Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Save Patagonia's Rivers

Posted in Futaleufu by Marc Goddard at 02:57 PM


Hello friends of Bio Bio Expeditions!
Damara here - just wanting to share some information with you about the threats facing the mighty rivers of Patagonia (including our beloved Futaleufu). If you traveled to the Futa with us last winter you may remember the environmental letter I encouraged everyone to sign? Well, at the end of the season, I sent off more than 60 letters to the President of Chile - Michelle Bachelet. Two months later I received a formal response from the President's Cabinet thanking me (and all of you) for our concern and assuring me that our concerns would be considered and sent through the proper channels. Later in the summer I received another letter from the President's cabinet (see photo) also reassuring me that any hydro or mining projects on the Futaleufu would go under rigorous study first and that our comments would be considered. Both were very formal letters, no promises, but I was quite pleased and impressed to have received a response. So, thank you to all who helped me and signed a letter!!!
In other news, here are two websites you can click on to do your part to save the beautiful, mighty rivers and forests of Patagonia. Both the Pascua and Baker rivers, south of Futaleufu, are very threatened right now. The power transmission lines they would have to build to transport power from these massive dams would involve clearcutting a 400 foot wide swath (football field size) through pristine forest for thousands of miles. You can read more about it, and send comments just with the click of a mouse, at the following websites:

http://www.savebiogems.org/patagonia/
and
http://www.internationalrivers.org/en/latin-america/patagonia

If you loved it down there as much as we do, please take a moment to read about the issues and take action! If you haven't yet traveled to Patagonia, now's the time! Lets show the Chilean government that tourism and adventure travel is a better alternative for Patagonia than destructive mines and dams. Thanks everyone and hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Love, Damara

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Don Rolando

Posted in Guides by Marc Goddard at 02:53 PM

Dear Friends,

I got a call this morning at 5 AM from Edgar who called from Nelli's house to tell me that yesterday at 4 pm Don Rolando passed away in the hospital in Puerto Montt. Ximena was with him. May he rest in peace.

He was a great man, always quick to make a joke, see the humour in life and always always ready to help anybody who needed anything at all. He built he Bio Bio Camp on the Fu and tended to it like it was his own. He will be missed and is survived by his sister Nelli who is of course very sad, distraught and in need of as much comfort as we can send her.
There is so much more that I could say and there is lots more that I feel. We are all sad, eventhough we are happy he is no longer suffering as the last few months of his life his quality of life had severely taken a turn for the worse. He lost lots of weight, was incoherent and in the end was also in pain. We may be thankful that there is rest in death and mercy in passing on. He will forever live on in our minds, and his work we will enjoy well into the future. Our energy and thoughts should go out to Nelli and Ximena, who no longer have a man around the house.

Their number should you choose to call them: (011) 562-1964259
or mail cards:

Sra. Nelida Diocares y Ximena Soto Diocares
Sector el Azul S/ N
Comuna de Futaleufu, X region
Provinica de Palena

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Futaleufu bounces back from a near miss!

Posted in Futaleufu by Marc Goddard at 04:08 PM

Dear friends,

We are so thankful for all the outpouring of support during the Volcan Chaiten eruption and just as thankful that our camp and the Futaleufu have been spared! The financial contributions that we have collected will still make life easier for the locals as many sold off cattle and sheep to get them out of the area. The money will also help them deal with fuel shortages and triple price hikes. We are also studying a way to get the rio Azul residents a web page to help visitors to the areas enlist their services in the future. Tourists can then book such things as a home cooked Asado, a home stay, a hike to hidden lakes, or horse rides etc. This will be a way to get passerby visitors in touch with the Futaleufu locals and will allow them to make money well into the future as soon as we all get the word out that the Futaleufu is every bit as beautiful as ever! It is true that the heavy winter rains have taken care of the ash fall. In many places the soil has been actually enriched and this will help grow even healthier vegetation.

The worst possible outcome for the locals now is that visitors stay away due to sensationalist press, which would make carving a living out of the wilderness even harder. They really are working hard to provide services to the growing number of tourists and this is for many the largest source of income. So, tell your friends how great the Futaleufu is and that they should visit soon as much as ever before!!

Again, thank you all for your concern, support and mindfulness!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

50 Best trips of a life time - National Geographic Traveler Magazine

Posted in Hot off the Press by Marc Goddard at 11:06 PM


National Geographic Adventurer - When we started this annual roundup of the world’s top guided tours three years ago, we sought to bring readers the most transformative, sustainable, and authentic experiences. To our delight, there’s no shortage of companies that share our philosophy. Whether it’s staring down a king penguin in Antarctica, sharing mole with a Oaxacan family, or watching your kids in a pickup soccer game in Sardinia, this is the sort of travel that will stick with you. We hope our 2008 picks get you inspired.

Bio Bio Expeditions Futaleufu trip in Patagonia picked as one of the 50 best trips - May 2008

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