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Scott Truong
(elf773) - M

Locale: Vancouver, BC
Arrgggg! WTF Civil Unrest in Patagonia... on 01/17/2011 01:13:57 MST Print View

I was all set to go this week. And then this...

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2007556

http://www.allchile.net/chileforum/topic5375.html

"ADMIN NOTE: As of January 13th, 2011 we are strongly urging all foreigners currently in the country or planning to travel to Chile over the next few weeks to avoid these areas of conflict, and anyone caught in the area to please evacuate to other locations in Chile or Argentina. The protest have turned deadly."

"Well, speaking from my Red Cross evacuation centre waiting for the air force to get me out of Puerto Natales, I highly recommend you DO NOT COME to Magallenes. It is a seriously unfun situation to be in. Make alternative plans for the Argentine side (or maybe ask if you can get off your PA flight at Puerto Montt and enjoy the Lake District). As we understand it at the moment, the tourists are being given a chance to get out."

My first big solo multiweek trip, I was getting so excited, new Cuben floor for the Hexamid, new tigoat poles.

I suppose I should be more sensitive, the locals must be ticked off for a reason, and it's their houses and businesses that are burning.

.... but I just want to cry and thought I'd share the suffering with y'all.

Maybe I'll just go to El Chalten and Los Glaciares.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Arrgggg! WTF Civil Unrest in Patagonia... on 01/17/2011 01:35:32 MST Print View

Saw this on the BBC website. What a bummer!!

Edited by ben2world on 01/17/2011 01:40:10 MST.

Scott Truong
(elf773) - M

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: Sighhh.. on 01/17/2011 02:46:19 MST Print View

OK. I just read the BBC article. I take it back, I should consider myself lucky that I didn't leave a week or two earlier.

I hope things get resolved and no one else gets hurt.

As much as I'd like to, it's probably not a good idea to go to El Chalten in Argentina either at this time.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Arrgggg! WTF Civil Unrest in Patagonia... on 01/17/2011 05:19:55 MST Print View

This is both really disappointing and timely for me. I just got back from checking flights to Argentina and Patagonia earlier this evening. The flights from Japan were just stupidly (right through the roof!) expensive so I was contemplating giving up going to Patagonia. Perhaps this is telling me something?

Now I have to find another good walk to go on. Perhaps the Lycian Way in Turkey?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: RE: Sighhh.. on 01/17/2011 09:35:53 MST Print View

Scott:

If Argentina fascinates you, then you should go. Otherwise, it's kind of like someone swearing off Canada because of riots in Seattle... you know what I mean.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: RE: Sighhh.. on 01/17/2011 17:57:34 MST Print View

"Otherwise, it's kind of like someone swearing off Canada because of riots in Seattle... you know what I mean."

Things like that don't necessarily stop at the border. Worth checking out, based on the tried and true first rule for travelling in disturbed areas: Don't get caught in the middle of other folk's arguments.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
RE: Sigh on 01/17/2011 18:46:56 MST Print View

" Worth checking out..."

Yes. Definitely worth checking it out -- both ways -- instead of just writing off a country next door.

Edited by ben2world on 01/17/2011 18:53:04 MST.

Scott Truong
(elf773) - M

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: Argentina... on 01/17/2011 19:18:09 MST Print View

It's not I'm thinking Argentina is unstable or anything. I don't really think I'd be in an physical danger even in Chile.

It's more of a logistical matter.

I figure all those trekkers already in Torre Del Paine, in area etc, are going to naturally go over to El Chalten in Argentina. Seeing as it's peak season anyways, space may be tight.

And I'd be flying space available seating (employee discount). I'm going to call the airline and see what they have to say and decide.

Upon further research, the Argentinian side looks absolutely stellar. Supposedly the views/trails (albeit shorter) than TdP.

I was thinking New Zealand, never thought of Turkey.. ah hell maybe I'll go to Point Reyes, the weather looks nice the next week.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Arrgggg! WTF Civil Unrest in Patagonia... on 01/17/2011 19:20:24 MST Print View

Maybe I'm crazy, but I wouldn't be deterred. I've spent a good bit of my life in areas with all kinds of US State Dept warnings and horror stories, though. I've found most of them to be places with great people and no problems at all. Generally it's just a few isolated, politically staged incidents that the ordinary traveler would hardly be aware of if not for media hype. Sure, use common sense, and don't walk through obvious demonstration or conflict areas. But that's not a part of the world where tourists are targeted, at least not with much more than the occasional overpriced beverage;-) Still I haven't read up on the latest down there, so do your research. If an airport is closed or if flight prices are crazy high, that certainly can throw a wrench in things, but I'd roll with it if you can, and just look at it like a hike through bear country.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Argentina... on 01/17/2011 19:24:23 MST Print View

Scott:

Check with your airline(s) and hotels, etc. by all means -- esp. if you have the flexibility. A lot of people don't. Also, when faced with situations like this so far away from home, a lot of people might just decide to head home anyway rather than head to Argentina and "turn lemons into lemonade" -- to use a cliche.

Looks like you, Brian, and I are on the same page philosophically speaking. After double checking the situation... if logistics allow -- then it's a go. :)

Edited by ben2world on 01/17/2011 19:25:52 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Argentina... on 01/17/2011 19:34:56 MST Print View

I'm also considering New Zealand, but prices, when I checked yesterday, are crazy. Double the usual. I have a good outdoor friend in NZ and was thinking to do some walking with him.

For the Lycian Way or St. Paul's Way (more mountainous... need a GPS and there are winter conditions) mid-February to mid-March is supposed to tbe ideal season to go. The Lycian Way has been rated as one of the most scenic and interesting walks in the world, though there aren't a lot of maps yet and the markers on the trail seem to get confusing quite a lot. The Lycian Way can be walked all year, but the summer temperatures are extremely high. You can check out more information at Trekking In Turkey.

Another trail I really want to do some time is the Larapinta Trail in Australia, but I need to get some desert walking experience in before I tackle that. Don't know how I'm going to do that from here in Japan. I'm used to very hot walking conditions (while the temperatures don't get as high as Australia here in Japan, the 100% humidity makes it actually much more difficult to walk because there is no relief in the shade or with drinks of water), I'm not used to lack of water sources or the remoteness of the Australian outback. Right now is not the best time to walk the Larapinta, though. It's best in September and October.

Hope you find a good walk. I'm going to have to get cracking, too.

Scott Truong
(elf773) - M

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: New Zealand. on 01/17/2011 22:32:50 MST Print View

New Zealand isn't that far from you Miguel, but yeah after looking through the government land management site, it seems pretty restrictive. And that is if you can get a spot.. I was looking at the Kelper and Routeburn track (seeing as I'm going solo and never been to New Zealand). Fairly short too, seems they more or less encourage day trips from the looks of it.

If you got a buddy/local with a car to take you to the trailheads, that would be ideal.

And it's definitely not in the same league as your planned trips, but if you've never been and it's cheap enough, you should go to San Francisco. The city is superb, you can walk from the city on continuous trails for at least 5-8 days, strictly use public transit. Very easy logistically, never stay in a hotel if you don't want. But no huge granite peaks and high wide open vistas (rent the video/documentary 180* South). Actually on second thought, may be way way too tame for you.

Thanks for the Turkey link. I'm going to save it, maybe when it's warmer later this year. Probably shouldn't head out half cocked.

I'm going to call the airlines and see how the loads are for Argentina. That's really the determining factor. Punta Arenas (where the strikes are) had 7 flights daily from Santiago. The Argentina equivalent has one from Buenos Airies.

I'll try to call someone governmental in the El Chalten area too. Seeing as it's a recently built town specifically for trekking/tourism I'd hope they would have an idea of the campsite capacities.

Actually I'm more scared walking around in an American/Canadian suburb with a bunch of drunken teenagers hanging around a convenience store than a lot of places overseas. The actual socialist countries (Cuba and Vietnam) seem especially safe. I really do like those two countries.

Well, if I make it, I'll post a trip report and share the joy.

"and just look at it like a hike through bear country".. hahaha... bear and cougar country.

Edited by elf773 on 01/17/2011 22:52:25 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: New Zealand. on 01/17/2011 23:10:04 MST Print View

New Zealand isn't that far from you Miguel,

Thanks for the information. The problem here is that it's Japan... that means everything is sky high price-wise. From here the cheapest flights I was able to find were $1,800 to New Zealand, $1,900 to Buenos Aires. Those are the cheapest right now! Ugh...

I used to live in Oregon and often traveled down to San Francisco, so I know the area quite well, though I certainly haven't done enough hiking there. I'd like to do some walks there some time, especially the Sierras.

We'll. I'll get out there somewhere!

Scott Truong
(elf773) - M

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: $$$ on 01/17/2011 23:37:15 MST Print View

Yeah, Japan is a pretty pricey place in general. Some of the best powder skiing in the world, but cost is rather prohibitive.

Though not until at least early June, and may not be your cup of tea, but a great seaside/coastal/forest walk, straight from the capital city ($20 taxi from downtown to trailhead).

http://eastcoasttrail.ca/

and Gros Morne National Park:

http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/nl/grosmorne/activ/activ2e.aspx

Haven't been, but will. Fjords etc, all the animals (bears, moose and coyotes) are much larger here than anywhere else for some reason.

Newfoundland is a wicked province. Excellent people.

Arapiles .
(Arapiles) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Re: Re: New Zealand. on 01/18/2011 01:46:22 MST Print View

"Thanks for the information. The problem here is that it's Japan... that means everything is sky high price-wise. From here the cheapest flights I was able to find were $1,800 to New Zealand, $1,900 to Buenos Aires. Those are the cheapest right now! Ugh..."

Hi Miguel

Have you ever done the buy-the-ticket-from-HK thing? Might be worth checking out.

Re the Larapinta Trail, I wouldn't worry about the temperatures - the heat is very dry and it's set up for non-walkers, so if you do it in winter you'd be fine.

I was up at my parents place on NYE and it was 42 C - two weeks later the town is under a 200 year flood and the farm is sodden.

Laura Young
(LauraY) - F
Los Glaciares on 01/18/2011 09:18:10 MST Print View

Here's some more Chile info:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2006336&messageID=18029130#18029130

This just anecdotal, but I met people on a RTW who said the best place they had been to (by far) was Los Glaciares, though they liked TdP too.