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Posted March 30, 2000
Experience Patagonia on Your Couch
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin is a travel book about the author¿s experiences in Chile. Bruce Chatwin has traveled widely in Asia, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Africa, South America and Australia. In Patagonia is a great collection of tall tales that The famous author Paul Theroux described as ¿The classic of travel literature¿ exciting, boisterous, and bizarre.¿ (cover). As Bruce Chatwin travels through Patagonia, he encounters many interesting places, people, and cultures. Patagonia begins the Rio Negro in Southern Chile and Ends at the Punta Arenas which is in Southern Chile. Through Argentina and Chile, Bruce Chatwin experienced many different culture, and he described in detail the places in Patagonia. From Rio Negro, Bruce Chatwin traveled south to Port Madryn, Buenos Aires, Bolivia and Punta Arenas in Chile. The Moreano Glacier, the Land of Fire and Rio Pico were some of the most interesting places that he visited because there, he experience the beautiful view of their landscapes. In the Tierra de Fuego, the fires were the campfires of the Fuegian Indians. Previously, Magellan saw smoke only and called it Tierra de Humo, the Land of Smoke, but Charles V, the King of England, said there was no smoke without fire and changed the name. According to Captain Shelvock¿s voyage ¿The heavens were perpetually hid from us by gloomy distant clouds¿ we had not the sight of one fish of any kind, nor seabirds except a disconsolate Black Albitross, hovering near as if he had lost himself¿¿ (113). This quote well described Tierra de Fuego, and aided in the understanding. Bruce Chatwin spent most of his time at Punta Arenas and there, he experienced many interesting thins. In the Plaza de Armas a ceremony was in progress. ¿It was one hundred years since Don Josè Menèndez set foot in Punta Arenas and a well-heeled party of his descendants had come south to unveil his memorial. The women wore black dresses, pearls, furs and patent shoes. The men had the drawn look that some of protecting an over-extended acreage¿ (142). Also, the Salesian Father in Punta Arenas had a big museum of history. Beside these places, he finds many other interesting places through out his travel. However, it was a little disappointing at the end of the book. It seems to be that Bruce Ahtwin became bored because there was no revelation, and no feeling that the journey had taught him anything. By reading this book, readers can learn many things about Patagonia. Each of the chapters described different places, people and cultures. Since this book is a travel book, it is very descriptive and informative. In Patagonia is a god book for people who like to travel or like to know about places, people, and cultures in South America especially in Argentina and Chile. It is also good on people and history. In Patagonia Bruce Chatwin Penguin Books 199 pages
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Posted May 31, 2001
Patagonia - an unforgiving land told by a true traveler
This book is a must read before traveling to the disparate land of deserts and glaciers. Chatwin is a master of description and detail told from the view of a bold adventurer complete with history, intrigue, and a vivid description of diverse people and cultures. A must read for those interested in writing about travel.
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Posted April 16, 2009
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