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1 Ruta V-69
2 Volcán Yate, 2187
3 Seno de Reloncaví
4 Cochamó


Aufnahmestandort: Cochamó      Fotografiert von: Pedrotti Alberto
Gebiet: Chile      Datum: 24-05-2014
Cochamó is a paradise nearly unknown to mass tourism. but in the evening of May 21, 2014, no less than two tourists happened to reach it, and from two opposite directions.
One was a cyclist coming from far south, although only six days before he happened to be in the Osorno region, which by chance is located north.
The other one was a poet coming definitely from north, namely, from the Chilean capital Santiago, for a three-day visit to the village where he was born in 1937. He had been invited by the alcalde in order to have a speech at the local school. School is taken in high consideration in Chile, and a reasonable amount money is put into it, unlike in some other countries that I know.
The meeting took place by chance at the little restaurant La Ollita, wonderful as the everything in this far corner of the Seno de Reloncaví, and also endowed with a handful of rooms. Here I got to know the basic informations about Floridor.
Because of his political engagement, after the golpe of Pinochet and his Junta Militar in 1973 Floridor was put in prison on the island Quiriquina, off the shore of Concepción. The letters, that he wrote from the prison to his wife Natacha, subsequently inspired a series of poems collected in a thin booklet, Cartas de Prisionero, which, after a recent reprint, had been a top-ten best-seller in Chile in the first months of 2014.
When we met again at dinner on May 24, I was coming back from a place that - listen - is called precisely La Junta (see N.19594). He had to sit at the table with the alcalde and other local authorities but, when these people were gone, he was glad to have a long conversation with me. After all, he felt, we were sharing the same condition, that of curious travellers throughout the world and its happenings. This is why he left me as a present a copy of the booklet, with a dedication "to my esteemed travel companion, with Chilean affection by Floridor".
As an example, the first short poem reads: "It is forbidden to sing. Do you hear? It is forbidden to sing. What an appropriate title for a song". In front of it there is the reproduction of a letter written on a December 31, the first one in prison: "Unhappy new year without you, my love [...] But let you drink a glass to the health of my thirst for justice!"
But the idea to publish the present works stems from the breakfast of the following day. Namely, through the window we saw, already lit by the first rays of sun, Volcán Yate, which is also visible from my recent panorama from Chiloé. But there is still another connection with that work. Indeed, when in the late afternoon of Christmas I completed and published the (apparently zero-interest) description of that panorama, after a handful of minutes I read the news of the 7.6 earthquake which a few hours before had shaken Chiloé, with centre at a location (Quellón) that I had just mentioned.
During that breakfast we were speaking precisely of earthquakes - of which, by the way, Chilean people are true specialists. Only a few weeks before I had "directly experienced" the earthquake of Arica, listening everyday to the evening news to know whether even central Chilean Patagonia (where I was at the time) or, more probably, Chiloé (where I was heading) was going to be evacuated because of tsunami danger. (Well, a fortnight later this news were swept away be the tremendous ones of the huge Valparaíso fire).
With Floridor we were speaking of Valdivia, a name which is connected not only to the most beloved Chilean beer ( ) but also to the strongest (9.6) earthquake ever recorded by instruments.
"That time in 1960 the Chilean women went in mass to the street, shouting and striking their breast because of their sins. But listen to me... if tomorrow the volcano that you see over there awakens, what shall I do, shall I go to the street and strike my breast because of my (little) sins?" [ tengo yo que ir a la calle y golpearme el pecho por mis (pequeños) pecados? ]
Now, consider that for months I had been around through hostels, overhearing the "poor" backpackers making the taxonomy of the different stays, comparing the quality and the value-per-money of the included breakfast, taking note whether the eggs were boiled or scrambled, and booking consequently here or there from their brand new tablets and smartphones.
So, I hope that the Betrachter will understand how striking was for me that conversation - whence the desire to publish, sooner of later, the present work. It is the only one featuring the volcano and the village together: unfortunately, inside the village - and alas also in its very scenic main street - it is impossible to take meaningful panoramas due to the abundance of poles and electric cables.

Quoted texts: from
Large and uncut version:
GPS track:


It is always a pleasure to watch your pictures and read your stories!
31.12.2016 22:22 , Jens Vischer
Nachdem ich es nun noch einmal gelesen habe, glaube ich, daß ich den Sinn der Geschichte, die mich schon gleich interessiert hatte, verstanden habe.
Das Panoramabild, das Du dazu gemacht hast, ist natürlich wieder beeindruckend schön, Alberto. Aber auch Deine Bilder, die Du in Cochamó gemacht hast, sind es.
01.01.2017 12:25 , Heinz Höra
Great story...
01.01.2017 16:14 , Martin Kraus

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Pedrotti Alberto

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