• Tua'r Andes
    ​Towards the Andes

Roedd y tir ffrwythlon yn y Dyffryn i gyd yn cael ei ffermio ac roedd rhai o'r dynion ifanc wedi clywed straeon am gyfoeth oedd yn y dŵr aur. Ym 1883 arweinodd dyn ifanc o'r enw John Daniel Evans grwp oedd yn archwilio'r tiroedd tua'r gorllewin dros y Paith. 


Roedd yn gyfnod o Ymgyrch yr Anialwch pan oedd Llywodraeth yr Ariannin yn ceisio meistroli brodorion y De o dan ei threfn filwrol mae rhai yn ei alw yn broses o wareiddio'r Indiaid, eraill yn ei weld fel hil-laddiad. Beth bynnag y farn, roedd yr Indiaid yn ofnus pan welon nhw grwpiau o ddynion gwyn yn eu tiroedd, gyda rheswm, ac pan ddaethon nhw ar draws John Daniel Evans a thri chyfaill meddylion nhw bod y tri yn ysbio dros y Fyddin a'u herlid. Lladwydd y tri ffrind ond llwyddodd John Daniel Evans i ddianc diolch i ddewrder ei geffyl Malacara a neidiodd lawr diben anferth ac i fyny'r ochr arall er mwyn ei achub. Enw'r lle yng nghanol yr anialwch heddiw ydy Dyffryn y Merthyron (Valle de los Martíres yn Sbaeneg).


Ym 1884 penodwyd Jose Luis Fontana yn llywodraethwr cyntaf talaith Chubut a phenderfynodd fynd gyda chriw i wneud archwiliad tua'r Andes. Cymry oedd y rhan helaeth o'r Rifleros del Chubut, John Daniel Evans yn eu plith. Daethon nhw ar hyd i ddyffryn ffrwythlon yng nghysgod yr Andes ar Hyfref 16 1885 -Cwm Hyfryd i'r Cymry oherwydd roedd y criw wedi bod yn marchogaeth mewn cwmwl o law a penderfynon nhw wersylla am y noson. Pan ddeffron nhw yn y bore roedd yn amlwg eu bod wedi gwersylla ar fynydd yn edrych dros y dyffryn gwyrdd ac un o'r criw yn rhyfeddu 'Wel dyna Gwm Hyfryd!' (a dyna stori hyfryd!). Ym 1891 dychwelodd John Daniel Evans a'i deulu i Gwm Hyfryd lle buont yn gyfrifol am y felin dŵr a rhodd yr enw i'r pentref cyntaf Trevelin.

Dewis bod yn rhan o'r Ariannin

Roedd problemau gwleidyddol wedi bod rhwng Chile a'r Ariannin ynglyn a'r ffin rhwng y ddwy wlad a gwahoddwyd i'r Deyrnas Unedig geisio gwneud heddwch rhwng y ddwy. Y farn draddodiadol oedd bod y tir lle roedd y dŵr yn rhedeg i Fôr yr Iwerydd yn perthyn i' r Ariannin ac lle roedd y dŵr yn rhedeg i'r Môr Tawel yn perthyn i Chile ond roedd yn bosib dargyfeirio gyfroedd afon fel y profwyd yn yr Afon Fenix gan Franciscio 'Perito' Moreno. Felly roedd rhaid chwilio modd arall ac yn ardal Trevelin yn yr Andes cynhaliwyd pleidlais gan Syr Thomas Holditch ar 30 Ebrill 1902 i weld os oedd y bobl eisiau aros yn rhan o'r Ariannin neu fynd yn rhan o Chile: er i lywodraeth Chile gynnig dwywaith y tiroedd a oedd ganddyn nhw yn barod penderfynodd y trigolion bleidleisio dros aros yn rhan o dalaith Chubut, yn rhan o'r un wlad a'u teuluoedd yn Nyffryn Chubut. Yn fuan wedyn sefydlwyd tref Esquel 25km i'r gogledd o Drevelin.

The fertile land in the Valley was now all being farmed and some of the young men had heard stories of the wealth that was to be found in the water, gold. In 1883 a young man named John Daniel Evans led a group which began to explore the lands to the west over in the desert.


This was the time of the Campaign of the Desert when the Argentine government tried to force the natives of the south to submit to their military regime, some call it a process of civilizing the Indians, others see it as genocide. Whatever the opinion, the Indians were scared when they saw groups of white men on their territory, thinking they were government spies, and so when John Daniel Evans and three friends crossed their path the natives began to take chase. The three friends were killed but John managed to escape thanks to the bravery of his horse Malacara who jumped down a huge drop and up the other side in order to save him. The name of this place in the middle of the desert Dyffryn y Merthyron (Valle de los Martíres in Spanish).


In 1884 Jose Luis Fontana was appointed Governor of the first province of Chubut and he decided to go with a group of men on a mission to investigate the land towards the Andes. The majority of the Rifleros del Chubut were Welsh, John Daniel Evans amongst them. They found a fertile valley in the shadow of the Andes on October 16th 1885 -Cwm Hyfryd to the Welsh because the group had been riding under a rain cloud and decided to camp for the night. When they woke in the morning they found that they were camped on a mountain looking down over the green calley and one of the company wondered 'Wel dyna Gwm Hyfryd!' ('Well there's a beautiful valley!' in Welsh...and a good story!). In 1891 John Daniel Evans returned with his family to Cwm Hyfryd where they were responsible for the water mill that gave the name to the first village, Trefelin (tref = town or village, felin = mill).


Choosing To Be Part Of Argentina - The Plebicito
There had been political problems between Chile and Argentina about the border between the two countries and the United Kingdom was invited to try to make peace between the two nations. The traditional idea was that the land from which the water ran into the Atlantic Ocean belonged to Argentina and the land where the water ran into the Pacific Ocean belonged to Chile but it was possible to redirect the flow of a river as was proved with the River Fenix by Franciscio 'Perito' Moreno. So another was had to be sought and in the Trevelin area of the Andes a referendum was held by Sir Thomas Holditch on 30thApril 1902 to judge whether people wanted to stay part of Argentina or become part of Chile: despite the government of Chile offering them twice the land they had already the inhabitants voted to stay part of the Province of Chubut, part of the same country as their families in the Chubut Valley. Shortly afterwards the town of Esquel was founded some 25km to the north of Trevelin.