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Travel

The New York Times

No One Has Ever Crossed Antarctica Alone. Two Men Are Trying Right Now.
by  Adam Skolnick

PUNTA ARENAS, Chile — A weather window opened on Halloween morning, the typical stiff winds and polar fog relenting, and the flight to Antarctica was cleared for takeoff.

For nearly a week, Colin O’Brady, a 33-year-old American adventure athlete, and British Army Captain Louis Rudd, 49, had been waiting in Punta Arenas, Chile, on the Strait of Magellan, near the shattered end of the South American continent.

In separate buildings blocks away from one another, they had been immersed in similar tasks: weighing and re-bagging their freeze-dried provisions and sorting through polar-grade gear.

Their stashes included sleeping bags good for conditions up to minus 40 Fahrenheit, portable solar panels, cross-country skis, hand-held satellite phones and modems, and a GPS tracker programmed with way points to lead them step by frozen step across the largest, highest, driest and by far the coldest continent on earth.
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The New York Times

Gateway to Andes: Lakes, Backpackers and an Easy Vibe
by Larry Rohter

PATAGONIA gets all the attention and renown, but the lake district just to its north has always been one of Chile's most beautiful regions. In recent years, the area has also become increasingly accessible, as Chile's fast-growing economy has transformed the once-sleepy and staid resort town of Pucón, at the east end of Lago Villarrica, into an Andean version of Aspen.

In the language of the Mapuche-Pehuenche Indians who dominated the region before the first European settlers arrived in 1883, Pucón means “entrance to the mountains.” With all the hotels, condos and restaurants going up around town, Pucón now plays its traditional role in more luxurious fashion, serving as a gateway both to the lake district that stretches southward for 150 miles to Puerto Montt and to the snow-capped volcanoes that form a magnificent backdrop to those expanses of water and forest.
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