Northern Patagonia

      Patagonia's increase in popularity as a travel destination is like a freight train: it's not stopping anytime soon. Why would it? It has everything an adventurer wants, vastness, mountain-scapes, an incredible culture. But most think of Patagonia as Torres del Paine, near the southern most part of Chile. The northern area of this reputable destination also has its wonder. A few years ago I was lucky enough to paddle the notorious FutaleufĂș river in northern Patagonia. I hung out on a farmstead on the river called Cara Del Indio (Face of Indian) for three weeks. It was the most simple lifestyle I've had the pleasure of experiencing: eat, kayak, take photos, sleep, repeat. 

     From the Futa, I traveled north to Barraco Lodge, where I had the opportunity to shoot for their establishment and hangout with a Payette River friend of mine, Shane Ramasco. 

      Patagonia is expansive as all get-out, seeing it first hand amongst friends who have been there before was incredible. I wanted to title this post 'Patagonia Part 1' do to me wanting to visit again in the next 5-10 years. Seeming how that might be misleading to me posting more images in the near future, the title changed. Enjoy Northern Patagonia. 

                 

(1st-4th) First of all, and I cannot stress this enough, thank god for vehicles. In the depths of the Futa valley nothing can really get you around like a truck. Without these, our crew was hopeless,  getting town (FutaleufĂș) is a 20 mile trek and going kayaking with a truck is absolutely necessary. The Futa is on its own, out in the middle of nowhere practically. But there was always smiles and antics on our drives, like shooting air guns at road signs, and maybe we were blasting Led Zeppelin too. 

(1st) Jan waking up with a daily cup of mate around the fire in our quincho. 

(2nd) On a lucky day the boys would catch a solid batch of trout on the Futa during their lap. They would kayak down these large class IV rapids with a breakdown rod and reel, catch an eddy and throw out a couple casts. If the fish was big enough, it would be thrown into the back of the boat to later be consumed by the crew. 

(3rd) Damian shows off his catch on a short evening lap back to the farm. 

(4th) Mate, forget about coffee, you can't find that around here anyway. 

(5th) Andreas "Junior" Wiedmer giving Glenn a necessary mullet haircut.      

(1st-4th) The FutaleufĂș river is one of the most spectacular "big-water" rivers in the world. Many come here just to paddle the river for months at a time. On a good day (since Patagonia loves to throw wind and rain at you randomly) the river can be this clear, teal-blue color, and its temperature is warm, I'm talking bathtub temps. All this makes for some class IV-V fun runs, it really can't get better than this. Another lap? 

(1st) Macal keeps watch on the farm, nothing gets past this alpha male. Rumor has it that he broke through a glass window to chase down a boar. 

(2nd) The quincho, long nights of laughter were had here, plenty of good meals as well. 

(3rd) Looking upstream at the rapid "Magic Carpet" during a colorful sunset on the Futa. 

(4th) The reason why the farmstead is called Cara Del Indio (Face of Indian) is because of this cliff across the river, that is shaped much like the head of an indian. 

Welcome to paradise, otherwise known as Barraco Lodge on the shores of Lake Tagua-Tagua.

(1st) Shane Ramasco leading the way up the Rio Puelo in search of some quality fishing. 

(2nd) Monsters in Patagonia. 

(3rd) The massive Andean Condor rules the skies around this place. 

(4th) Nothing short of heaven on the Rip Puelo, that is until the wind picks up. 

(1st) Boris cooks up a traditional asado, meat on a stick has never been so delicious. 

(2nd) Jaime, the man behind the lodge, could be one of the most interesting people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. 

(3rd) Heli at the lodge? Why not. 

(4th) The talented staff who made amazing meals day in and day out. 

(5th) Not a bad place to wake up. 

Till next time Patagonia...

John@webstermediahouse.com          208-869-4187

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