Ringing in a successful New Year is all about the panties.

Ringing in a successful new year is all about the panties.

At least, in Patagonia it is. Every year, near the end of December, stands pop up all over the region selling exclusively one thing: yellow underwear.

Wearing new knickers may be a tradition you have heard of, and it’s celebrated in many different places. Usually, different colours mean different things- red for love, green for luck, pink for romance. In Patagonia, we are all about yellow, which represents wealth.

It is by no means the only New Years tradition celebrated in Chile. Some families rush to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight- las doce uvas de la suerte, a Spanish tradition to bring a year of good luck. Others run around the block carrying empty suitcases, to ensure lots of travel in the New Year.

After a 2020 that played out more like a rollercoaster than a year, we were more than a little excited to ring in 2021. New panties secured, we began to wonder- was it enough? The answer: No. So this year, we rang in the New Year, not just with one tradition, but ALL OF THEM.

We ate the grapes. We carried the suitcases. For good measure, we also added our Canadian family traditions. At ten minutes to midnight, we went out the back door, suitcases and a lump of coal. After running in crazy, looping zig zags through the night to confuse bad luck, we kissed in the new year before consuming copious amounts of grapes in both solid and fizzy liquid forms.

Needless to say, we did our level best to make 2021 a much better year.

We are happy to report that, so far so good!

January 2021 was an extremely productive month for us. We have been hard at work on a redesign of our website, set to launch mid February. We can’t wait to share it with you, as it contains a lot of new content, and exciting updates to our tour offerings- including our new multi day tours in Tierra del Fuego, coming (Austral) Summer 2022!

Currently, we have shifted with the times. With COVID in mind, we have decided not to open public tour bookings for our 2021-2022 season. Instead, we are offering multi-day private tours starting November 2021. As the pandemic situation continues to develop, we will continue to keep you updated on our tour offerings and availability.

Here is your dose of Patagonian adventure goodness for the coming month:

Place to dream about: Bahia Mansa

Fishing is a huge part of life in Chile- especially in the fjords and channels of the South, where only the small wooden boats of the artisanal fishermen operate. Over the last months, even amid the pandemic, the fishermen of Patagonia have been hard at work on the unforgiving southern ocean, fishing for King Crab (Centolla) and Merluza Austral.

South of Punta Arenas, in Bahia Mansa, the fishermen bring their catch into this secret bay, and moor their ships far from the expensive port fees of the city. This is a great place to appreciate the beauty and rhythm of life for the people here- and, if you time it right, to buy some delicious fresh seafood.

Art to enjoy: Los Fuertes

Continuing our fisherman theme, this month we were very proud to watch our friend, Punta Arenas’ own Antonio Altamirano Fernandez, star in Los Fuertes (The Strong Ones).

This artfully shot movie, which follows a love story between two men in rural Chile, has gained 3 nominations and 8 awards, including being chosen as the best feature film at the Rochester ImageOut, OUTshine, L.A. Outfest, and Image + Nation Festival Cinema LGBT Montreal Film Festivals.

Beautifully made and masterfully directed, this film is groundbreaking in its portrayal of homosexuality in the context of a traditional Chilean fishing community - a place where LGBTQ+ people still struggle for acceptance.

Support this project by checking out Los Fuertes on Vimeo here! (Tip: You can turn on the subtitles by clicking the gear icon at the lower right hand corner of the screen to activate English closed captioning.)

Please note: this movie is not suitable for all audiences, as it contains nudity, sex scenes, and some violence.

Travel Hack to remember:

Ocean plastic is a big problem- everywhere. Reduce single use plastics while you travel by always packing some water purification tablets in your bag. That way, anywhere you go, you can still use your refillable container to drink out of, instead of buying single use bottles.

In most Patagonian towns the tap water is completely potable, except during exceptionally heavy rains, when boil water orders may be issued. However, these are great to have on hand no matter where you adventure. Water is life!

Thanks for catching up with us this month! We are so excited for the year ahead. How did you celebrate your new year? Let us know!

Hugs and hikes,

Jamie & Manuel

(The Borealis Adventures Patagonia Team)

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Borealis Adventures Patagonia

Punta Arenas, Chile

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