Every adventure starts with a vision. For Leon McCarron and Tom Allen, that vision was the last opportunity to follow Charles Darwin and Robert Fitz Roy on one of their most remote expeditions: up Patagonia’s Rio Santa Cruz. The river winds like a crystal blue ribbon through the drab Patagonian Steppe, creating a sublime and nearly inhospitable environment. The wind rips across the steppe and there is no true civilization for hours or even days. The only company is the chirping of birds and the ethereal howling of Guacanos, the local llama-like quadruped. It is true wilderness.
This adventure had another vision, as well. Two massive hydroelectric Dams are scheduled to begin construction in early 2015 (as one might expect, they are currently mired in bureaucracy). The imminent beginning of construction meant that this was likely the last trip of the Rio Santa Cruz before the lakes behind the Dams took up close to half of the river. The environmental impact will be massive and the locals will be forced off of land their families have farmed for generations. The upcoming film will tackle these issues, delving deep into the land of Patagonia and the people that live there. Along the way, Leon and Tom follow Darwin’s footsteps using his journal and sketches from the river, and use it as a basis for which to explore the challenges that are coming to the basin of the Rio Santa Cruz.
The two Brits completed another epic adventure in 2014 as well. They followed Iran’s longest river, the Karun, from source to sea via foot, inflatable kayak, and boat. Along the way they discovered that Iran, despite it’s reputation in the West, has some of the nicest, most hospitable people you will find on the planet. This adventure is a story of adaptability and a forced reliance on others – as the best laid plans fall apart, only the kindness of the nation of Iran allows Leon and Tom a chance to reach their goal within such a short time frame. This film is fraught with adventure, danger, beautiful landscapes, and unbelievable kind faces.
The two films are awaiting funding. You can be the person to give this Karun and Rio Santa Cruz Kickstarter campaign wings. They are important movies that tell important stories about the modern world we live in, both social and environmental. By supporting these films, not only are you supporting two amazing adventurers, but also the idea that exploration can tell stories and that those stories are an important part of growing as a society and a civilization.
You can donate to the Karun & Rio Santa Cruz Kickstarter campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1107425124/a-tale-of-two-rivers-journeys-on-the-karun-and-san
Gear Worn by Leon, Jose, and Tom on the Santa Cruz expedition: