Endangered Species and the Patagonian Desert

02/03/2014 – Reserva Nacional Tamango – Cochrane, Chile

The Patagonian desert! Is this an oxymoron? We were instantly transported back to day trekking just outside of Santiago in Central Chile. Parched, dusty, and brutal sun. No freshwater cascades to be found anywhere, an anomaly for Southern Patagonia.

We were fortunate enough to cross paths with a huemul and her young offspring. For a New England born guy like myself, at first I wasn’t overly impressed. They are deer. I’ve seen hundreds of deer in my backyard.

Yet the mother and baby huemul quickly won me over (plus when I learned how difficult it is to see these endangered mammals – all the more exciting and simultaneously sad). They were tranquil and elegant. We all sat and observed each other for about 45 minutes. They had sizable, expressive ears and large, docile eyes. Once they deemed us unthreatening, they relaxed entirely.


Baby huemul

Afterwards, I went for a dip in Las Corrientadas, exhilarating and enriching pure water. Lago Cochrane and Rio Cochrane met at this chosen area of bathing. The lake was spectacular and dark, deep navy blue, sometimes reminding me of Lago Titicaca in Peru. Other times it was that special, glacial turquoise. 


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  • We Said Go Travel

    WSGT Travel Writer

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