Zenfolio | Simon Littlejohn | GETTING FLEECED IN PATAGONIA, LITERALLY

GETTING FLEECED IN PATAGONIA, LITERALLY

March 09, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Don't get me wrong, Patagonia is geographically remote, it's never been cheap to get goods here, ( no road through the southern Patagonian Ice Cap, so into Argentina one must divert to get goods south by road ) but since my last extended photographic trip to the region in 2003, things have become somewhat pricey, and today some old women in bakery literally sheared me with her sharpest pair of blades, right to the bloody bone. The once sleepy town perched on the shores of the  ( Ultima Esperanza ) Last Hope Sound in the remote southern Fjords of Chile, has boomed, and the old lady in the bakery, who received me of 10,500 pesos Chileno, ( £12.50 ) must have been the main protagonist in this mighty jack up in prices, that one might expect at a cafe near the Spanish Steps in Rip Off Rome, but here in Puerto Natales, I thought not, well fuck me, was I wrong.

 

For my £12.50, I received a loaf of brown bread, and an Empanada filled with vegetables, for those who have no clue what fills the stomachs of tens of millions of Mexicans and Latin Americans on a daily basis, an empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried in some countries. Mine was delicious but the quantity of vegetables in it, compared to the amount of dough it was encased in, was horrifyingly disproportionate, and large enough to be the base material of Mayan pyramid. So to put it mildly things have changed in this neck of the woods, where once 70,000 trekkers passed through the entrance of the Torres del Paine National Park, last year over 300,000 stomped the shit out of it's trails, and a sickness has befallen the park, a once pristine Patagonian paradise, I had the pleasure of living in for 3 years is in trouble, deep trouble, but it is the goose that lays the golden egg in these parts, I hate to say this but it is starting to rot, and the smell is on the rise..........

 

I am here for many months, including the whole winter, so I get to be here when the masses have left and I live a season in a Patagonian Eden, but spring will come soon enough, and once again spring blooms will appear, and with it, like a devastating red tide algae, the tourists will bloom and the park will once again be inundated with an influx of a species nature never intended it to deal with......... if you need ask !!!!


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