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Category: South America (Page 1 of 4)

Documentary » On Chile’s National Route 7, the Carretera Austral, into the heart of Patagonia

Deutsche Welle (DW) Documentary via YouTube »

A trip along Chile’s National Route 7, the Carretera Austral, takes us into the stunning wilderness of Patagonia – a place that many German emigrants chose as their new home almost a century ago.

The Carretera Austral is straddled by mountain ranges, primeval forests, fjords, volcanoes and a huge ice field. It has taken decades to carve its way through the almost impassable terrain – even now a lot of traffic is forced to take a detour across the border into Argentina. The military dictator Augusto Pinochet made the construction of the road a national priority in the 1970s, sending thousands of soldiers to the region to work under the most adverse conditions. One of the last surviving members of Pinochet’s junta, former military police chief Rodolfo Stange, talks about the road’s strategic importance for the regime.

German marine biologist Vreni Häussermann tells us about a catastrophe in one of the Patagonian fjords – an event that underlines how economic expansion along the route has adversely affected the natural environment in southern Chile. On our journey we meet descendants of German emigrants who found a new home in Patagonia’s remote vastness after the First World War. An insight into the past and present of this unique region.

The best countries for long distance cycling

150 travellers who completed epic cross-continental cycling journeys were surveyed.

Alee Denham at CyclingAbout.com writes » 

Each of the 150 cyclists got three votes to cast, and I simply tallied up the results. In the end, 80 different countries were favourited, which is pretty cool because that means most corners of the world have something, for somebody.

These are their top picks for the best countries for long-distance cycling »

10. 🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan
9. 🇨🇱 Chile
8. 🇲🇽 Mexico
7. 🇦🇺 Australian
6. 🇮🇷 Iran
5. 🇮🇳 India
4. 🇨🇳 China
3. 🇹🇯 Tajikistan
2. 🇺🇸 USA
1. 🇹🇷 Turkey

Bolivia’s little known tribal kingdom – the Kingdom of the Afro-Bolivians

Jordi Busqué, writing for the BBC »

There, hidden amid the tapirs, jaguars and spectacled bears that call the Yungas home is a remarkable community that has remained largely unrecognised by the outside world for nearly 200 years: the Kingdom of the Afro-Bolivians – the spiritual capital of thousands of Bolivians of African descent and one of the last kingdoms left in the Americas.

The roughly 2,000 inhabitants of this hidden, humble kingdom are mainly farmers who live next to their small land plots, where they grow coca, citrus and coffee. In Mururata, a village of around 350 inhabitants, free-range chickens cluck loudly on dirt roads, children play together in the streets, and men and women work the land with hoes and emerge from the forest carrying newly chopped bundles of firewood. Others sit in front of their tin-roofed homes, greeting passersby and waiting for the first stars to appear in the sky at dusk.

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Video » Lake Titicaca from Space

Lake Titicaca, which borders both Bolivia and Peru, is one of the largest freshwater lakes in South America.

The video is brought to us by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Covering an area of around 8300 sq km, Lake Titicaca lies on the high Andes plateau and straddles the border between Peru (to the west) and Bolivia (to the east). It is considered the highest major body of navigable water in the world, as it sits at an elevation of 3800 m above sea level.

More information is available from the ESA.

Lonely Planet’s 7 most scenic routes in the Americas

Snow tires are mandatory from November 1 to April 1.

Snow tires are mandatory from November 1 to April 1.

According to Allegra Zagami, writer for Lonely Planet, on a drive along the Pan American Highway in 2019 »

» 1. Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

The Icefields Parkway, or Canada’s Highway 93, is one of the most scenic drives in the world with over 144 miles (232km) of adventure and overwhelming natural beauty between Banff and Jasper National Parks.

Resources » Parks Canada, Icefields Parkway Continue reading

Video » Amazon River from Space

The European Space Agency (ESA) brings us a video of the Amazon River meandering through one of the most vital ecosystems in the world, the Amazon rainforest, and six countries in South America.

The Amazon River originates in the Andes Mountains of Peru and travels through EcuadorColombiaVenezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Amazon river begins its journey in the Andes and makes its way east through six South American countries before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean on the northeast coast of Brazil. The river has a length of around 6400 km – the equivalent of the distance from New York City to Rome.

The Amazon is considered the widest river in the world with a width of between 1.6 and 10 km, but expands during the wet season to around 50 km. With more than 1000 tributaries, the Amazon River is the largest drainage system in the world in terms of the volume of its flow and the area of its basin. As a consequence of its ever-changing flow, older riverbeds can be seen as thin lines around the main river at the top of the image.

One of its tributaries, the Javari River, or Yavari River, is visible as a thinner blue line weaving through the tropical rainforest. The river flows for 870 km, forming the border between Brazil and Peru, before joining the Amazon River.

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The 14 mountains over 8,000 metres elevation

A morning shot of Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat. » Photography by Imrankhakwani

A morning shot of Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat. » Photography by Imrankhakwani

  1. Mount Everest
    » 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) above sea level
    » Located on the border between Nepal and the autonomous region of Tibet (OpenStreetMap / Google Maps)
    » First summitted by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953
  2. K2
    » Also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori
    » 8,611 metres (28,251 ft) above sea level
    » Located on the border between China and Pakistan (OpenStreetMap / Google Maps)
    » First summitted gy Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni in 1954
  3. Kangchenjunga
    » Located on the border between Nepal and India, approximately 125 kilometres from Everest (OpenStreetMap / Google Maps)
    » At elevation of 8,586 metres (28,169 ft), it is the second highest mountain in the Himalayas
    » First summitted by Joe Brown and George Brand in 1955 Continue reading
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