Friday, March 16, 2012
This weekend I have started to read a new library book called "A History of the English Lake District". It has many fine illustrations of mountain and lake scenery plus describes in detail famous people who lived their and promoted the region from about 17th century onwards. The poets Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey feature strongly and painters Turner and Constable, and the more recent children's writers Beatrix Potter and Arthur Ransome of "Swallows and Amazons" fame. This literary background has helped make the English Lake District a huge tourist attraction. Cumbria Tourism claim more than 8 million visitors in a single year when the resident population is only 43,000. It's too soon for this to become an Amazon book.
Similar, bigger, but culturally different Lake Districts exist around the world which attract tourists for the scenery. The New Zealand Lake District adjacent to the Southern Alps in the Canterbury and Otago Provinces I first explored ages ago to go hiking and trout fishing. Next I ventured to the Chilean Lake District or "Region de los Lagos" which stretches from the town of Pucon on Lago Villarica to Puerto Varas on Lago Llanquihue.
It is a great region for hiking, skiing, boating, fishing and just chilling out in. Perhaps some Chilean friends can tell me of early literature of the region? The first German settlers in Chile eventually made their way through the mountains via Lago Todos Los Santos to settle in Argentina at Bariloche. I wonder if Pablo Neruda wrote any poems about the Chilean Lake District? My articles on the region are listed in the RHS column of this page and include:
Chilean Lake District A & B, and Southern Lakes Crossing, which is the tourist trip through the Andes to Argentina at Bariloche.