Blogs from Isla Navarino, Magallanes, Chile, South America

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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino April 22nd 2014

We knew we were in for an adventure. We just didn't know what yet. The planning had been comprehensive and meticulous, but that was 6 months ago. The spreadsheet had been lost, the books were returned to the library and travelling spontaneity had extinguished all methodical organisation. One thing we had managed was to book a couple of seats on a plane heading to the deep south, to the land of fire. We had arrived into Santiago ten minutes before we left Auckland and had another day before Tierra del Fuego. We struggled out of our Plaza D'armas 5th floor hostel and forced ourselves to explore the city rather than succumb to our jet lag. We headed to Cerro Santa Lucia, a rocky hill summited via a messy labyrinth of spiral staircases and steps carved out ... read more
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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino December 1st 2013

What an adventure! I just came back from Southern Chile, as far south as I live north, where I had my first real sailing experience. And what an experience! The trip started in Punta Arenas, a mythical place for me as I had heard about it from explorers who were going to Antarctica. So I was pretty excited to land there and spend a couple of days in that city. JF and I arrived together, Pierre and Angus arrived the next day, after a hike in Torres del Paine. We explored the city together a little, and I kissed the foot of the famous statue of a Native in one of the parks. They say that if you kiss his foot, you will return to Punta Arenas. I didn't want to take any chance. I was ... read more
The kiss
Reflecting on the upcoming adventure
Mountains of the fjord

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino January 22nd 2013

Of all the places we've visited so far in South America, none has captivated our imaginations - brought out the inner adventurers in us - more than Patagonia. Often harsh and brutal, always spellbindingly beautiful, Patagonia had us at Bariloche, and it didn't let go of us for over two whole months. And with only three weeks left to go before I have to return home, it's one place I've got to go back to. Warm, sunny and hedonistic Rio de Janeiro could not be more different from my entry point back into Patagonia: the Argentine city of Ushuaia, a place many people have heard of even if they've no idea where it is (apart from the French, who are all totally and bizarrely besotted with the place), is the most southerly city in the world. ... read more
Car ferry across the Strait of Magellan
Seven days' worth of food...
Bit smaller than I expected...

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino May 13th 2012

The streets were absolutely deserted. There was only the reflection of the street lamps in the puddles while we lugged our backpacks and obnoxious cameras back the place we could reasonably call home on Isla Navarino. As expected, there was absolutely no-one in the refugio, but it was considerably cleaner than when we had last seen it. This may be due to all of the mud we always schlepped in…sorry Cecilia. We built a fire and made a shopping list. I was craving Alfredo pasta (the food, not the person, although repetitively hearing his name may have contributed to my desires), and Alfredo just wanted juice and wine. What a typical chileno...However, our solitude was not to be. The ferry arrived early that evening and brought with it to the refugio the German couple, Markus and ... read more
Last Sunset 1
Last Sunset 2
Last Sunset 3

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino May 10th 2012

All pictures of this post were taken by Alfredo Pourailly, a very talented young man that was so kind to share a few weeks of his life with me. My buddies at the ferry (we were on first name basis at this point), woke me up on the ferry at 3:30 AM for our arrival in Caleta Ferrari (CF). Sleepy eyed, I hopped off with Alfredo while some other passengers boarded. Thanks to the ferry lights, we were able to see exactly where we were, which was in between the ocean and a rock wall with a little dilapidated hut hugging the cliffs. I saw no sign of someone there to meet us. If no-one showed up, we would just have to pitch our tents where we were, because we had no idea which direction to ... read more
Home
Crossing Rivers
Warmth

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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino May 8th 2012

The title has nothing to do with the temperature in Puerto Williams (PW). Quite the contrary, it is very cold here. Instead, the title of this post refers to the spectacular experience I have had here. Please read further if this is of interest to you. Unlike Jean Phillipe (do I love that name), Alfredo and I did not do any scouting as far as accommodation goes in PW. We figured that we would have enough time to do so during the morning there. Our sweet maple syrup loving lumberjack, however, did all the hard work for us and we struck gold with the Refugio El Padrino run by the magnanimous and inviting Cecilia. I really cannot describe how much I love this woman. She exudes happiness from each and every pore. She is one of ... read more
Mama Mary
My Rolemodel

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino April 25th 2012

Luis dropped me off in front of a ship that did not exactly match the floater I had concocted in my mind to go to Puerto Williams. For some reason I didn't expect the kind of ferry that took cars, containers and only a few people. Well, I was greeted by the friendly sailors on board and even introduced to the captain before I was led to the economy class, which is basically a chair and not a bed, as in first class. Slowly, a few more people showed up on board, but I didn't have any high expectations as this ferry was going to a town in the Antarctic region of Chile during mid-April. Well, about 4 more people showed up, and, in a very un-Chilean fashion, we left five minutes early to embark on ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino January 9th 2012

Darwin Channel and the Chilean fjords: The weather has not been cooperating. We are now in the Darwin Channel and small islands, remnants of coral reefs, are on both sides of the ship. Went out on the verandah in my robe and bare feet and it wasn’t cold but was drizzly. The winds were strong as we entered the channel, force 9 or about 40 mph. Now in the channel they have calmed to about 18 mph. The islands are heavily forested and would be a spectacular green if only the sun would appear. Maybe later we’ll get a moment or two but the Captain does forecast rain this afternoon. Today will be heavy on lectures, one on the Antarctic Marine Ecosystems, one on Chile and a third one on seismic activity and plate tectonics in ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino January 9th 2012

Darwin Channel and the Chilean fjords: The weather has not been cooperating. We are now in the Darwin Channel and small islands, remnants of coral reefs, are on both sides of the ship. Went out on the verandah in my robe and bare feet and it wasn’t cold but was drizzly. The winds were strong as we entered the channel, force 9 or about 40 mph. Now in the channel they have calmed to about 18 mph. The islands are heavily forested and would be a spectacular green if only the sun would appear. Maybe later we’ll get a moment or two but the Captain does forecast rain this afternoon. Today will be heavy on lectures, one on the Antarctic Marine Ecosystems, one on Chile and a third one on seismic activity and plate tectonics in ... read more
VALPARAISO

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Isla Navarino April 3rd 2010

hola Chicos, Hoe langer je in Patagonia rondtrekt, hoe meer je erdoor geïntrigeerd geraakt en hoe verder je je van het begaande pad begeeft. We proberen onbestaande routes en stippen naamloze toppen aan. De wind steekt op en blaast je tegen de grond. Het begint te sneeuwen en op slag zien de volgende dagen er toch wel heel anders uit. Patagonia is emoties ontdekken, waarvan je niet wist dat ze in je zaten. Je zakt tot aan je knieen in de modder en bent plots dolgelukkig dat je toch maar dat extra paar droge kousen hebt ingepakt. Hunkeren naar een warme douche, na dagenlang zweten in hetzelfde shirt. Ontgoocheling omdat het plan in duigen valt, maar daarna vreugdekreten omdat je een naamloze top beklimt in de zoektocht naar alternatieve routes. Patagonia is ronddwalen op zoek naar ... read more
Lago y Cordon O´Higgins
Lago O´Higgins
Huisje van gaucho langs Lago´Higgins




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