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Northern patagonia, main rivers, and political divisions and main cities.
Negro River ( ) means black river, and is the most important river of the Argentinemarker province of Río Negromarker.

It originates from the junction of the Limay Rivermarker and Neuquén Rivermarker at the border with the Neuquén Province, and flows southeast to the Atlantic Oceanmarker at , near El Cóndormarker beach resort some 30 kilometres downstream from Viedmamarker, Río Negro province's capital.

The river allows the Río Negro province to produce 65% of the pears and apples of Argentina. Besides irrigation, the river is also source of hydroelectricity with small dams on its course.

The river served as natural demarcation between "civilisation" and the aboriginal territories during the Conquest of the Desert of late 19th century.

Valle

Topology of northern Patagonia.
The river is divided into three parts: The Alto Valle (High Valley) near the beginning of the river, Valle Medio (Medium Valley) near Choele Choelmarker, and Valle Inferior (Inferior Valley) near its end.

The river crosses the steppe plains of the province through a forest of around three kilometres in the Alto Valle, and as wide as 20 kilometres towards the Valle Inferior. In the dry plain it is possible to find seashells and pebble.

Alto Valle

The main cities in Alto Valle are: General Roca, Cipolletti, Villa Reginamarker, followed by many others on the National Route #22. Together with San Carlos de Barilochemarker, this is the most prosperous part of the province. Most pear and apple plantations are at the Alto Valle, but many also at the Valle Medio.

Valle Medio

Next to Choele Choelmarker is the Choele Choel Island, in which are Lamarquemarker, Luis Beltrán and Pomonamarker, all of them on National Route #250.

Besides apple and pear cultivation, tomato is also an important crop, being Lamarquemarker the National Capital of the Tomato. Outside the valley, on the more arid lands around town such as Chimpay and Darwin, some cattle is also raised.

Valle Inferior

Although the term is not as used term as the previous two, Valle Inferior refers to Viedmamarker and all the cities on the province's coast. Fruit is also produced but is not a primary activity. Onion is cultivated as well as some cereals. Alfalfa and maize is cultivated both for human consumption and for feeding cattle, which is the most important activity.

Name

In spite of its name of Negro ("black") the colour is more greenish than black. Nevertheless, the name is the literal translation of its aboriginal Mapuche name of Curú Leuvú. The river was also known by the name of Río de los Sauces ("River of Willows") for the abundant weeping willows along his lower course.

Regatta

The Regata del Río Negro (Black River Regatta), run in this river, is the longest kayak boat-race in the world with its 653 kilometres. The competition is divided in 6 stages and last 8 days (2 days for rest).

The categories are
  • K1 men Senior
  • K2 men Senior
  • K2 men Junior (17 to 20 years)
  • K2 women Senior
  • K1 men Maxi (older than 36)
  • K2 men Maxi
  • Touring (open, non professional recreative category)


References

  • Colbert E. Cushing, Kenneth W. Cummins, G. Wayne Minshall: River and Stream Ecosystems of the World: With a New Introduction. University of California Press 2006, ISBN 0520245679, S. 280ff ( restricted online version (Google Books))


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