Un viaggio alla fine del mondo

Riesci a immaginarti 7 giorni di navigazione nei fiordi dello stretto di Magellano a rincorrere balene, a sentire il rumore che fa la parete di un ghiacciaio quando cade, a osservare gli albatros da vicino, e poi i pinguini, i sornioni leoni marini e la foca leopardo, addentrarti a piedi nella natura incontaminata ed estrema della Patagonia?

E’ una esperienza che a tutti auguro di fare.
Ancora di piú auguro di farla come io l’ho fatta a bordo di questo battello il Forrest che ha un equipaggio che pensa a tutto, dalla tua sicurezza, alla tua comoditá, che ti guida e ti aiuta a capire e approfondire quello che vedi ( a bordo ci sono guide specializzate) capitanato da un organizzatore di eccezione, Luis Bertea Fotografo e amante della natura, della fotografia e di molte altre cose… (omissis) in cima la vita, che mai ti lascerá in angolo senza uno spunto, una battuta, un bicchiere di vino, un reportage sui fotografi del Messico, l’utlimo documentario della BBC sui poli..

Un viaggio emozionante che ha bisogno di compagni innamorati della natura e della fotografia come quelli che io ho incontrato. Cileni, Francesi Argentini, Colombiani, grandi e piccoli, la meraviglia ci ha sempre accompagnato. Cosa é un’esperienza se non puoi condividerla?
Se non ti ricordi piú cosa significa sentirti libero e con il cuore allegro, domandalo a noi e a Matteo, di 12 anni che ha partecipato al viaggio.
Il suo magone alla discesa dal battello era il magone di tutti noi, che torneremo di certo, per amore verso noi stessi, a ripetere questa avventura nella bellezza.

Cola cola cola… ballena ballena ballena!
Viva il Cile e buon viaggio a tutti!

Sonia Marchese

Jose E. Hernandez

My adventures with Luis:
I went in the FitzRoy Expedition, first in February of 2011 and was so delighted, that I returned in January of 2012, not to mention that I will be returning in 2013.  I had been many places and in many photographic cruise but this different for many reasons.  First of all is the geographic location of the navigation, the Straits of Magellan’s.

Secondly is the exotic wildlife that you will encounter, such various species of penguins, whales and birds; imagine seating next to a black-browed albatross or having a whale surface next to your boat turning the watching action around.  Instead of you watching the whale, it is watching you with that penetrating eye.  And where else can you smell the breath of a whale; you will know what people mean if they tell you that you smell as the breath of a whale.  The wildlife in this area reminds me to that in the Galapagos Islands, they show no fear of man, so getting a great image is assured.  There are several opportunities a day to board the Zodiacs to go wildlife watching or ashore to photograph the mountains and glaciers.

Third, the landscapes encountered while navigating the Strait with tall mountains and glaciers coming down to the water’s edge is striking.  There are forest too, and these are different; mostly of smaller trees with with colorful leaves.  But there also the bushes full of berries, mushrooms, colorful lichens, mosses and ferns.  One thing I noticed, not many insects.

Fourth, the R/V Forrest and its crew.  It carries no more than 18 passengers so it is not overcrowded.  In the lower deck, it has six cabins with multiple berths and 2 full service bathrooms (yes, plenty of hot water).  Surprisingly, even when one has to share baths, these are readily available and always “unspottedly clean”.  The cabins are freshened up daily while you are away taking photos.  The middle deck, it serves as recreation and dinner area.  It has large reclining seats and space for the photo gear, but most importantly, it is also the dining room.  The food has two strikes against the weight conscious, first it is incredible “gourmet food” and secondly, it is abundant.  And then, there is a free flow of beer and famous name liquors; no shortcuts here. Next is  open air upper deck, and ideal place just to watch the scenery while crossing the historical Straits of and dreaming of being Francis Drake or with Charles Darwin in ages past.

And finally the most important; the crew. No friendly and competent crew I have found in any of my previous cruises, and encompass ships carrying from 50 to 2000 passengers.  By the time you leave, may have found new friends for life.  But then, there is Luis,  this one is always “pestering” you wanting to know if you are having a good time and what else you need?

Jose E. Hernandez
2º expedition – 2011 & 1º expedition – 2012

Helga and Bernd Güllmar

Dear Luis,
we would like to give you a sign of life after returning home to Germany. It was an unforgettable experience for us to be with you on board of the expedition ship to the glaciers, fjords and desert beaches and islands of Patagonia in order to watch  and take photos of the impressive nature and seldom animals. Until this time we could not imagine, that it could us make happy to see, hear, touch and smell the ice of glaciers, look at elephant seals, sea lions, sea birds and baby albatrosses and be them so near………And the big whales so near, that their breath made our glasses wet and they did not harm in any way to the rubber boat, we were sitting in….. We hope all the beauty of nature we could experience will be protected for future generations as long as possible.

It was overwhelming for us. Now we are looking at the pictures and repeating the great moments we had during the journey.

We hope, you will receive our “ muchas gracias” again and would be happy for a short reply and if possible, some professional made pictures of the nature and animals ( for example dolphins ) for our collection.

We wish you good health, success in your creative  work and happiness in life.

Please give our regards also to your daughter and Vicente
Muchos saludos

Helga and Bernd Güllmar
2º expedición – 2012

Linda Jean Allen

I had the good fortune of being on one of Luis’ recent expeditions in Patagonia.  It was far better than I ever could have imagined.!!
– The pristine beauty that surrounds one everywhere in Patagonia,
– the boat crew and staff take care of your every need,
– Luis, Vicente and Francisco know everything about the flora, fauna, and
history of the area, Simply put, this photo safari in Patagonia was one of the peak experiences of my life. I hope to be on board next year.!

Linda Allen, L.Ac.
Los Angeles, CA

1º expedición – 2012

Yerko Vuscovich

Luis, I participated in the second and third photosafaris, and in all sincerity, I believe it is no exaggeration to describe this experience as “unforgettable”.
On the one hand, the common profile of the “nature photographer” inherent to this type of expedition brings together people who share a powerful admiration for nature, and due to this profile, they are able to create social bonds which are deep and altruistic, and which create a unique, cathartic sort of atmosphere during the trip.
Personally, I do not think I could ever forget this experience, the places we visited are forever engraved in my mind… so not only do I recommend it, but if possible, I will try to take part in this expedition year after year (God willing).

Thank you Luis, thank you Patagonia Photosafaris… and thank you Forrest crew for the gift and the life experience we acquired during those days.

Yerko Vuscovich
2º and 3º expeditions – 2011 & 4º expedition – 2012

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