David Mathre Photography

Welcome to my Images of the Day Photo blog. My goal is to post images from each day of the year going back to 2006 when I got my first DSLR camera. Images I post on Google+ are also forwarded to this Photo blog. I am a retired chemist that worked nearly thirty years in the Pharmaceutical industry. I took my first DSLR camera on a road trip across the United States, and became hooked, with my new passion becoming a photographer. I now spend all my time traveling and taking pictures. Since then I have visited over 50 countries, many on Semester at Sea voyages. My photographic interests include travel, the natural world, landscapes, and photographic techniques. I always want to learn something new and the only way to become better is to learn from mistakes.



 We are Political Prisoners in Puerto Natales.  Day 18 of a Photography Workshop with Thom Hogan in Patagonia.  

We are still sitting in a hotel in Puerto Natales. The roads continue to be blocked, and we have no idea when we will be able to get to the airport in Punta Arenas. In essence we are being held political prisoners since we are not able to leave this small town and this country.  Does anyone remember “Missing”.

22-January-2011 edit: Check out Thom Hogan’s blog about being held hostage in southern Chile.


Fishing Boat in Pureto Natales Harbor. Image taken with a Leica D-Lux 5 camera (David J Mathre) 

Fishing Boat in the Fjord of Last Resort. The Harbor is also closed due to the strike.


Update as of 3 PM local. We were looking at an option to return to Argentina and fly back from Calafate. A bus would bring us to the road block and we would have to walk across with our entire luggage. Another bus would pick us up on the other side. The protesters told the driver we could walk across the line, but they would then destroy the bus. So we are probably spending another night in Puerto Natales. 

Hotel Australis in Pureto Natales overlooking the "Fjord of Last Hope." Image taken with a Leica V-Lux 20 camera (David J Mathre)

Costa Australis Hotel in Puerto Natales (Patagonia)


Update at 5 PM Local. We just checked back into the Hotel.

5 Responses to “13-January-2011”

  1. Mom says:

    Do we have an embassy you can contact?

    • David says:

      Our trip leader contacted the US Embassy in Santiago. The marine on emergency phone duty had not heard that there was a problem. Information about this is being suppressed. Information needs to get out to the world press.

      • Mom says:

        Well at least they now know about it. What action are they taking? They are probably so busy with the mud slides in Brazil that Chile takes 2nd place. Our news is filled with the shootings in Tuscon and the floods in Australia.

        • David says:

          The US Embassy in Santiago did issue a press release today that there might be travel restrictions or delays in the southern regions and Torres del Paine National Park. I don’t think that they have a clue to the magnitude of the problem. There are seveal hundred tourists from multiple countries here in Puerto Natales, more in Punta Arenas where there is a bigger blockade to the airport. We were one of the last groups to get out of the National Park (a focus of the protest) where there are now 4000-5000 tourists stranded. Fuel will soon be a problem in Punta Arenas, so even if we get to the airport not sure we will be able to fly out. Yesterday, the protesters wouldn’t even let ambulances out of the town. As a good sign today, the Navy vessel docked right outside the hotel has been reoccupied by Navy personel. The local Guardia don’t appear to be doing anything other than observe as long as there is no violence.

          • Mom says:

            Did you get Erik’s e-mail concerning phone (googlevoice) that hey have set up for you. There is now plenty of info from the internet on the seriousness of the strike. They say if you get to Arenas airport there will be a blockade and you need to walk into the airport…quite a distance. Argentina might be a better bet. Have you registered with the Red Cross? They are at a school there…no food or beds, but atleast you are registered as being in the area. The embassy now is issuing a warning to all travelers to the area. Stay safe..Mom

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