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Touring the colors, the flavors and history of the area See map

A group of journalists and photographers were invited to visit the mountains of the province in four days. An extremely tight agenda took us from Esquel to Lago Puelo. Crossing the desert of Chubut you discover a different world, blessed by nature.

In autumn nature takes its color palette and goes painting one to one corner of the mountain range of Chubut. Lengas red, deep blue lakes, yellow to he alamos, white to the peaks, green to cypresses. A show difficult to translate into words.

We started from Trevelin. The first destination is Futaleufu, the hydroelectric dam, the river and the city of the same name. The first two are on this side of the ridge, while the city is on the side of Chile. In the roadside grows wild rosehip, whose leaves are turning yellow and contrast with the deep red of the fruit.

The path to Futaleufu is surrounded by natural and foreing vegetation like cypress, ash, maitenes, cohihues, radales. The ears are not enough to keep the guide as many names as memory triggers.

Halfway there is a small pier on the river. A lone fisherman is fly fishing in still water. The landscape is completed by three log cabins. Overwhelmed with ease.

Something interrupted the landscape: the pylons carrying cables from the dam to the Atlantic coast of Chubut. The Futaleufu dam divides the river in two. On the Argentine side, a narrow course is almost no current. The Chilean side, the river retains its natural course and fills rapids.

We are back. The visit to Futaleufu, without getting to know the machine was a bit boring. The waterfall is underground piping. To enter you need to hire a guide from the Tourist Guides Association.

Returning we go throguh the School 18. The entrance is lined with a huge cushion of yellow leaves. And for those who are accustomed to gray-green of the desert did not stop to take pictures for the impact of the image.

People say that in this school about 300 inhabitants (between Mapuche and Welsh) decided they wanted to be Argentine and not Chilean, when a plebiscite consulted them in 1902. Inside, the furniture remain frozen in time.

Later we took a gravel road that took us to the lake Rosario. There, a full camping organized and run by young Mapuche is shown as a particularly attractive as a tremendous achievement of the huinca community, which was responsible for training them. Not fully understood if we visit the place to know the geography or to learn about this great project.

The guide says we can not miaa going to the waterfall Nant and Fall. Another gravel road. At this time, we're a little tired. We will make a circuit in one day that tourists do it in almost four. But one of the photographers who integrates this press trip said "we are photographers and want to take photographs, we are journalists and we want journalism." We came to work, enjoy has another price. The promotion is long and covered short time.

The Nant y Fall waterfall is a Provincial Tourism reserve linking the lake Rosario with the Futaleufú river forming three major leaps in less than 400 meters. The largest waterfall is 65 meters high. These rivers and lakes belong to the Pacific basin.

Before the sun goes down we have to get to Nant Fach Flour Mill. The tour is of double importance. On one hand, the machine was entirely handmade by Mervin Evans, a descendant of the first inhabitants of the region, and on the other, Trevelin means "mill town" and is worth knowing why.

The mill is in a wooden little house that seems is taken out of a story. Also works in a museum, Evans starts for us. We see the wheat turn into flour and bran, and I took a handful of wheat that had never seen.

We compress the visit and the journey in half an hour. The "real" visit must take at least three hours. Evans knows perfectly the history of the flour mills in the area. He talk about the large flour mills of Buenos Aires, how they took the job to get rid of his ancestry to the industry who raised in a small scale.

The walk around Trevelin end at the grave of the horse Malacara, buried in the garden of the owner's granddaughter. The Malacara was famous for having saved John Daniel Evans to die at the hands of tehuelches. Evans, who came from the Chubut River valley on horseback, had got into the mountains dressed in army clothes. Tehuelches killed their comrades and followed him. People say that Malacara saved his life by jumping off a cliff.

People from Trevelin appreciate its gesture. If Evans had not returned to Gaiman with the news that crossing the desert there was a valley, mountains and water, the Welsh never have settled in the region and perhaps, "this would be Chilean land" strives to affirm the guide that accompanies us.

We ended the day by dining in a grid of Trevelin. Cora, the owner, personally attends us. "Today I was inspired by the Arabic cuisine," says while she is bringing "quepi" and "niños envueltos" and also pickled deer. We ate barbecue and after dessert, Cora offers homemade liqueurs. The brooch perfect for a delightful journey.

By Valeria Carrizo

Viajes por la Patagonia


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