Elvis has left the Jungle

Hello everyone.  How goes the world?  Mine is fine.  I’ve been deep in the Amazon these last few weeks, spending some time with friends, and fish, and serpents, not to mention Genghis Khan (don’t ask, well that is unless you really want to know).  But it’s been wonderful.  There is just so much to learn here!  I’ve had my fly line cut by piranhas, seen enormous grubs cooked over coals, watched a rooster feel sympathy for a turtle, been rained on until it seemed the sky and the river were one, traveled miles and miles and miles in a tiny wooden canoe, swam, hiked, slept, and even witnessed the unspeakable accuracy and power of Maestro Don Alberto Torres Davila’s deadly staff, as wielded against the head of a viper two meters long and sliding sideways through the grass.  But alas, now I am headed south again.  I’ll be on Lago Titicaca in two days.  Look for another update sometime soon, and in the meantime, here’s the photos that I’ve taken along the way.  In the meantime though all of you please write me back; I look forward to hearing from you soon.  

“Wait,… what month is it up there?”

Back again for a few days of office and home front scramble-age between clients:  I’ve spent the last couple of weeks out on the water with a very nice fellow from Rhode Island, down for his seventh trip to Patagonia and his second in a row with us.  We’ve been chasing fish across several old favorite spots of his, plus a lot of new water too in the area of Rio Pico and beyond.  A few of the results of our efforts can be seen in the photos here, and I will let them speak for themselves.

As I write I am in fact just back in from my standard “Buen dia” tour with the Negra.  We wake up early in the morning when we can to go for walks, and the exchanges that result between myself and the folks we encounter as well as the environment in general always serve to remind me of just how good we have it in this community.  Almost everyone we meet greets us with a “Buen dia” (Good morning) and a smile, and between the house and the bakery or wherever else we walk it is a pleasure to watch the city and the sky here come to life.  Back in the states I always dreamed of having a farm of my own and the good, pure food that would result.  But since when I got back in this morning I had for breakfast a bowl of cereal wet with yogurt I made here using milk from the neighbor’s cow, butter made by the neighbor’s hand from the same milk spread onto bread from the bakery I just walked back from, eggs laid by another neighbor’s chickens, and juice squeezed out of oranges and grapefruit bought in bulk at our local verduraria, I am for the most part feeling like I now have the benefits of the farm without doing all its associated work; which is kind of cool too, in a way.

We’re finally getting some rain which will help water levels and the fish here a great deal, not to mention the ranchers and their cattle.  I find now though that after having been in the southern hemisphere without return to the north for as long as I have I am getting confused about the seasons.  Patagonia doesn’t habitually subscribe to seasons anyway, and over the last couple of years we’ve seen both ice storms in the middle of summer and bright, warm days when it should have been freezing.  But I knew maybe I needed to check myself when I asked my mother the other day while on Skype “Wait,… what month is it up there?”  She laughed.

Everyone shoot me the news; I’ve got a couple more days of good connection left before I head south again and would love to hear from you, any and all.

         

Everything outside was elegant and savage and fleshy.  Everything inside was slow and cool and vacant.  It seemed a shame to stay inside.

                   ~JOHN CHEEVER

Pucon and Valdivia, Chile

Had to head over to Pucon, Chile this week to pick up a few things for the boat, but found out when we got there that the stuff was stuck in aduana up in Santiago.  Too far from Chubut to want to make the trip twice we decided to wait the delay out and headed out to the coast with our tent.  The little town of Valdivia turned out to be a pretty neat place though, so we hung out for a few days eating sea urchin roe and grilled salmon, and exploring the coastline throwing trout flies at unidentified saltwater species from the beaches.  This town is home to the Kunstman brewery, which we visited to sample the wares, and is the base for a large commercial fishery as well.  The seafood markets were just incredible, complete with resident sea-lions on the docks waiting to be thrown the scraps.
An interesting couple of days, but upon crossing back into Argentina through the pass at the active Lanin volcano and headed back along the beautiful Rio Alumine and its tributary the Rio Malleo I must admit I was glad to be headed home.  No offense to you Chile types, but the East slope of the Andes has the light that spins my heart for a loop every time.