Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lake Viedma - lake of the week


lake of the week

Calimayo is a word of Quechua origin meaning “river creature” (“cali”, man and “mayuj”, river), Calimayos are mentioned in native myths as lake creatures from Bolivia and northern Argentina to Patagonia.

They are supernatural horses, lake horses. I have mentioned them (and posted an image) in a previous post on Lake Caviahue.

In Southern Santa Cruz province, Argentina is Lake Viedma (49°41’ S, 72°00’ W). It is a large -1.088 km2 (420 sq.mi)- body of water, slightly smaller than Lake Argentino into which it flows, and from there into the Atlantic via Santa Cruz River.

It is located next to the Southern Ice Field and Viedma Glacier flows into the lake.

It was by the tip of this lake according to an article of Buenos Aires daily La Razón (1957) that a geographer named Perry Cook had a strange experience:

I heard a long and vigorous galloping close by. They were hoofs that strode on the fine sand of the water’s edge […] I looked out and had the strange impression that it was a black horse of enormous height, it tallness was abnormal […] he sharply twisted his way and ran into the waters, disappearing in the darkness.[2]

Lake Viedma

Lake Viedma. From [1].

In the photograph above, Mount FitzRoy (3,405 m - 11,164 ft.) can be seen in the background on the western tip of the lake. At the foot of this imposing mountain is the small village of El Chaltén, "Trekking capital of Argentina".
The photograph was taken from the southern side of the lake, in the steppe. In the foreground are some buildings of a Patagonian "estancia" (ranch).


[1] El Guanaco Volador. 2005 Alla por el Viedma Patagonia. 25.09.08.
[2] Nuñez, O., L., (2006). Extrañas Marcas en el Cuerpo de una Mujer. Online. Citing: La Razón, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 17.05.1957.

Further reading:

More photographs of Lake Viedma. Views of the Viedma Glacier.

Copyright 2009 by Austin Whittall ©

Patagonian Monsters

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