Patagonia, Chile

It seems a bit irrational that when the weather in AZ is at its finest (to rub it in, highs in the 70’s, lows in the 50’s), we should find ourselves traveling to colder, wetter climes.  But when Spring Break rolls around, we find ourselves leaving this idyll to seek something different.  As I prepare for our Spring Break trip this year to Northern Italy, I find myself looking back at some great trips that I feel are worth a post.

Hubby and I took a Happy Anniversary trip to Patagonia, Chile, in 2005, specifically to the Hotel Explora in Torres Del Paine National Park.  This type of trip appeals to Hubby’s sense of adventure, and, truth be told, I was interested in exploring this part of the world that is the neighbor of Antarctica.  To get there, we flew from Atlanta 10 hours due south to the capital of Chile, Santiago.  We caught up on our sleep a couple of days there before heading south again, another 5 hours in a plane to Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world.  From there, it was a 5 hour drive, mostly on dirt roads, to Torres Del Paine and our hotel.  To travel this far, to a place this remote took a leap of faith for me.  But the reward was incredible.

Near Punta Arenas, overlooking the Straights of Magellan


The view from our hotel room.  For reals.

What does one do this far south, you may ask?  A little bit of everything.  We hiked a lot, rode horses a couple of times (galloping through the pampas is a highlight), pampered ourselves a little (many salt baths to ease those aching muscles), and met some wonderful characters over delicious meals and Chilean Carmanere, a red varietal that is considered Chile’s signature grape.

I am the yellow dot


Up and up we go…


…to our destination, a glacier lake (brrr)


The views everywhere were fabuloso


I have never experienced wind like this, however


Hiking to a glacer was a highlight


We returned to our hotel on a barco


The local cuisine, lamb


The saddles were quite comfy


But the best part of the ride was sitting around the fire with the gauchos
And taking sips from the bota bag
Happy Monday!

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