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

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Culebrón in Neuquén, Lake Polcahue

During our recent four day vacation in San Carlos de Bariloche, we stopped by our favorite bookstore to take a peek at what was for sale (they sell second hand books as well as new ones, and they have a wide range of books on my beloved topic: Patagonia).

I managed to buy three jewels. Two old ones:
  • Gregorio Alvarez's El Tronco de Oro, Ediciones Corregidor, 1994.
  • Rodolfo Casamiquela's En pos del Gualicho, Fondo Editorial Rionegrino - EUDEBA, 1988.
And a new one on Rio Negro province's place names: R. Casamiquela (1998), Estudios de la Toponimia Indígena de la Provincia de Río Negro. Ed. del Autor.

The first two are especially interesting since they mention some cryptids. The second one focuses on the Ellengassen monster, also known as Gualicho.

But today I will mention something I found in Alvarez´s book, the Culebrón a snake-like aquatic creature.

On page 247 Alvarez wrote:

At lake Polcahue there is a culebón whose body must be about one meter [3.3 ft.] thick. It appeared after a herd that had rushed to the frozen lake to drink, sank in it. This lake is located close to China Muerta, in a place known as Pulmary. The locals say that Mr. César Fosbery saw it. [1]

Mr. C. Fosbery was a local pioneer (1898-1976)[2]. The name of the lake has two possible meanings:

Polcahue: Deformation of pulcu, a native alcoholic beverage and hue = place. So, it means "Place where there is pulcu". Alternatively, it may derive from "Polca = slippery. Hence: "Slippery place".[3]

You can see the lake at this link leading to Google maps or, at another scale below:

View Larger Map

The lake drains towards the east through the Arroyo China Muerta (China Muerta Creek) by the way this name (China Muerta) means "Dead" [Muerta] and "Native woman" [China]. Yes, China means Chinese in Spanish, but in the local Pampean and Patagonian dialect it means a native American woman (due to the oriental appearance of the American indians).

This stream drains into the Aluminé River, which flows from Lake Aluminé (to the north of Polcahue). Aluminé River flows throguh the Collón Curá River into the Limay River, and then into the Negro River and into the Atlantic Ocean.

Close by (south) is Lake Quillén with its Cuero lake creature.

Important. The bookstore is: La Barca Libros Usados, on Mitre street, 534. San Carlos de Bariloche.

[1] Gregorio Alvarez's El Tronco de Oro, Ediciones Corregidor, 1994.
[2] Fosbery Cesar Family tree.
[3] Juan Perón Toponimia Patagónica de Etimología Araucana, pp. 42.
Yes, the (in)famous former President 1946-1951(and then dictator 1951-1955, exile 1955-1972 and again President 1973-1974) of Argentina, whose wife was Eva Perón, (better known as Evita of musical fame). He left us his last wife as Vice President, who upon his death in office on 01.Jul.1974, swore in as President. Her job qualifications were poor (former cabaret dancer) so she lost the grip on things, and one tragedy followed another until on 24.March.1976 the military took over and ran the country until 1983. In the meantime they did horrendous things (disappearing people, torturing women, giving away the babies of people held in custody. Genocides and murderers). So yes, I do blame Perón for his ill choice of his running mate! He could have chosen someone with experience, but no, he left us his cabaret dancer wife "Isabelita" (yes, she even had a "nom de guerre") María Estela Martínez de Perón.
Enough history for today. It makes you wonder who are the real Monsters.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
2011 International Year of Forests
2011 International Year of Forests Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 

1 comment:

  1. I have re read my post and, look upon my country's current ruler, Mrs. Cristina Kirchner, widow of Nestor Kirchner, former President (yes, believe it or not, there is some kind of "affinity" that makes spouses apt for running for President in Argentina).
    I dislike the Kirchner way of doing things, their violent, thuggish methods, the way they push Constitutional limits, emulating the mediocre Venezuelan dictator Chavez. No wonder the people living in the Falklands don't want to be part of Argentina. I can hardly stand the situation, imagine people living under the rule of a civilized European country!
    Sad days await Argentina while we are ruled by the K family (yeah, there is a son named Maximo -no pun intended Maximus of the Gladiator movie... daughter seems uninterested in politics... for now).


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