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A Journey to Welsh Patagonia by Eifion Astley - Part 1

July 18, 2016

Mr Eifion Astley traveled to Patagonia with us on the Penblwydd Trevelin/ Trevelin Anniversary tour. On his travels, Mr Astley kept a very eventful, funny and insightful diary of his time in Patagonia that we just had to share with you!

Over the next few weeks we will be posting entries from his diary here on our blog, so keep checking back to follow his story! 

Part 1 - 'How it all began'

This was a year of much celebration in Patagonia because 150 years have passed since the Mimosa first took a group of Welsh people to Patagonia in 1865. Having decided that I wanted to travel to Patagonia to learn more about the history, the next question was when and how?

I’d met Aled Rees, Managing Director of Tango Tours from Aberystwyth at a National Eisteddfod some years ago. Tango Tours are a company that specialises in organising trips / group holidays to Patagonia, Argentina and other places in South America. If Tango Tours could organise a trip for Rhys Meirion and forty of his friends and family, then I was sure they could organise a trip for us! So that was the ‘how’ part of the question answered!

I received the company’s brochure, describing the various trips available, details about the trips and a description of the extensions that are offered. It was decided that we’d go on the ‘Trevelin Birthday Tour’, which takes place every year in November (springtime in Patagonia) and offers a number of experiences such as scenery and wildlife, visiting places of significant Welsh interest, learning about the region’s economy and farming and gives an insight into the history of the Welsh arriving in Patagonia – all under the guidance of specialist tour guides.

A few weeks before our departure on Friday 13th of November, an information pack arrived in the post, which included a trip itinerary and the names of the fifteen people who were going on the trip. Apart from Gaynor and myself, there were Alun and Mair Thomas and Ioan and Marion Wilson from Newtown. The others – four from near London, two from Birmingham and three ladies from South Wales. Anwen from Tango Tours also came with us for her first experience of being in Patagonia!

Over the next few months, I will write a diary of our trip, including pictures. Early on in the trip, we came to understand that this wasn’t going to be a holiday but rather a pretty busy trip with lots of travel and a few early mornings but with a range of unforgettable experiences. Each of the tours offered by the company have many things in common in terms of experiences but each is different based on the main events and of course, the weather.

You’ll find out about the tour, the interesting places, the characters and the experiences.

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Eifion Astley


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