At the end of a 200-mile stretch of mostly unpaved highway, nearly impassable during the long winter months and only marginally better in summer, sits the quiet community of Cochrane.
For generations, this isolation nurtured a bucolic, if insular, existence where little changed. The grasslands around here were sliced up into cattle and sheep ranches. Folktales romanticized the gaucho lifestyle on the wide open Patagonian steppe, sharing maté around the campfire.
But for all its remoteness, this hamlet has found itself at the heart of a heated national debate over the future — and some would say, the soul — of Patagonia itself.
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