This is a continuation of my last two posts about trekking the circuit in Torres del Paine. Click here to read part 1 (which is an introduction to the park) and click here to see part 2. Part 3 was the most challenging of the trek but with the greatest challenges, also come the greatest rewards.
Posts tagged ‘Patagonia’
Just another quick update. We put most of our photos from the Argentinian Patagonia (Bariloche, El Bolson, Esquel & El Chalten), Ushuaia, the South of the Chilean Patagonia (P.N. Torres del Paine, Puerto Natales & Punta Arenas) and Antarctica. So if you are tired of reading, you can just look at the pictures! Click on the 'photos' tab and you can search by place. Enjoy!!!
Finally we were going to get our big chance to do the circuit at TDP! The prospect had me nervously excited as I hoped we could carry as much stuff as we had packed for such a long time, every day. Three years ago we failed. I hoped for the best this time around.
After trekking in El Chalten, we took a bus back to El Calafate. El Calafate kind of sucks but unfortunately it's a major hub in Patagonia and is a gateway to the southern part of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (El Chalten serves the northern and free part of the park) and you usually have to go there to transfer to other places you want to travel to.
Three years ago, Laurent & I made a month long trip to Patagonia. We trekked around Fitz Roy from the village of El Chalten for 3 days. I never imagined that three years later, I would be lucky enough to be back in this incredible landscape. But here I was.
Did you ever have the feeling the universe was conspiring against you? No matter what you do, things just keep going wrong like some spirit of all the bad karma in the world was suddenly in control of everything that was happening. Is this what being in mercury's retrograde felt like? If so, it described our first days in Esquel perfectly.
I was looking forward to going to El Bolson. I heard it was a beautiful town surrounded by majestic mountains, colorful flowers, homemade beer, artsy stuff, fresh organic berries and had a general laid-back vibe. Yeah, it was kind of a hippy place. But honestly, deep down, I must be one too. I'll come clean. I love this stuff. And I loved El Bolson.
Doesn't every country need it's own Switzerland? Snow capped alpine vistas surrounded by striking azure lakes and greenery, wooden chalets with wood burning stoves and delicious chocolate. Did we somehow fly to Europe? No, we are just in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. I have no idea why it looks like Switzerland here but it does. It's like you stepped into the fifth parallel or something.
The north of Argentina has one of the most beautiful landscapes in all of the country, if not all of South America. You can drive from thick jungle mountains to giant cactus filled deserts one day and on other days find yourself in cloudforests or standing in front of ancient Andean ruins. One of the biggest, if not the best, wine countries lie in this region, in Cafayate. Salta is the major city in this region and it's filled with animated peñas where you can hear the traditional music sung live, and visit beautiful churches decked out in colonial architecture.
Did you know you all have an inner gaucho? Well you do and I recently discovered mine. In case you don't know, gauchos are the South American version of the North American cowboy. Riding over the pampas on their horse with no name, the nomadic gauchos lived their lives by hunting cattle. Much like the cowboys, guachos were thought to be the honest, strong, silent types, but proud and capable of violence when necessary. Gauchos often carried a faćon (ginormous, sharp knife) tucked into their pockets and they often used only their faćon for eating. They ate, almost exclusively, meat. Even though I am a former vegetarian, I long to be a gaucho. Waving around my faćon, eating my beef and laying in the sun. I finally had the chance.