K A Y A K P A T A G O N I A
After two seasons as a local kayak guide I knew what to expect from Patagonia which, for lack of a better phrase, can be a beautiful bastard. I was once told that ‘to carve this landscape from heaven took the weather from hell’. As homage to the conditions we had christened our kayaks Viento and La Rafagas – Wind and Spindrift.
Joined by my best friend Seumas Nairn who had flow all the way from Scotland, we had together taken inspiration from the original people who navigated the western fjords, the Kawésqar. Our journey began in their last refuge; Puerto Eden, a lost temperate rainforest in the heart of Patagonia’s ice-capped wilderness. Their humble houses perched on rocky islands in a town without roads, connected only by boats and boardwalk in a place famous for a record 9m and 361 days of rain in a year. Their tradition was to build fires inside their skin-on-frame canoes on a bed of clay to keep warm in the harsh climate: proof that you can have your kayak and heat it too!
We relied on a more modern approach, our low-volume P&H Scorpio kayaks loaded with 45 days of food, fuel and butter along with camping gear. They weighed over 120kg and flexed under their own overladen weight. For the next 830km we would depend on whatever we had fitted inside. There were no roads or escape routes between here and the end.
R E A D T H E F U L L T R I P O N T H E L I N K S H E R E-
B E H I N D T H E S C E N E S – ‘the nitty gritty planning stuff’
I M A G E G A L L E R Y-