Take a breathtaking journey into the majestic wilds of Patagonia as a hidden past is revealed – a place where German emigrants, escaping the devastation of the First World War, sought refuge almost a century ago. Chile’s National Route 7 or Carretera Austral winds its way through a landscape of mountain ranges, primeval forests, fjords, volcanoes and an ice field. The challenging terrain forced decades of effort to carve a way through, with many still having to take a detour across a border into Argentina.
Under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, the construction of the road was made a national priority in the 1970s; thousands of soldiers were sent to work under the harshest and most adverse conditions. Join the journey along the Carretera Austral as artifacts from this period and the personal accounts of those who lived through it come to light. However, as the region experienced economic expansion along the route, it came at a cost. Follow German marine biologist Vreni Häussermann as she uncovers the devastation of the natural environment in southern Chile. You’ll meet descendants of German emigrants who will tell their story of finding a new home in this beautiful but remote part of the world. Finally, former military police chief Rodolfo Stange explains the strategic importance of the road to the regime of Pinochet. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the unique past and present of this captivating region.