"Visual Quotations" Photographs by Richard Freeman
After a year traveling south from Colombia (Mexico, actually), I finally arrived to the northern frontier of Patagonia on the Chilean coast. I also came down with malaria! The doctors there had never seen it before, except for a physician from Bolivia (thank you doc!). After they treated me for over a week he suggested I fly home. What?! And miss a chance to see and backpack in Patagonia? No way. I eventually made it home about 6-months later, with no more mishaps (until I was back in Chicago and had a relapse, but that is another story).
Patagonia is everything you could imagine, only more so! Live volcanos, lakes with icebergs floating by, glaciers, the most spectacular national parks anywhere! Both in Chile and crossing over into Argentina (and back). By the time you get way south in Chile (just south of Isla Chiloe), there is not much earth to build roads on, so it is boat, small plane, or cross over into Argentina. I did all three, in due course.
I will say that the national park in Chile, Torres del Paine, is the most spectacular park I ever visited. Evrytime you go around a bend the vista changes: from woods to wild flowers, to stark glaciers flowing into lakes, and then over the pass!!!! I did the 5-night circuit in 1987, and 10 years later when I was doing research in Buenos Aires for 2-years, I took a trip back to the park, and completed the circuit again, on my 10 year anniversary! Yeah!!!! Laguna San Rafael is a glacier and national park that is only accessible by water. We took a threenight trip to check it out.
But Argentina has nothing to be ashamed of either: with the immense glacier Perito Moreno to Fitzroy National Park, to Ushaia on Tierra del Fuego, exploring the Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellin. Wow! And a little further north is Bariloche, with its national parks.
All told I was probably 4 months traveling around in 1987, and took about 5-weeks in 1997. All these images were taken with my Leica M-6 with a 50mm 1.4 Leitz lens. They were scanned on a Nikon scanner (at 4000dpi) and processed in Adobe Lightroom. Some of the colors had faded or shifted in the negatives, but overall, I am pleased.