Blogs from Cerro Castillo, Aisén, Chile, South America


South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo March 5th 2019

Poet, novelist and travel writer William Graham holds a BA and MA in English and a MS in Communication from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He lives in Stowe, Vermont. His most recent travel book is Border Crossings: Travel Essays and Poems. “Patagonia.” The word conjures up images of jagged Andean peaks, fierce winds, gauchos and vast emptiness. The adventurer Bruce Chatwin put it best: “The word 'Patagonia', like Mandalay or Timbuctoo, has lodged itself in our imagination as a metaphor for The Ultimate, the point beyond which one could not go.” I followed the siren call of this stunning region of Chile on a recent trip to the Aysen region of Patagonia. The origin of the words “Aysen” and “Patagonia” are themselves worth mentioning. The best guess is that the word “Aysen,” a spar... read more
Glacier Flowing from the Chilean Ice Field
Hiking in Patagonia Park
Snow Capped Andes

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo May 12th 2014

durch den dunklen morgen und das frühstück regnet es noch und dann zeigt sich endlich mal wieder die sonne. es ist immer noch sehr, sehr windig, vor allem am frontdeck und es fliegen auch weiterhin ein paar schneeflocken. die vorüber ziehenden berge wirken aber nun zunehmend freundlicher, eher wie in “juressic park” in saftigem grün und furchig, als könnte jederzeit gozilla persönlich durch einen der wasserfälle erscheinen. die fjorde hier sind bis zu 1.000 meter tief und zur zeit befinden sich etwa 600 meter salzwasser unter uns… am nachmittag erreichen wir das offene meer mit überragendem wellengang. das schiff ist groß und schwer, man spürt also ziemlich wenig von den meterhohen wellen im inneren der fähre. an deck hebt es uns aber hin und wieder ganz schön aus - wie eine achterbahn! inmitten der stürmischen schaumkronen ... read more
crew and view
carga :-((
hellooooo sunshine

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo October 24th 2012

We arrived in Coyhaique to warm weather and a summer like day we could tell that it had been nice for awhile and were skeptical about snow quality in the area. We picked up supplies at the super market then headed to the NOLS campo to get some information about conditions in Reserva Nacional de Cerro Castillo. We picked up a couple maps and alot of wonderful information, and were allowed to store our gear there while we disappeared into the mountains. We had gotten in touch with Kabir one of our NOLS coursemates who lived in Coyhaique and planned to climb with him the following day. We found a nice campsite next to a river where we stayed the night and sorted the gear that we were taking and what we were leaving. The next ... read more
Skiing near Cerro Castillo
Scouting the route

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo January 19th 2012

I continued to be on survey until the 16th. The last day of survey we went out to put in a few shovel tests to check the depth of a few of the promising but questionable sites. It was a hot day and a few people were rubbed the wrong way by procedures. Mostly it was just a communication problem, as we speak little Spanish and the Chileans here speak little English. It makes it hard. Matt N (There are three Matts, did I mention that?) found some really nice lithic material wandering around close to the vans while we waited for the third team to finish their test units. One pretty little white chalcedony projectile point. Started excavation on the 16th. We opened a new 1mx1m unit the day I got there. We have to ... read more

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo January 12th 2012

Excerpts from Journal and Field Journal Jan 6th "North towards Rio Ibanez from road. Began 500m apart and steered by GPS. Had to start line .61mi from my way point because of cliffs and stinging caterpillars. Worse than yesterday. Crossed road and headed up ridge number one. Many fallen trees. Top clear but the way down on the other side was very steep. "Marco" from valley bottom. Heard both Justin and Cami but saw only Justin. They are WAY off their line...Bottom very marshy. Hit another ridge, up, down, across, up again. Made it to my waypoint at about 2 pm. Beautiful spot. Open meadow. Waited 1.5 hours, no sign of anyone. Considering the previous encounters, I had little trust that they would make it here. Dropped down into valley and walked out towards river intot ... read more
Looking for lithics
The views!
Random puppy

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo January 11th 2012

The past couple of days have been very cool! It has felt like we are really getting into Patagonia now - high mountains, snow, heaps of rivers, glacial meltwater lakes and of course, cold weather : ) Leaving Coyhaique behind, we drove to the little town of Villa Cerro Castillo, based at the foot of the mountain we were planning to hike up to. This village lies on the Carretera Austral: the final southernmost road in Chile, that meanders through mountains and rivers. During winter, this area is completely cut off from the northern parts, due to the snow and rain. Not many people drive this road and public transport is very scarce. Most people cycle or hire a car or hitchike to get to the southernmost village, O Higgins. We opted for the hitching/attempted public ... read more
Cerro Castillo
Cerro Castillo
Cerro Castillo

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo January 5th 2012

Hi:) I didn't have the internet to post all of this while I was there so I'm going to do a few posts to get you all caught up on my adventures down South. The place that we were staying was just outside of a teeny little town called Villa Cerro Castillo on the edge of a natural reserve called, amazingly, Cerro Castillo. The name comes from teh mountain that dominates the landscape to the West, a huge peak that rises out of a glacier with enough towers and turrets to make any castle architect shrivel with envy. My favorite time of day was about six in the morning (yes, I was awake then, voluntarily) because that was when the sunrise would light the peak with alpenglow, turning it into a brilliant rosy beacon in the ... read more
On the move
Road into the Rio Ibanez vally
Morning view

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo October 11th 2010

In Patagonia, in some of its most remote places, the indegenious people of the region the Tehuelches left evidence of their existence there by leaving imprints of their hands in rock walls. The sign at the site read: "We don't know what these paintings meant, nor why did they did it, we only know that this tradition dates back 10,000 years and that it wasn't a hobby or individual inspiration. The hand negative (paiting the silhouette of the hand) or the hand imprint is a sign of the communities that once lived here". ... read more
Young and old hands
Hand imprint
Sign indicating significance

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo November 27th 2009

Here we are in Coihaique, all safe and sound JUST !. We have had a very interesting and challenging past few days, battling the Patagonia winds on the infamous Ruta 40 and the challenging road and winds along the Lago General Carrera, with more than one rider blown off his moto. Below are more detailed accounts of what has transpired... Blog from Mike V.... Hola otra vez, Left Rio Serrano on a stunningly clear but cool morning heading South back past Lago del Toro. Breathtaking vista of lakes & sheer snow capped mountains as we bumped across fantastic motorcycling gravel roads albeit at a slow pace as today the plan was to ride in a group and look for Condors (if we disturbed them we would all be there to see them fly), the plan went ... read more
El Chalten
Ruta 40
The wheel fell off

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo April 10th 2009

Z Chile Chico jsme vyrazili odpolednim autobusem, nebo spis malinkatym busikem, smer Puerto Guadal. Male mesto (nebo spis vesnice) u velkeho jezera (2. nejvetsi v Jizni Americe). U mesta jsou fosilie, vodopady a niklovy dul. Odbornici spatne spocitali kolik tam toho niklu je a tak to vypada jako by melo tohle male mestecko byt zanedlouho vetsi a vetsi. Bohuzel je dul zavreny a nove stavby zeji prazdnotou. Prochazka kolem pobrezi a pak do stareho dolu, konci pozde vecer. Spime v opusenem kempu na konci mesta. Dalsi den vyrazime do nedalekeho Tranquilo. Projeli jsme se lodkou po pobrezi a ... (vice na fotkach) z plaze, kde jsme stanovali nas chtela vyhnat mistni policie. Pry se tam nesmi kempovat a ten ohen na plazi se jim taky nejak nezamlouval. Nakonec nas nechali na pokoji a odjeli - machani ... read more
Stanovani na opustenem kempu v Puerto Guadal
Pohled na Puerto Guadal
Nase prochazka a vodopady v Puerto Guadal

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