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The good Burghers of Bermuda, the Aldermen of Antigua and the Councillors of the Cayman Islands are all on red alert today in reaction to a Welsh initiative which threatens to throw their lucrative Honeymoon Tourism business into total disarray. It has just been announced that honeymooners from Wales who seek the sanctuary and affordability of Caribbean beaches in preference to the romantic drizzle of the valleys and the armies of hungry and thirsty relatives who appear whenever the banns are called now have another destination in which to celebrate tying the knot - Welsh Patagonia! The first couple, showing a similar pioneering spirit to that demonstrated by the 150 souls who set sail from Liverpool in the Mimosa in 1865, have just arrived back in Wales, describing their trip as “the marriage of a lifetime!”. But for Aled Rees, a senior biomedical scientist from Aberystwyth, the decision was an easy one to take. “It had always been a dream of mine to visit Patagonia. Instead of going to the expense of a Welsh wedding with all the usual trimmings, we decided to take the family out to Patagonia and realise all our dreams in one trip.

“We spoke to local specialists Welsh Patagonia (based in Esquel) and they came up with some wonderful ideas which both celebrated our marriage, kept some romantic time for ourselves and gave us all the chance to explore all the important places in Patagonia and, most importantly of all, to meet with and mix with the people.” “We were primarily a young group (32 people in all) and, although Welsh traditions are important to us, we also wanted to let our hair down and have fun. The people at Welsh Patagonia seemed to know everyone in the region and undertook all the organisation on our behalf. All we had to do was turn up!” “After a few days in Buenos Aires, we arrived in Trelew, where we were met by Esther and Fernanda, two young local girls who spoke Spanish, Welsh and English. A bottle of champagne and a copy of the ‘bible’ on the Welsh in Patagonia, Rocky Trip, (signed and dedicated to us by the author) were waiting in our suite when we reached our 4 star hotel on the seafront in Puerto Madryn.
From our balcony, we could see whales swimming in the bay behind the monument to the Welsh settlers and, in the distance, the caves where they eked out their miserable existence when they landed. And we were only one block from The Margarita Bar, one of the most famous watering holes in Welsh Patagonia and home to the all the Welsh supporters who followed our team out here in 2006.” “The next few days saw a whirlwind of activities, visits, tears and parties. We saw whales from our boat and penguins and elephant seals from secluded beaches; our marriage was blessed by a Welsh minister in Gaiman and we cried when a children’s choir and a local tenor sang for us in Welsh at the chapel; we had a Welsh tea with a local family who had studied in Aberystwyth and forced down endless beers, glasses of wine and wonderful Argentinean lamb at Gerallt William’s farm; we followed the route of the Welsh across the country to Esquel and Trevelin, stopping frequently at the places where the settlers stopped so long ago; we saw the sights and the condors in the Andes and were entertained by so many local people whose sole intent, it seemed to us, was to extend their traditional warm welcome and make certain that we hardly ever got to bed!” “With so many family and friends in tow, we were worried that we wouldn’t have time to ourselves and that there would be few romantic moments. But we shouldn’t have worried. We fell in love again every day, not just with each other but with all the new people and places we met in this wonderful country.” “Everyone agreed that nothing could have been organised more perfectly and we wouldn’t have changed a single minute. Leaving Welsh Patagonia behind as we motored up the Andes towards Bariloche for some well-earned rest, all were resolved that as little time as possible pass before we visit this place again.” For more information and to see Aled’s full itinerary, log on to www.welshpatagonia.com



Esquel - Chubut - Patagonia - Argentina - Email: info@welshpatagonia.com