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An Englishman in Patagonia

About An Englishman in Patagonia

John Pilkington

Today Patagonia is made up of the southern parts of Chile and Argentina, but it’s still a land of lonely plains, craggy peaks and wild weather. Someone once said that Patagonia without wind would be like Hell without the Devil. When John Pilkington spent eight months picking his way through Patagonia’s half a million square miles, he unearthed stories of explorers and pioneers, of rustlers and outlaws, such a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and of earlier travellers, such as Charles Darwin and Bruce Chatwin. Still more revealing were his own encounters with: Welsh villagers singing hymns around the harmonium; refugees from Nazi Germany; Scottish evangelists awaiting Armageddon; hippy exiles; prosperous young supporters of ex-president Pinochet; and an Argentine lynch-mob who have him in mind as their victim! He examines what it is that attracts people to such a desolate land – and reflects, too, on the ethics of travel writing.

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