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The River of Desire: A Journey of the Heart Through Patagonia Kindle Edition
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If a mall survey were done and shoppers were asked where Patagonia is, it's doubtful that most could answer correctly. I recently asked a friend from Bolivia if he had ever been there and he had never heard of it. Patagonia is an area in the southern part of South America that is shared by Argentina and Chile, and is at the southern end of the Andes mountains. It was here that Charles Darwin went as a young man to study in 1833, sailing aboard the HMS Beagle.
Worrall began his trip first with a stay in Buenes Aires. From there he went on to Patagonia. At the time he was married to his wife, Jane, and had a son of his own and was stepfather to Jane's children. Because of frequent assignments abroad Worrall felt like he was always saying good-bye to his son. He wasn't home long enough to spend a lot of time with him, and when he was at home with Jane and her children, there was always a great deal of tension over one of her children. Alicia, a teenaged daughter, was particularly difficult and disrespectful, and one of Worrall's regrets was the day he lost his temper with her. Thoughts of that day and his regrets over it were on his mind as he traveled from one estancia (large ranch) to another in Patagonia.
Jane joined her husband for the remainder of his time in Patagonia and the two worked on their marriage and tried to renew what they once had. It worked out well for them on the trip, but Simon carried the guilt of his infidelities and lack of time spent with his son as he traveled from place to place.
If you know nothing about this area of the world when you begin this book, you will when you finish it. The descriptions of the different landscapes and animals are excellent and the information on the gaucho way of life and culture is a bit surprising and very interesting to read. Included are excerpts from Darwin's diary from his 1833 trip to Patagonia and I found them particularly interesting.
My only criticism is the editing. The book definitely needs some editing as far as spelling and the omission and addition of extra words.
Highly recommended for travel enthusiasts, memoir readers and South American history readers.
He and his photographer drive 11000 miles, often on darkest rough roads, camp out in a chilling storm. Once, on the deserted steppe, at one of the few and far between gas station-restaurants, they open the door on a white-washed room with a pot-bellied stove, cobalt-blue dado trim, blue shelving framing a figure of Mary and surprisingly good food: such are the pleasures we share.
Interwoven with the story of volcanoes and plate-tectonics, is the geology of a human heart, where every action and interaction also leaves a deposit. My friennd and I, who read this book out loud to each in weekly instalments, did not find the personal account intrusive. Rather we appreciated it as an enrichment, like a mirrot of past upheaval into the present.
Elise Y. (Mass)
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