the morning? Most buses pick up and leave between 7 and 8 a.m.

    Whats the latest I can start a trek in the Park?

    In high season (Dec.-Mar.), there is an afternoon bus to the Park at 2 p.m., ms o menos.

    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.

    Whats the Park entrance fee?

    15.000 CLP (about 30 greenbacks USD).

    How much does camping cost in the Park? Camping costs up to 4.000 pesos per person, not per tent, per day, at the privately run sites. The CONAF sites are free. In the off-season (about April-August), closed campsites are free.

    Which campsites are always free? Los Guardes, Italiano, Britnico, Japones, Las Torres, Paso, Pingo, and Las Carretas.

    How much money should I carry into the Park with me? 15.000 entrance + 11.000 catamaran + paid camping nights and mini shuttle equals roughly 45.000 CLP, plus some extra in case you want to buy a beer or two in one of refugios.

    Do I get a map when I enter the Park? Yes. You can also buy a nicer wall map in town.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Is it better to trek the park clockwise or counterclockwise?

    Youll find that outdated guide books tell you to go clockwise, but most trekkers find that counterclockwise flows through the W better and makes for a more scenic day over the John Gardner Pass.

    How much does the catamaran to Pehoe cost in the Park? Its 11.000 pesos per person one way. 18.000 round trip. It shuts down during winter.

    Can I rent a tent, sleeping bag and mattress at the refugios?

    Yes, but you cant take them with you as you trek. Keep in mind that many refugios stay closed during the winter off-season.

    Do I need sunscreen in the Park? YES! The hole in the ozone hovers right over us during spring and summer. It can and will cause problems after a multi-day trek in the park. The UV rays come through the clouds too, so dont skimp on the sun protection.

    Fantastico Sur +56-61 360361, ext. [email protected]

    Vertice +56-61 [email protected]

    Torres del Paine Refugio Information

    Prices are in U.S. dollars*

    Breakfast $10.00 Dorm bed $40.00

    Lunch $14.00 Campsite $8.00

    Dinner $18.00 Sleeping bag $9.00

    Full board $80.00 2-person tent $14.00

    Mattress $3.00

    *Prices are approximate and may be slightly higher at some refugios.

    Note: Schedules often change at the start of the season. Check with the refugio companies directly for the latest info for openings and closures.

    Can you drink the water in the Park? You bet! Best water in the world. Just make sure its fresh run off, not lake water or anything downstream from a camp or refugio.

    Is food sold in the Park? You can buy hot meals in the refugios as well as some camping food staples.

    Do I need to tie up my food in the Park?

    Mice have been a problem in the Park recently, so it is a good idea to tie up your food.

    Should I 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.

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

    Yes. For now, in early season, make sure to talk to the office you bought your ticket at, and speak to the driver - just to be sure. It becomes easier in mid-season.

    How do I contact the Parks Search and Rescue if something happens? Theres no official Search and Rescue, but any of the CONAF ranger stations can help you.

    questions & answers

    Torres del Paine, Chile Torres del Paine National Park is bordered by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, one of the largest glaciated areas in the world outside of Antarctica. Sister park to Yosemite in California, Torres del Paines busy trail system, pricey refugios and the 200,000 visitors it hosts per year, may not be paradise for those looking for something remote. That said, its so popular for a reason. The Torres and Cuernos occupy postcards and book covers all over the world and they are a symbol for Chile. Paine, by the way, means blue, and youll see blues that will blow your mind. Plus, it is possible to get away from the crowds, especially if you stay long enough, for example, to do the back end of the circuit, and not just the

    standard W trek. To venture even further away from the masses, visit Laguna Azul or Pingo. Even if you dont stray from the well-trod parts of the Park, make sure you check out the icebergs on Lago Grey, and watch the National Geographic puma film at the Administration Visitor Center. Human settlement traces back to 12,000 years ago. Estancias (ranches) were started by German and British colonists in the 1890s. More recently, truckloads of barbed wire fencing have gradually been removed from the Park as the land is converted from estancia back to its natural state.


    TOTAL AREA: 242,242 hectares

    PAINE GRANDE: 3,050 meters

    LOS CUERNOS: 2,200m to 2,600m

    FOUL WEATHER GEAR: Essential

  • 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

    Torres del Paine

    Think of one thing you enjoy doing outside. Now think about how you got into it. Most people have role models: parents, siblings, friends, teachers. Or they find role models through the media. I work for the Headlands Institute, a nonprofit environmental education organization near San Francisco, California. We try to make multicultural connections in everything we teach, using diverse environmental models, so our students can relate and be inspired. The more you see role models who you can relate to, the more you believe that you have the same potential. There are many ways that people make connections to nature. I, for example, have developed a deep connection to the natural world through outdoor adventures like climbing, surfing, and backcountry skiing. So I read magazines such as Climbing, Surfing, and Outside. to see whats up with these communities and activities. It didnt take me long to wonder why all the athletes always look the same. Theyre mostly all male. Its even harder to find female athletes of different origins, colors, abilities, ages, shapes, and sizes. Does this mean that we dont have as many female outdoor athletes? Or do we just not see them? These publications send an important message, whether intentional or not, that these sports are inaccessible to many people, especially women. But there are lots of diverse women outdoor athletes from around the world who are waiting to have their stories be told. Im working as that that person, the adventure photographer, who tracks down these women and shares their images and their stories. Adventurers come in two genders, in many different

    colors, and from many different backgrounds. And people from all walks of life should be able to see themselves in wilderness sports. Im hoping to demystify outdoor adventures to women and men. I came to Puerto Natales, Chile, to look for women sea kayakers. I asked around town, and heard the name, Cote Marchant, from several people. She is supposedly the only woman sea kayaking guide in town. I visited her at Indomita, the kayaking company where she works. She listened to my project goals carefully and asked, How can I support your project? I was soon signed up for a day trip to Fjord Eberhard to see her work for the next day. A few days later, I was on another trip, an overnighter to Glacier Balmaceda and Ro Serrano. This provided me a bigger picture of what its like to be a kayaking guide, because theres a whole other element of taking care of people off the water. I listened to her, as I helped her set up a camp, prepare meals, wash dishes, move heavy kayaks, and put away equipment. Its not that I cant do it, I can do the same thing, but not in a same way [as men]. Her story is truly inspiring, especially for those who grew up in big cities with limited access to outdoor adventures. Im not blaming my parents for not giving me the opportunity, said Cote. If I ever have my own children, the first thing I am going to teach them is how precious it is to have this beautiful world around us. I would tell them that this is the best thing you have and one of the best teachers in life. Cote tirelessly worked to break the mold against women in outdoor sports, while establishing her place as a sea kayaking guide at Indomita. The ways [women] do things is different, says Cote. Our

    thinking process and logic are different. Women can better understand how hormones and emotions affect your days, for example. This is the reason why I think it would be easier to work with women. Not only would it make Cotes work easier, but I also think women guides can connect with women clients at a different level, providing a safe place for them to make mistakes and challenge themselves without feeling intimidated by a male presence. (Though, of course, many of you ladies have no problem with this!) My friend, Erik, who has taught many climbing courses at NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), once told me that whenever there was a female climbing instructor, he observed that the female students climbed better. He thinks its because people learn better from someone whos like them, someone who moves, thinks, and does things similarly, and who shows you how. I am trying to start something to motivate women to join me in the guiding community by talking to the Asociacin de Guas ltima Esperanza (a guide association of ltima Esperanza Province). Kayaking might be difficult because it is such demanding work. You have to be certified, take care of people, always dealing with weather and lifting weight. But I want to see more women join me, and I want to create some support for those who want to try, says Cote. Just as many pioneer outdoor athletes--women and men--have paved the road for those to follow, Cote has certainly created a path for other women to follow her here in Puerto Natales. When I come back to Puerto Natales to paddle with her in the future, I hope Ill find her with more women in the field.

    Women Adventurers Breaking ThroughBy Miho Aida

    questions & answers

    Torres del Paine, Chile Torres del Paine National Park is bordered by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, one of the largest glaciated areas in the world outside of Antarctica. Sister park to Yosemite in California, Torres del Paines busy trail system, pricey refugios and the 200,000 visitors it hosts per year, may not be paradise for those looking for something remote. That said, its so popular for a reason. The Torres and Cuernos occupy postcards and book covers all over the world and they are a symbol for Chile. Paine, by the way, means blue, and youll see blues that will blow your mind. Plus, it is possible to get away from the crowds, especially if you stay long enough, for example, to do the back end of the circuit, and not just the

    standard W trek. To venture even further away from the masses, visit Laguna Azul or Pingo. Even if you dont stray from the well-trod parts of the Park, make sure you check out the icebergs on Lago Grey, and watch the National Geographic puma film at the Administration Visitor Center. Human settlement traces back to 12,000 years ago. Estancias (ranches) were started by German and British colonists in the 1890s. More recently, truckloads of barbed wire fencing have gradually been removed from the Park as the land is converted from estancia back to its natural state.


    TOTAL AREA: 242,242 hectares

    PAINE GRANDE: 3,050 meters

    LOS CUERNOS: 2,200m to 2,600m

    FOUL WEATHER GEAR: Essential

    On the trail its important to have a plan for that special time of the month. A change in environment, physical exercise and the stresses attached to these things can sometimes lead to changes in a womans cycle, including early or late cycle start, cessation or a heavier flow. While there is no permanent worry in either case, its a good idea to be prepared. Experienced female guides typically carry extra sanitary material, just in case. In general carrying one-third more tampons or pads is a safe bet, even if youre not expecting your cycle to come while youre in the woods. For disposal, the same rules of waste apply: Pack it in. Pack it out. Do not bury tampons or pads! Aside from the fact that they take a long time to biodegrade, they also present a fire hazard if they become unburied. A doubled, resealable plastic bag works well. Place this bag system into a small stuff sack to keep it private. If youre worried about smell, try crushing a regular aspirin and sprinkling it into the bag. As far as peeing in the woods is concerned, men may not need to worry about toilet paper, but women take such things into consideration. Carrying a constant supply of toilet paper, always ready and handy, can be inconvenient. Plus, its more weight to carry. Consider reusing a bandana or special cloth as a pee rag. It may sound gross, but when it will dry out when you lay it in the sun or tie to the back of your rucksack on a warm day. The rag will be sterilized and dry enough to reuse until you get it to camp for a wash.

    feminine hygieneon the trail

  • December.08w w w. p a t a g o n i a b l a c k s h e e p . c o m


    One-way ticket: $11.000 per person (one backpack allowed)Round-trip ticket: $18.000 per person

    Los Arrieros 1517, Puerto Natales, Chile, Ph: 61-411380, Email: [email protected]

    2008-2009 Season Schedule

    A comfortable & secure voyage across

    Lake Pehoe...

    Dates From Pudeto From Refugio Pehoe

    November 16, 2008 - March 15, 2009 09.30*12.0018.00


    March 16 - 31, 2009 12.0018.00


    April 2009 12.00 12.30

    *No trips at 09:30 or 10:00 on the following dates: 25/12/2008 & 01/01/2009.





    8 D


    l B


    n W


    While trekking or climbing, the ideaistodrinkaboutthreetofourlitersaday.Butthisreallydependsonwhereyouareandwhatyouaredoing.Inahotdesert,youdprobablywanttodoublethis,butarestdayatcampinmildweatherwouldrequireless.Agoodwaytomonitor your hydration level is to look atyoururineoutput:Clearandcopious iswhatyoure lookingfor.Boldyellowurine isasuresignofdehydration,butrememberthatsomevitamins will turn urine bright yellow; thatsdifferent. If youre feeling thirsty, then yourealreadylackinguptoaliterofwater,andmayhavelostupto20percentofyourendurance.Headaches or cramping are also signs ofdehydration. Take time to drink. Dont feelpressuredbytheclockortheteamsagenda.A clevergroupwill schedule in regulardrinkbreaks together. Its better to drink smallamounts of water over time than to guzzledown a liter in one sitting. This gives yourbodytimetoabsorbthewater,which iswhyitssoimportanttodrinkcontinuallyallday. TorresdelPaineisoneofthelastgreatdestinationsintheworldwhereyouCANdrinkwaterfreshfromstreamsandcreeksalongitstrail.So,bottomsup!

    D r i n k yo u r f i l l o f wat e r

    Pisco Sour, your post-trail cocktail In Chile, the food is not sophisticated, but its delicious. Theres a wide variety of meats, including lamb, pork, beef, fish, shellfish, and poul-try. You might even taste guanaco, andu, boar, or deer. (Yes, theres a lot of meat... good luck if youre a vegetarian!) But youll 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. Its 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 hos-tel or once you get home.

    Pisco Sour3 parts pisco 1 part lemon juice Powdered sugar 1 egg whiteIce 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, its a tradition to welcome guests with a toast of pisco sour, so pucker up and enjoy!

    Thinking globally. Acting locally.

    If youve traveled all the way to Patagonia, youre probably here to experience the natural beauty of the region. The Parks are popular for their pristineness. But not for long, what with the unstoppable advance of people. With this in mind, weve compiled some conservation tips to help lessen the compact we have during our travels.

    1. If the water supply is drinkable, refill your water bottle from the tap (or in many of the regional parks from any of the fast-flowing mountain streams), rather than buy new plastic bottles of mineral water each time. Plastics are derived from nonrenewable resources, processed using extensive chemical treatments, so as well as being nonbiodegradable, they are very environmentally damaging to produce. Every plastic bottle you throw away is a waste of precious resources.2. Dispose of used batteries responsibly. Discarded batteries, once they start to break down, leak metals and poisons which can enter watercourses and kill plants and wildlife. Even throwing your batteries in the bin means they end up in a landfill site or worse, disposed of offshore.3. Avoid buying prepackaged food in the supermarket. Buy loose fruit, vegetables and meat to cut down on the packaging you consume. Packaging uses a lot of natural resources and generally goes straight into the garbage bin once you get home.4. Take your own bag or backpack to the supermarket so you dont need to use the plastic bags provided. Plastic bags cannot be recycled and take hundreds of years to biodegrade, so every one you use is adding to the millions that exist already, filling landfills and littering the countryside.

    Once you get back home, give some of these tips a whirl...

    1. Insulate your home as efficiently as possible. In addtion to using less of the planets resources, youll save cash in reduced heating bills. Check to see if your government offers grants for home insulation or upgrades to heating systems to help meet the emissions targets set by the Kyoto agreement and others. 2. Energy-saving light bulbs are a good step. Combine them with some funky lampshades and they can be pretty hip, to boot. 3. Look into sources of green energy for your home. The majority of household electricity still uses fossil fuels and generates harmful greenhouse gases. Harvesting solar or wind power on a small, domestic scale may be expensive, but some countries have green energy providers, who generate their power through renewable source. 4. The fewer resources you use the better, but we all use some. So try to recycle as much as possible, be it paper, glass, plastic, tin or any other material.5. One of the biggest culprits of environmental damage is travel, especially air travel. As most of us here are far from home and will need to take at least one flight to get back to family and friends, well avoid the guilt trip here. One way to make amends is to join a carbon neutralization or carbon-sink scheme, in which you can pay for trees to be planted on your behalf to absorb carbon released into the environment as a result of your action. Have a look at www.futureforests.com or www.CO2.org for more information.

    Photo by Agata Malchrowicz

    Hosteria Fono: 56 61 412481Reservas Fono:56 61 220014 (Punta Arenas)

    H o s t e r i a

    L a g o d e l T o r oLaundry, Transfers, Horse riding

    Ro Serrano, [email protected]

    Like home...

  • 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

    Puerto Natales

    If I arrive to Natales from Ushuaia or on the last bus from Punta Arenas, can I still catch the bus to Torres del Paine first thing the next day?

    This really depends on how ready you are. We recommend waiting for the second bus into the Park (which only runs during high season) or just taking a prep day in Natales during low season to rent any gear you need and do your food shop.

    If I arrive here on Navimag, can I still hit the trail first thing the next morning?

    This depends on sea conditions and arrival times. Plus see above answer and Torres del Paine Q&A.

    What is Navimag?

    Navimag is the weekly ferry service (which originally just brought goods to the extreme parts of Chile from the north.) Now it shuttles travelers from between Natales and Puerto Montt.

    What the heck is a Zodiac?

    A motorized rubber raft, used for various types of trips in southern Chile, including navegating the upper Serrano River heading into Torres del Paine.

    Is there a place where I can rent or buy equipment in a pinch, 24 hours a day?

    Yep! La Maddera Outdoor Store runs a 24-hour hotline for all your 2 a.m. gear emergencies. Duruing regular business hours, you can find them at the corner of Bulnes and Pratt. After hours, call (cell) 09 418 4100 or (home) 412 591.

    Where can I buy camping food in town?

    Don Bosco and Abu Gosch are both on the main streets of Baquedano and Bulnes, respectively.

    Where can I buy white gas?

    The pharmacies carry clean white gas. You can find them in the outdoor and building material stores.

    Does Black Sheep sell T-shirts? Where can I find them?

    Yes! Get em hot off the press at La Maddera (on the corner of Pratt and Bulnes).

    What about shopping hours midday?

    Between 12 and 3 p.m. everything is pretty locked down, except for the Abu G.

    What are the winters like around here?

    Calm, blue, clear, freezing and beautiful.

    Why is there so much trash on the beach?

    Thats a great question... You could always help and pick some up.

    What about recycling programs?

    Batteries are recycled and collected in various containers throughout town, including at the Post Office. As yet, all other recycling for the season is still at a standstill. The city is working on a glass recycling program that should be up and running within the next month. For more information, contact the Cmara de Turismo.

    And all of the dogs running around?

    Half of them are street dogs, half of them are owned but run free anyway. Together they make more street dogs. Its a circle of life thing...

    How much do the taxis cost?

    1.000 pesos within city limits.

    Why do all the girls here wear those uniform mini-skirts to school in such a cold and windy place?

    Its one of lifes mysteries, but we are pretty sure it was a mans idea.Why cant I 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 its fine to flush it, but if it says not to, DONT! A bit gross and bizarre, but the pipes from yester-year just cant handle it.

    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 theres a lot of Patagonia out there that cant 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.

    questions & answers

    Puerto Natales, Chile POPULATION: 19,000FOUNDED: 1911WHATS GROOVY: Laguna Sofa for climbing, kayaking & swimming.JUST IN CASE: 131 (ambulance), 132 (fire), 133 (police)

    Puerto Natales is a city in Chilean Patagonia, located 247 km (153 mi) northwest of Punta Arenas and is the final port of call for the Navimag ferry sailing from Puerto Montt into the Seoret Channel as well as the primary transit point for travelers to Torres del Paine National Park. It is the capital of ltima Esperanza Province of Magallanes and Antrtica Chilena Region.

    ltima Esperanza Sound, originally inhabited by the Kawskar tribe, or Alacaluf, and the Aonikenk, or Tehuelche, was sailed in 1557 by Juan Ladrilleros, a sailor who was looking for the Strait of Magellan. The city was settled by Germans, British, Croatian and Chilean people coming from the

    Island of Chilo, all attracted by the sheep-raising industry. Finally, the city was founded under the government of Ramn Barros Luco on May 31, 1911. Nowadays, the livelihood of Puerto Natales relies on tourism.

    Because Puerto Natales was not started as a tourist town, the history of the region can be seen by walking the back streets and coastal dirt roads. A bike ride in any direction can be rewarding as well. If you have a day or two to burn, before or after your trek in Torres del Paine, there are all kinds of day tours that you can booked from the various agencies in the downtown area.














    Mira ores








    B. Encalada

    BaquedanoE. Ramirez







    T. Rogers

    Punta ArenasRio Turbio, ArgentinaTrekking Dorotea

    Puerto Natales, Chile

    Cerro CastilloMilodon CavePuerto PratPuerto Bories

    C a n a l S e o r e t

    Est e r o N at ale s

    Torres del Paine questions? A free information seminar is held every day at erratic rock hostel at 3 p.m. -Baquedano 719, Puerto Natales. Everything is covered, from refugio info to free campsites, meals to equipment. This hour-long talk is given in English and comes with a smile.

    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.

    Why do I receive a little piece of receipt paper every time I buy something?

    Its the law, no joke. Everyone takes it very seriously.

    Before undertaking a multi-day trek consider this: new socks, old shoes. Its not a good time to see if those new shoes work. SoCKS: Its amazing how important sock selection is when engaged in an long day hike or multi-day trek. The coarse threads of hiking socks eventually begin to dig into your skin causing discomfort and blisters. Avoid this by wearing a thin nylon liner sock as a first layer. Any pair of light socks will do in a pinch. Bring an extra pair for replacement half way. Theres something refreshing about putting on a pair of socks half-way through a killer hike. Waterproof socks can do more damage than good. These unbreathable socks will hold all the sweat and moisture against your skin, giving you blisters and hot spots. ShoeS: The success and enjoyment of a serious trek is directly related to your shoe selection. Choose light, flexible shoes over stiff, heavy hiking boots. Every pound of shoe is the equivalent to carrying 7-9 pounds on your back. Minimize shoe weight by selecting a cross-trainer with ankle support, a trail-running shoe, or one of the lighter hiking shoes that are readily available. When you go shopping for hiking shoes, youll likely be encouraged to buy something with great ankle support and a steel shank so you wont feel the rocks. This makes sense if youre planning to carry a 60-pound pack and trekking through scree (small rocks) or other rugged terrain. However, if youre staying on established trails, lighter, more flexible shoes are fine.

    hAPPieR feeT

    Bulnes 495 Puerto Natales, Chilela maddera outdoor

    Support your local revolution...

    Get your Black Sheep issue uniform now.

    Black Sheep T-shirts for sale!

  • 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

    8 December.08

    Baquedano 622 Pto Natales, [email protected]

    torres del painetested in patagonia

    New clothing from the heart of Patagonia

    +56-61 614310

    [email protected]










    puerto natales, chile

    The Milodon Laundry Service

    Drop off before noon for same-day service.

    Open 10 a.m.-12 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.Phone 413466 Baquedano 642, Puerto Natales, Chile

    Drop your pants here.Closed Sundays.

    [email protected]







    o n













    Eberhard 161 Puerto Natales,Chile ph 414143

    Kayak.AquaNativa Sea Kayaking Here at Black Sheep, we award our seal of approval to businesses who give something free to their customers. The 3 oclock talk

    at Erratic Rock hostel is a perfect example of this. Bill Penhollow and Rustyn Mesdag say they started the seminar basically because they had to answer all the same questions over and over throughout the day anyway. Why not offer up all the informational goodies in one well-orgainzed sitting? The two Oregon natives saw the information defecit and decided to fill it. Traveling to the southern tip of the world to go trekking already takes a certain amount of dedication, says Rustyn. Once people arrive this far south, why make traveling any more difficult than it already is? Why not give folks the information that the guidebooks didnt? Essentially the talks cover all the info that Bill and Rustyn wish they had when they first got to Patagonia. Its a simple enough concept: backpackers helping backpackers. Thats how it should be. They give the seminars seven days a week, all season long. The daily run down covers it all, starting from how to get to the Park, all the logistics youll need to know to hike the W trek (4-5 days), the full circuit (8-10 days) or other shorter treks for people who are on a tighter schedule. Youll learn, for example, why approaching the treks counter-clockwise is the better route, as it eases you into the treks and gives you the less strenuous days when your pack is heaviest and the more difficult days as your pack gets lighter. Youll find out whats possible in the Park (What are the trails like? Can you rent tents from the refugios? Can you use the refugio kitchens? What does your camping fee get you? Which campsites are free? Can you really drink water straight from the river? Do you have to worry about snakes, poisonous bugs or flying dinosaurs?). Youll also hear the latest rucksack reports, like if the couple who just arrived back from the Park yesterday saw a puma or trudged through knee-deep snow in Valle del Frances. If youre not sure how to pack your backpack, no problem. Each

    Where are you gonna be at 3?Free Torres del Paine Trekking Seminar

    session provides tips on traveling light as well as how to stuff and--most importantly--waterproof your pack. A lot of people who come down here arent necessarily experienced backpackers, but that doesnt mean they cant tackle the W. The gear part of the seminar goes over all the equipment you might need, down to how much gas to carry, depending on the size of your group. They discuss how to plan your meals, go about your food shop and pack your grub. The idea is to go as light as possible and return to town without having lugged a bunch of extra food or unused fuel with you to the mountains. Part of the magic of the info seminars is how welcoming and hospitible they are (not to mention funny and entertaining). Every one is welcome! You dont have to be staying at Erratic Rock or one of their hostels to attend the talk. The talks are in English, however talks in Spanish can also be arranged. When you arrive, one of the ER staff will invite you to a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea. Youll be asked to check out the Q&A in Black Sheep, just to familiarize yourself with the basics. If youre traveling alone, the talks are also a great way to find yourself a trekking partner, someone who you can share your trek with as well as gear. Trekking with a partner lightens your load, as youll divvy up the tent, food and equipment weight. If youre renting gear, its also lighter on the pocketbook, since youll split the cost of, say, renting a tent. Attending the 3 oclock talk is the equivalent of taking a backcountry course, given by real mountain guides who happen to have landed in Patagonia. Aside from logistics and how-tos, the seminars main focus is how to prepare yourself and avoid trail stresses, especially those related to the foul weather typical of this region. The idea is to give you everything you need so you can get dirtier boots, in Patagonia and wherever your journeys lead you.

    By Heather Poyhonen

    interns needed in Patagonia Its the start of the Patagonian high season, summer in the southern hemisphere. Thousands of people are backpacking through Patagonia right now, but most of them are strapped for time and only plan to spend a few days in each place. If youre not on a whirlwind ultra-planned tour, this article is talking to you. Maybe you have already visited Torres del Paine National Park and Puerto Natales. You loved the small town vibe at the end of the world, the excitement of trekkers heading into the Park.Or youre reading this article before youve made it to Natales or Paine. Either way, youre in luck. erratic rock hostel in Puerto Natales, Chile, is now accepting applications for volunteer interns for the 2008/09 season. Volunteers exchange room and board for living and working in Patagonia. Minimum time slots begin at month-long stays. This hip hostel is looking for backpackers and nice people. A good attitude and sense of humor are essential. Smiley good energy, a plus. Other requirements include willingness to jump in and help with a variety of tasks, whether it be dishing out Torres del Paine or hostel info, rental center duties and just general helping folks feel at home. You should like talking to people and helping fellow travelers plan their adventures. The erractic rock volunteer program started four years ago, and theyve since housed

    travelers from all over the world. The internship has evolved and now works with universities, transforming work experience in a Patagonian hostel into college credit. For more information, visit the erratic rock web site (www.erraticrock.com), call them at +56-61 410355 or visit the owners, Bill and Rustyn, directly at the hostel, Baquedano 719. Volunteering and interning is not a new trend. There are organizations around Chile working with internationals to help facilitate this type of travel. For more information about interning or working holidays in Chile, check out these web sites: www.chileinside.cl or www.contactchile.cl.

    erratic rock is an equal opportunity employer. Accepting applications.

  • 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

    Puerto Natales

    tel. 5661414243 / 414081


    Phillipi 657 Puerto natales, Chile

    Downtown Puerto Natales

    Great central location Rooms with private or shared bath Free internet Breakfast included

    Phone +56 61 412239 Bulnes 299 Puerto Natales, Chile www.aquaterrapatagonia.com

    Aquaterra Lodge Puerto Natales, Chile

    1 & 2-day tours through the Patagonian fjords & canals.Visit the Sendero Alacalufe web site for details.

    [email protected] Natales, Chile Ph 56 61 414747

    INDIGO HOTEL - Ladrilleros 105PUERTO NATALES - 413 609

    Mama will treat you well

    Mama Rosa

    En la zona de canales y fiordos de la Patagonia chilena en la Provincia de Ultima Esperanza, cerca de la ciudad de Pto. Natales se encuentra un rea Silvestre Protegida denomina Reserva Nacional Alacalufe, esta rea se caracteriza por su gran extensin de mas de 2.300.000 hectreas de paisajes prstinos que envuelven a quien visita esta zona entre pequeas islas, laberinto de canales, hermosos fiordos y glaciares y vista a caprichosas montaas, en donde el clima templado de fro y tundra con altas precipitaciones ofrece una rica vegetacin con distintas especies como herbazales, matorrales, coige y trbales. Esta rea ha sido poco visitada por las dificultades que significan el acceso y las caractersticas climticas, adems por su abrupta y desafiante geografa. Actualmente la nica forma de acceso es por va martima desde el centro poblado y de servicios tursticos mas cercano, Pto. Natales tomando desde aqu la excursin que invita a quien busca naturaleza, vivir una gran experiencia de retorno a un mundo que se mantiene en estado puro y silvestre como en la poca de los nativos pueblos de la Patagonia, especficamente del pueblo Alacalufe que surcaban los canales y esteros haciendo rutas por los fiordos al igual que los actuales pescadores artesanales que hoy en da siguen el sendero de los alacalufes, guindose por las huellas de estos habitantes que han dejado impregnado en el paisaje el sentimiento de proteccin de su territorio, dejando como guardin de sus recorridos al hombre que en forma tradicional y sin causar dao busca el sustento para su familia apoyado de la inmensidad de virtudes que regala los canales de la Patagonia. Siguiendo por este camino interior de un poco ms de 40 Km. se puede apreciar bosques de

    lengas y zonas hmedas con hermosos trbales hasta llegar a Estancia Mercedes para un breve descanso que permite descubrir en detalle hasta donde ha podido llegar la influencia de la ganadera junto con disfrutar la hermosa flora y fauna costera. El Estero Resi se navega en una embarcacin tradicional de los pescadores artesanales de la zona que se ha reconvertido al turismo, recorriendo varios puntos de observacin de hbitat marino como el Islote Montenegro, Baha de los Cndores, lugares que muestran la pureza de sus aguas y en donde nos deleitan las tonadas de las aves que curiosas acompaan el recorrido. Siguiendo con la navegacin que actualmente realizan los pescadores artesanales nos encontramos con el Paso Nutria. Luego se tiene en vista un mstico paisajes; la Laguna de los Acantilados que nos sumerge en la naturaleza ms indmita entre los ecos de pueblos tnicos, la voz del viento que agita la unin entre la tierra y el cielo. Sin lugar a dudas el legado de los alacalufes estampado en las laderas de piedra es el obsequio de esta etnia, ya que nos permite evidenciar su paso, apreciar y maravillarnos de sus obras; las Pinturas Rupestres las cuales representan un vestigio del asentamiento del pueblo aborigen conservado y exhibido en este museo al aire libre. Luego de visitar esta genuina muestra de expresiones aborgenes, la excursin nos gua hasta el sector de Baha de los Huiros, desde aqu una escena imperdible; la vista al Glaciar Bernal que deja caer sus milenarios hielos en el afamado Canal de las Montaas el cual se cruza hasta tocar las eternas fras y azulinas capsulas de oxigeno que conmueven y enriquecen nuestro espritu.

    Black Sheep Spotlight:

    Sendero Alacalufe Navegaciones

    Two Silversmiths. One Art.The Taller del Arbol Workshop in Natales

    While traveling in Patagonia, its 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 is 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. Dont 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. Theyre open year round, and during the high season (approximately October-March), theyre 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.

  • 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

    10 December.08

    4HE$ R I E D& R U I T'UY"AQUEDANO0UERTO.ATALES Bulnes 622 Bulnes 555 Puerto Natales, Chile

    phone 56-61 410931 [email protected]

    Urban Artesania DesignMiriam Parra


    tapas wine bar. handcrafted beer. sofas. book exchange.

    el LivingLa Plaza. Pto Natales. Chile.

    vegetarian. fresh-squeezed juices. espresso. shakes. cakes.

    Traditional Chilean cuisine,wine & music in a cozy atmosphere

    Box Lunch Service

    Tomas Rogers 131 - La Plaza - Puerto Nataleswww.lacasadepepe.de phone: 56-61-410950

    Los lagos y ros estn rebosantes de truchas arco iris, farios y fontinalis. Sanas y gorditas, como si supieran que deben estar bien preparadas para los casi siete meses de pesca que tienen por delante.En la Patagonia, todo es extremo y salvaje. El clima es duro e impredecible. El viento es amo y seor absoluto durante la primavera y verano, obligando a adaptar todo tipo de actividad al aire libre a sus caprichos. Pescar aqu sea una delicia. Ros, lagunas, lagos y arroyos, donde poder sentir toda la fuerza y belleza de este rincn salvaje del planeta, prcticamente solos. Pero las campanas de alerta ya estn sonando. Existe una presin enorme por levantar nuevos proyectos hoteleros en el Parque Torres del Paine, pese a que el lugar ya se encuentra prcticamente saturado con los ciento veinte mil turistas que lo visitan cada ao. Slo podemos observar con impotencia como nuestras autoridades aprueban ampliaciones y nuevas obras sin considerar que se trata de una reserva de la biosfera declarada por la UNESCO. Esta poltica sera impensable en otras latitudes. La industria salmonera, luego de dejar la escoba ms al norte, ahora apunta sus dardos a los fiordos de ltima Esperanza As suma y sigue. Pero el presente, por ahora, no es malo. Podemos encontrar truchas de tres y ms kilos muy cerca de Puerto Natales. Un poco ms all, en Torres del Paine, las corridas de salmones Chinook ya se hicieron peridicas, pudiendo alcanzar tallas de ms de un metro de largo y pesos superiores a los veinticinco kilos. Sin duda, se trata de animales hermosos que merecen todo nuestro respeto. Y es aqu donde me quiero detener un momento. Durante mi vida en Santiago, donde trabajaba como periodista, poco y nada me importaba la naturaleza. La urbe lo absorba todo sin darme cuenta.

    Pero aqu, gracias al kayak y la pesca, logr hacer el clic, y entender que al mundo y sus criaturas tenemos que cuidarlas. Eso es lo maravilloso que tiene la pesca con mosca. Nos da la oportunidad nica de capturar un pez salvaje, traerlo hasta nuestra mano, para luego en un acto casi incomprensible para muchos, liberarlo. La verdad es que todo el proceso va dirigido a ese instante mgico. Cada vez que tengo un pez en la mano, me produce una sensacin de felicidad absoluta. Durante esos breves momentos nada ms importa. Soy yo con el pez, y l sabe que en esa ocasin no va a morir. A lo largo de mi vida nunca he dejado de devolver un pez al agua, y en contadas ocasiones con el dolor de mi alma- he tenido que sacrificar alguno debido a una mala picada. Lo que me motiva a continuar esta columna en el tiempo, es poder iniciar o convertir al mayor nmero de pescadores a la modalidad de Catch and Release. Cranme, que no hay nada ms gratificante para el espritu. Ahora les dejo un adelanto para los prximos meses. Jornadas de pesca en los ros Rbens y Penitentes. Truchas marrones en los lagos y lagunas de Torres del Paine. Gigantescos salmones Chinook en el ro Serrano, a los que les daremos pelea con caas de dos manos con lneas del tipo Skagit. Pescaremos enormes y plateadas Sea Runs en el mtico Ro Grande de Tierra del Fuego, posiblemente una visita al casi virgen ro Azopardo. Buscaremos truchas Steelhead en lagos escondidos del fiordo de ltima Esperanza, a los cuales se puede acceder slo en kayak de mar Espero as, con mis relatos, poder motivarlos a practicar la pesca con devolucin en un pas privilegiado y nico como Chile. En una jornada de pesca cualquiera tira un tailing loop!!!

    los gigantes de la Patagonia By Hermann Klasen

    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.

    Bills Trekkers Breaky For a W breakfast for two youll need...

    1 box of instant oatmeal (Quaker, Avena Instantnea)1 can of Svelty powdered milk. (Dont 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 youre 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, youll need...

    1 pack of integral tortillas, which you can find at Vergel on Blanco Encalada 250 grams of cream cheeseAji Pebre (some spicy goodness that you can find the small bottles, next to the ketchup) 1 pack of Serrano hamA handful of white raisins (pasasblancas)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 youre 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 youll need...

    A box of wineSugarThe skin of half an orangeA 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!

    trail recipes to get your grub on!

    Eberhard 161 Puerto Natales Patagonia ChilePhone: (061)414143 / (56-9)6971047

    [email protected] www.ayurvastu.com

    Ayurvedic Spa & Wellness CenterEquilibrize body, mind & soul

    A m e r i n d i aCozy hostel with the best variety of Chilean wines.













    Barros Arana 135 Puerto Natales 56-61 411945

    EBERHARD 230 / CASILLA 42 PUERTO NATALES / CHILE PH 56 61 411835 / [email protected]

    Eberhard 230, Casilla 42 Puerto Natales

    Ph 56.61.411835 www.chilenativo.travel

    Budgets Getaways to the park, weekly. 3 days hiking the three main valleys.

    Includes guide, private transfer and full board in Refugio.

    Starting at USD 695.

  • 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

    11Puerto Natales

    Bed & Breakfastb. zamora 732puerto natales, chilewww.erraticrock.com56 61 414317

    erratic rock 2

    A hostel


    for couples.Private double rooms,

    private bathrooms,

    organic breakfasts

    and a smile.

    A story about coffee

    Lowe Alpine North Face Marmot Primus Sierra Designs

    Eberhard 214 Puerto Natales, [email protected] Tel/fax: (61) 412589

    Equipment Rental & Quality Gear


    m -



    Credit cards accepted.

    El Living is a caf-restaurant in the main square of Puerto Natales which has been running since 2001. Set up by the English couple Anne Patterson and Jeremy Salter, the restaurant serves real coffee, fresh salads and vegetarian food. It is open all day from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., and the full menu is available throughout the day. So, if you fancy French toast, a camembert sandwich, pumpkin soup, walnut burger, burritos or one of the delicious daily specials (which include curry, stir-fried vegetables, Caribbean pepper-pot, and cauliflower cheese, among others), then El Living is the ideal choice. The name is a play on the fact that in Chile the living room is called el living. The idea of the caf was to create an atmosphere as welcoming as your living room. There are sofas, magazines and books to read, and the tables are old TV sets. The walls are covered with photographs of the local area and the typical Magellanic stove in the corner provides the finishing touch. Anne and Jeremy first arrived in Puerto Natales in 1993 when they trekked in Torres del Paine for two weeks and fell in love with the Park. A chance encounter with a park ranger who needed help with an English translation led to an offer of voluntary work in the Park. They spent a year as volunteers for CONAF, helping out with translations and giving out information to tourists. The couple then worked as guides for one of the hotels in Torres del Paine for five years. When their children were born they decided that they needed to find a job that was more compatible with child rearing and hence El Living was born. As vegetarians who have traveled a lot in South America, Anne and Jeremy often struggled to find fresh, vegetarian food, so they knew vegetarian dishes would be a huge part of their restaurant-caf. They thought of all the things that backpackers may miss during their travels: sofas, real coffee, English tea, good music, homemade cakes, whole meal bread and the odd newspaper. Over time the menu has expanded to include creative new dishes and even has offerings

    for people with special dietary needs. Many of the meals are gluten-free, and there are a number of completely vegan options. There are also gluten and egg-free cakes and yummy desserts that are suitable for vegetarians. El Living aims to be as ecological as is possible in this far corner of the world. They recycle all milk cartons, bottles, cans and cardboard boxes, and they feed the organic waste to a neighbors pig. They buy most of the salad ingredients and many of the vegetables from the local market gardeners, who are located on the outskirts of town. Tap water is always available as an alternative to bottled mineral water. The restaurant now employs six local women, plus Jeremy at the bar. It is open from the end of October to mid-April and the prices are very reasonable compared to many tourist restaurants in town. All of the food (except for the bread which is specially made) is made on the premises by the great team of kitchen staff. The food is fresh and the juices are freshly squeezed to order. After trekking in the Park and living off of packet soups and pasta, most people are longing for some real food. El Living offers a chance to replenish your energy. Relax on the sofas with a glass of Chilean wine, a freshly mixed Pisco Sour or one of the popular Baguales beers that are brewed locally and served in only a few places in town. You can locate the caf at Arturo Prat 156 in the main square, a stones throw from the church. Phone number is 411140. They are open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Full menu, sofas, magazines and a book swap available at any time.

    Fat. Fat and grease. We love it. Even if you dont 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 in meat, the oils in avacados, the whole cream in ice cream. We not only like it, we need it. And we especially need it for energy while trekking. A couple of facts: 1.) Soaps are a threat to fresh water supplies. Its best not to use non-biodegradable products at all. 2.) Cold stream or lake water turns left-over grease on dishes into a thick, lard-like glue. Impossible to remove without soap and hot water... or is it? Heres the trick: take your dirty dinner dishes to an area of sand or small rocks, grab a fistful of dirt and scrub! The small granules of dirt and pebbles will absorb all the oils from your meal and will remove almost any of the tough-to-scrub food particles from your dishes. 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!

    W a s h i n g W i t h D i r t

    By Sarah Anderson

    A view into El Living.

    Book exchange at El Living, on the main plaza.

  • 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

    12 December.08

    questions & answers

    Punta Arenas, Chile POPULATION: 116.005FOUNDED: 1848WHATS GROOVY: Trekking to Cabo FrowardJUST IN CASE: 131 (ambulance), 132 (fire), 133 (police)

    Punta Arenas is the southern-most city on continental South America, overlooking the famous Strait of Magellan. Punta Arenas has a long, bloody history, starting with Magellens discovery of the strait, a passageway from Europe to the Pacific, and continuing with the nearby gold booms, wool booms and attempts to tame and convert the native peoples (Kaweshkar, Yagan, Aonikenk and Selknam). The city experienced a slump in the early 20th century with the opening of the Panama Canal, the drop in wool prices, and the end of the whaling trade. Things started looking up again with the discovery of local oil, and now the regions economy relies heavily on the petroleum industry. Those

    interested in maritime history and remote cultures will enjoy Punta Arenas many museums. Museo Regional Salesiano has several exibits on the regions native tribes along with an impressive array of taxidermied animals. Punta Arenas is the gateway to visit Magallenic Penguins, with colonies located at Seno Otway (very close, with about 11,000 nesting birds) and Isla Magdalena (reachable by boat, with about 120,000 penguins). Penguin season is roughly October-March. If youre not here when the penguins are, consider visiting Puerto Hambre and Fuerto Bulnes, or do some end-of-the-world trekking to places like Cabo Froward, the bottommost tip of South America.

    What is downtown Punta Arenas?

    Mainly the blocks around the plaza which are shown on the map.

    What does Punta Arenas mean?

    Punta Arenas means sandy point after its sandy soil and rocky beaches. A swim however isnt recommended with an average water temperature of 5 degrees C.

    Why are there ropes on the main square corners?

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

    Where is the bus station?

    Unfortunately Punta Arenas doesnt have a central bus station. Every company has its own terminal somewhere in the center. There are numerous buses to Natales until 8 p.m. Buses to Argentina and to Torres del Paine National Park are a little less frequent.

    Is there any public transportation?

    Yes! Micro is the name for the public buses, and they are 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 and the driver nervously starts to look at you from the rear-view mirror. Then you ask him to take you back to the centro. Colectivos are car-type public transportation. Like buses, they have a defined route, but they collect people along the road, so you may hop on and off. Both options are pretty inexpensive.

    How do I know where the colectivos go?

    There are no plans or maps. People just know... or they dont. It always says on the sign, but then they blast by you, so its difficult to read. Have fun!

    How much do taxis cost?

    All taxis have a taximeter. In and around the center youll pay between 1.500 and 2.500 pesos.

    Where can I change money?

    There are a couple of agencies, mainly concentrated on Lautaro Navarro between Pedro Montt and Fagnano.

    Can I drink the tap water?

    Yes, tap water is absolutely safe.

    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 through Buses Barria.

    How far to Puerto Natales, Provenir & Ushuaia?

    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.

    Is it possible to get to any of the zillions of islands I see on the map?

    Yes! For a price. Solo Expediciones (Jose Nogueira 1255) offers boat trips to remote islands for almost-off-the-map trekking, fishing, and more.

    What are my penguin options?

    1.) Tours leave every afternoon to Seno Otway. 2.) Ferry to Isla Magdalena afternoon on Tuesday,

    Thursday, and Saturday. 3.) Zodiac boat trips in the morning and afternoon to Isla Magdalena, every day.

    What type of day tours are there?

    You can visit the penguin colonies, historic Fuerte Bulnes, or even do a side trip to Laguna Parriar National Forest (recommended).

    Do the street dogs bite?

    Yes, gringos only.

    How far is the airport out of town?

    About 20km or 30 minutes.

    How many people live here?

    About 120.000. Thats about 0.8% of Chiles total population.

    How much is an airport transfer?

    A taxi to the airport usually costs 5.000. From the airport to town its about 8.000. There are also minibus shuttles, which take a bit longer because they have more people to pick up, but theyre more economical.

    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 Americas continent.

    How do I get to the big shopping mall from downtown?

    Take a taxi, or cheaper yet - take a colectivo number 800, 300, 114, 112, 777 or 17. These colectivos will drop you off at the huge grocery store, Lider, which is part of the mall.

  • 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

    1Punta Arenas




    Rio deLos ciervosestanciaThe past of pioners close to Punta Arenas

    . Only 5 km of the city

    . Historical Circuit

    . Typical Food

    . Horses riding

    . Acommodationswww.estanciariodelosciervos.comFonos reservas: 061- 710219 fax: [email protected]




    experts Magdalena and Marta Island

    . (150.000 penguins y 1500 sea lions). Seno Otway Penguin colony. Bulnes Fort


    www.soloexpediciones.comJose Nogueira 1255 Pta. Arenas

    fotografo: Luis Bertea

    Torres del paineCabaas del PaineHotel

    . 44 rooms with the best view of the Paine mountain chain. Restaurant and grill incorporated . Excurtions and transfers




    [email protected]:243354

    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 Patagonias lone pebble beaches, just like their anscesters have done for thousands of years. Only males arrive at the beginning, but it doesnt 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. Its 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. Theres 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 doesnt start operating until the end of November or beginning of December. Theres about 120,000

    Whos watching who?

    penguins 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 n 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 Ro Gallegos or by renting a car and driving the dirt road southeast of Ro Gallegos yourself. Its a pretty large distance, but the chances that you and the penguins will be the only ones there are pretty good! Price from Ro 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 seasons prices for the 3 day/2 night all-inclusive tour is USD 900 per person.

    Photo: Rustyn Mesdag

    Penguin contemplating ship full of sailors contemplating the penguins -- Antactica.

    questions & answers

    Punta Arenas, Chile POPULATION: 116.005FOUNDED: 1848WHATS GROOVY: Trekking to Cabo FrowardJUST IN CASE: 131 (ambulance), 132 (fire), 133 (police)

    Punta Arenas is the southern-most city on continental South America, overlooking the famous Strait of Magellan. Punta Arenas has a long, bloody history, starting with Magellens discovery of the strait, a passageway from Europe to the Pacific, and continuing with the nearby gold booms, wool booms and attempts to tame and convert the native peoples (Kaweshkar, Yagan, Aonikenk and Selknam). The city experienced a slump in the early 20th century with the opening of the Panama Canal, the drop in wool prices, and the end of the whaling trade. Things started looking up again with the discovery of local oil, and now the regions economy relies heavily on the petroleum industry. Those

    interested in maritime history and remote cultures will enjoy Punta Arenas many museums. Museo Regional Salesiano has several exibits on the regions native tribes along with an impressive array of taxidermied animals. Punta Arenas is the gateway to visit Magallenic Penguins, with colonies located at Seno Otway (very close, with about 11,000 nesting birds) and Isla Magdalena (reachable by boat, with about 120,000 penguins). Penguin season is roughly October-March. If youre not here when the penguins are, consider visiting Puerto Hambre and Fuerto Bulnes, or do some end-of-the-world trekking to places like Cabo Froward, the bottommost tip of South America.

    Fully Equipped KitchenLaundry Service

    Internet & TelephoneView of the Strait of Magellan

    Coffee Shop

    Hain HotelJos Noguiera 1600

    +56-61 [email protected] Arenas, Chile

    21 de Mayo 1469 Punta Arenas 56-61 241029

    [email protected]




    Cocina Salvaje de la Patagonia

    Penguin spotlight...

  • 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

    1 December.08

    erratic rock hostel punta arenas

    Errazuriz 567Punta Arenas, Chile

    www.erraticrock.com56 61 221130

    Reputation is everything. La MarmitaRestaurant/Bistro

    Healthy. Vegetarian. Patagonian.

    Punta Arenas,



    Ave. Colon

    Jose Menedez

    Waldo Seguel




    Ave. Indepencia





    Mario Toledo

    Julia Garay



    Jorge Montt


    Lautaro Navarro


    Ave. Bulnes Bories Jose Nogueira

    21 de Mayo


    Armando Sanhueza


    Ave. Espana



    Pedro Montt



    Ave. Costanera


    I. Carrera Pinta

    Plaza Sampalo 678 Punta Arenas, Chilephone 56 61 222056

    Cabo Froward Shoestring Trips 2008-09 As a special summer promotion, erratic rock in Puerto Natales is posting budget Cabo Froward programs for backpackers in Patagonia. For what they call a getting back to our roots program, these series of Cabo Froward trips will be open to the public. We designed this series of Cabo trips for the backpackers who dont normally use guides. Travelers that want to do something unique and who want to carry their own gear, who want to achieve the tip of the continent on their own, under their own power. The problem is they just need someone to show them the way and they cant afford typical high-priced, guided luxury trips. The program runs weekly during the months of January, February and March and is six days in total. Trips include guide, food, one night in Punta Arenas and transportation from Punta Arenas to the trailhead and back. This is a self-sufficient program and each team member must carry all personal gear and equipment. Cabo Froward programs leave every Sunday from Puerto Natales and return to Punta Arenas on Fridays. So far, there is a trip confirmed for December 29, 2008. For more information about joining a Cabo Froward program contact erratic rock in Puerto Natales at 410355, www.erraticrock.com, or Aonikenk in Punta Arenas at 228332, orwww.aonikenk.com.

    The Strait of Magellan, the channel, scene of countless shipwrecks, the oldest cemetery in Patagonia, historical bays... and never anyone else on the trail. The bottom of Africa and the bottom of Australia are easy to find. Theyre just spots on a map that you drive your car to, get out, take a photo next to the sign and drive off again. Not the case for the bottom point of South America. This journey is only for those ready to get completely away from the masses and willing to put themselves in a place where the word self-reliance cannot be taken lightly. Be prepared for an agonizingly rough trail, relentless wind and

    two neck-high river crossings carrying your pack over your head. There is no turning back, amigo. The Cabo trek is really only possible from January-March. Other times of the year youre likely to run into river problems. Deep winter makes for frozen conditions. This route boasts two large, cold, strip down and hold your pack over your head river crossings. If you have successfully trekked and camped the Torres del Paine W circuit, then you might be ready for Cabo Froward. Its a trek about the location itself, the bottom of the continent and the history. Plus, very few trekkers have ever been to Cabo Froward. The trek begins where the dirt road ends. Old deep forests of Nothofagus: huge coigues that seem never before seen or touched. The views are incredible, not only of the Strait itself, but the mountains surrounding it. Mt. Sarmiento is im