This map plots the settings and references in In Patagonia

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Chubut Valley
Chubut
Creative Commons AttributionChubut Valley - Credit: Latente - Flickr

The Chubut Valley stretches 820km west along Río Chubut in Northern Patagonia, from Port Madryn at Península Valdés on the Atlantic Coast to Trevelin in the cordillera of the Andes. Chatwin spends time at Gaimán, one of the first towns to be settled. He puts the number of original settlers in 1865 at 153, though some have claimed it was 163 and others 165.

Area covered by Chubut Province
GNU Free Documentation LicenseArea covered by Chubut Province - Credit: Dbenbenn

They were each given 100 hectares to irrigate, and once all suitable land had been assigned later settlers moved west along the valley. They built and decorated their houses in the style of those they had left behind. But their descendants later complained that it was men like Chatwin - meddlesome "English" - that their ancestors had come to escape. Welsh is still spoken in Gaimán and Trevelin, and Welsh tea-rooms proliferate. The area is rich in dinosaur fossils, and there is a respected Paleontology museum at Trelew in the east.