The Clandestine Route of Pablo Neruda

the-clandestine-route-of-pablo-nerudaThe Clandestine route led the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda to his salvation and freedom.

In order to escape the Chilean authorities and his ideological persecutions, Pablo Neruda had chosen the Futrono in 1949.

Before setting out on the track, one should know why Pablo Neruda was wanted by the Chilean authorities. In 1948 Gabriel Gonzáles Videla, the president of that time, unleashed a wave of repression against all the communists. Pablo Neruda strongly confronted the president with his verbal attacks and because of that later had been persecuted by the authorities.

The poet had to live in secrecy for a long period of time until he fled to Argentina after he crossed the Andes Mountain Range. After Argentina, he finally escaped exiling to Europe.

His exciting story and the odyssey began in Futrono. He arrived in the city port, where his track was found in December of 1948. He came there from Santiago in a car that caught all the attention – Chevrolet. He was under the alias Antonio Ruiz Lagorreta and he spent the night in the village. The next morning, he went to Port Llifén after several hours of sailing on Lake Ranco.

From Port Llifén he went to the Port Llolles, where he actually crossed the Lake Maihue to the timber ranch Hueinahue. He stayed there for approximately 2 months and learned how to ride a horse. At this spot, he wrote his known poem “Canto general”. In order to get to Argentina, the poet had to cross the Andes on horseback. He had to go through the infamous clandestine pass called “Los Contrabandistas” or the smugglers.

His steps led him to the Lake Maihue, where some locals waited for him and showed him the way to Argentina. Then he had to cross over a couple of rivers, one of the hardest steps: Blanco River, Curriñe River, and Huenteleifú River. He arrived in the hot springs of Chihuio, where Neruda managed to rest after a long horseback ride. The next day, he finally went to the San Martín de Los Andes, which is in Argentina – his freedom!