September 27th, 2017

Journey to the End of the World

In support of adventure travel, Eagle Creek partnered with GLP Films to produce a film that outlines their exploration of the rugged beauty of Tierra del Fuego and the story of a man named Don Germán who calls the region home. This is the second chapter of the GLP team’s experience in Chile. You can read the first post here.

Flying over the Darwin Range at 30,000 feet gives a unique perspective on the immensity of this wild place.  Tierra del Fuego is truly rugged.  Glaciers transform into fjords that give way to expansive maritime channels.  Yet, despite its apparent inaccessibility, this place beckons travelers like no other.

The tip of South America contains a rapidly emerging adventure travel scene.  But these adventure seekers are by no means the first to step foot in the region.  Explorers like Magellan, FitzRoy, Darwin, and later, immigrants from Europe, all found themselves mesmerized by Tierra del Fuego’s vastness.  

We meet Germán Genkowski, a 71-year old estancia owner, in the midst of his daily chores.  Germán is a man who needs no introduction.  We’ve heard rumblings of his years living and working on the periphery of civilization since we arrived in Punta Arenas.

Germán lives on the shores of pristine Lake Fagnano, one of the best-kept secrets in Chilean Patagonia.  His property gives access to a plethora of adventure-based activities, including hiking, fishing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.  And with the construction of a new government road, Germán’s once isolated existence is a thing of the past.  

But instead of keeping tourism at bay, Germán has chosen to embrace it.  “I never expected that I would work in tourism one day.  At first, I hated tourism. But my wife said that tourists are just happy people who walk around.  And once I understood that, I started to like it.”

Indeed, the development of adventure tourism in the region, if kept in check, could be the key to protecting and preserving the land for future generations.   

Germán knows he won’t be around long enough to see what becomes of his beloved Tierra del Fuego, but he hopes travelers will continue to take pleasure in its remoteness.  

Tierra del Fuego reminds us how fortunate we are to walk in the footsteps of those intrepid explorers, adventurers, and pioneers who came before us.  Germán should take solace in the fact that, no matter how much tourism pokes and prods, this place will remain wild forever.  


Watch the new video by GLP Films, “The Man at the End of the World,” to discover the beauty and mystery of Tierra del Fuego through the eyes of Don Germán. This film is nominated for Best Adventure Travel Film in the 2017 Adventure in Motion film contest.  Watch and cast your vote at www.bit.ly/voteChile.

 

By Jenny Ersbak, Associate Producer for GLP Films

Related links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Fireland: On Location in Tierra Del Fuego

How To Travel Safely in Chile

What To Pack For A Patagonia Adventure

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