Forty years ago this month, Bruce Chatwin visited Patagonia and his subsequent book lit a beacon for the remote region in many travellers’ minds. Chris Moss picks the highlights among its peaks, glaciers and lakes
For my first forays into Patagonia, in the 1990s, I left behind my guidebooks and travelogues. Travelling light, I was blown away by big, jagged mountaintop glaciers and – more literally – the fierce westerlies that gusted summer long. Between the gawping and the roast lamb dinners, I struggled to make sense of German settlements, Tehuelche place names, Anglophile ranch-owners and ruddy Welsh faces on the coast; crossing the empty steppe, I wondered why any of these would come to such an arid, godforsaken place to make a home.