Argentina, Chile, Excursions

Patagonia

patagonia1Everyone has a bucket list of places they want to see before they die.  I had a very short list as a teen and every year I’ve managed to find another place to add to this list.  Patagonia has always been on my list.  I was enamored with the pure raw nature of Patagonia that only nature lovers would appreciate.  With it’s hurricane strength winds, long stretches of gravel road to nothingness, and striking natural wonders, Patagonia always seemed like a place not of this world.

Well, I can report that it’s not so desolate anymore.  The world is becoming smaller and smaller because most of the places we stayed had wifi.  The roads were being paved as we were riding along side the gravel roads, and every national park was bustling at the seams with tourists.  Even so, I was in awe of all the landscapes.  There are some people who believe that a picture will suffice but let me tell you, when you see a glacier for the first time in person, you just can’t believe nature did that.

It took us 28 hours to get to Punta Arenas, Chile from NYC (I suggest you look on a map because it’s literally the end of the world).  We chose to see Patagonia via motorcycle after this trip (read here and here).  We went on a motorcycle tour through Patagonia both Chile & Argentina.  Our group couldn’t have been more diverse.  We had a Canadian couple, a fellow New Yorker by way of Austria, and a Dane who lives in Rio.  We all learned during our 2 weeks together that we all have a common thread that runs through us (more on this later).  It takes a certain type of person to want to go to Patagonia.  If we wanted to relax we would’ve gone to the Caribbean.  If we wanted culture, we would’ve gone to Europe.  This was a totally different type of trip.  What we learned is that Patagonia makes you succumb to nature and in many ways respect it, to be patient, and to realize that the world is so much bigger than you and where you came from.

I met so many people on this trip, more than any other trip I’ve been on.  Mostly because the riding culture of motorcycles calls for an immediate bond with other riders.  So many people we met decided that life was too short and they were going to do this trip either by themselves, with their significant others, or best friends.  Many of them started the trip in either Canada or the US.  I was in awe of their fearlessness to leave everything they knew behind and to go on the journey of their lifetime.  The mere action of doing it and not just talking about it was so admirable.  Anyway, I can go on a philosophical tangent forever…Here are some highlights of the trip with more to come on my favorite spots.

patagonia2That’s our bike and my boyfriend who was a great driver even in the worst conditions.

patagonia3 Siesta time after a long morning ride through Torres del Paine

patagonia4 Our view of Torres del Paine from our siesta spot

patagonia5 Asian poses on the Perito Moreno Glacier

patagonia6 What is this sign trying to tell us?

patagonia7 Horseback riding in El Calafate

patagonia8 They look like lamas but they’re guanacos

patagonia9 On the road

patagonia10During our hike to Fitz Roy we see this amazing glacier

patagonia11 Newly paved and ready for us to ride

patagonia12 Curvy gravel roads on Lake Buenos Aires

patagonia13 The only plant life for miles a purple cactus

patagonia14 Marble caves in Rio Tranquilo

patagonia14 Last stretch of the trip