Patagonia is the farthest place on earth to which one can walk—the absolute
tip of South America
, the end of the inhabited world.
It was discovered by Magellan in 1520 and has been a goal of adventurers ever since.
When Charles Darwin visited on December 25th, 1832, regarding the region's native population, he was moved to write:
"These were the most abject and
miserable creatures I anywhere beheld...Their country is a broken mass of wild rocks, lofty hills, and useless forests; and these are viewed through
mists and endless storms."
"The word Patagonia, writes Bruce Chatwin, the territory's most articulate explorer, "like Mandalay or Timbuctoo, lodged itself in the Western imagination as a metaphor for The Ultimate, the point beyond which one
could not go. Indeed, in the opening chapter of Moby Dick, Melville
uses Patagonian as an adjective for the outlandish, the monstrous and fatally attractive."
Chatwin's peerless book In Patagonia paints a more palatable, mystical portrait, as does Paul Theroux who wrote in Nowhere is a Place: "There is no greater pleasure than waking in the morning in Boston and knowing that you are to travel 15,000 miles and not have to board an aeroplane."
Patagonia is where Butch and Sundance endured that final freeze-frame.
also makes some pretty nifty outerwear. Expensive though.