Page 4 of Campingmat Travel Blog Posts


North America » United States » Montana » Bigfork September 5th 2015

Our next stop in Montana was a wonderful drive around Flathead Lake. Before the day's outing, we started our morning with a different hiking destination. Again, a short climb through the backyard, brought us to the main trail inside the Flathead National Forest, and then we found our way to Peterson Creek. It seemed that our destinations grew prettier every day, and this particular hike was memorable for its wild, untouched beauty. If my sixth sense was working, I believe we were being observed from the forest by one of the bears that my friend mentioned seeing around his property in the past. I kept having that feeling of being watched. It was comforting being told that it was very unlikely that a bear would seek a confrontation, and would likely try its best to avoid ... read more
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Our third day in Montana, we dedicated to visiting Glacier National Park. We started the day by going to breakfast at Echo Lake Café, a nearby roadside restaurant that specialized in the most amazing Breakfast Burrito I've ever had. An enormous flour tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, jack cheese, sautéed mushrooms, green peppers, onions, homemade Chorizo, tomatoes and black olives. They topped it with ranchero sauce and sour cream! Add to that home-fried potatoes. Needless to say, we ended up with to go boxes for a good portion of the meal! Afterwards, we made our way to the park, which met all our expectations as far as beautiful and spectacular views. We took the fabled Going-to-the-Sun Road, an incredible piece of engineering that took us through amazing views, steadily climbing to cross the Continental Divide. Unfortunately, ... read more
Glacier National Park
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North America » United States » Montana » Whitefish September 3rd 2015

Our second day in Montana started with a wonderful surprise as I opened my bedroom window to come face to face with some deer. It was an experience to be repeated every morning while I was there, and I joyfully welcomed my morning visitors from then on. Our day started with a hike through one of the several natural trails within the Flathead National Forest, right from our back door through our friend's property. The climb to the main trail proved challenging for me, unused to the climb. Soon we found our way to Bear Creek, and the exertion was forgotten in the enjoyment of the peaceful isolation and wonderful wilderness surrounding us. Afterwards, we made our way to explore Whitefish, quiet before skiing season. A highlight of the visit was our lunch at a popular ... read more
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North America » United States » Montana » Bigfork September 2nd 2015

At our arrival in Montana after a long and convoluted flight, our exceptional host met us at the airport in Bigfork for the drive to our home for the next few days, his amazing house on the slopes on a nearby mountain. The drive to the house itself was through beautiful countryside along Montana Hwy 83 out of Bigfork, and the curving road to the house itself slowly climbed through a beautiful forest of trees. The neighbors were few and far between, which provided a feeling of isolation and peacefulness in beautiful surroundings. The house itself was rustic in appearance and perfectly comfortable, with wide glass windows opening level with the ground in the back, and featuring a shaded balcony off the ground in the front. After a quick tour of his property, which backs into ... read more
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South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago December 5th 2014

Once again, we contracted Turistik to be our ride to the vineyard. In this occasion, the main body of the people accompanying us were Brazilians, some of whom had chosen to do a bike ride in the area, and were staying for the night. Our guide to the vineyard, Daniel, was very informative and kept us entertained with the back story of the location, going back to 1814 when 120 survivors of a disastrous battle between the Chilean patriots and the Spanish army arrived at the property, then owned by Paula Jaraquemada, and found refuge in her cellar, where she aided them, looked after their wounds, fed them, and hid them from the Spaniards until they could continue on their way and eventually rejoin the rebels. The house continues to be a historical monument, and the ... read more
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South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Isla Negra December 4th 2014

On Thursday, we signed up with a local company, Turistik, for the ride to the Coast to visit Pablo Neruda’s seashore home, Isla Negra. The tour offered the best of both worlds, the opportunity to see this Museum and, afterwards, a visit to a new organic winery in one of Chile’s youngest wine producing valleys, San Antonio. One of their vans was picking us up at 8:15 AM in front of the W Hotel, and taking us to their main depot area in the Parque Araucano Shopping Center to meet the vehicle designated for this particular tour. It is a well-organized enterprise that we had used in the past. The drive to Neruda’s house was heading south on the Costanera highway. It reminds me somewhat or the Florida’s Turnpike in that it has Toll stations along ... read more
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South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago December 3rd 2014

Our Wednesday plans revolved around the Bellavista area of town. The last two times I had been in town I had been unable to go to the Cerro San Cristotal, which is part of the Parque Metropolitano, because the park workers had been on strike. This hillside has an outstanding view of the City, although Wednesday morning the pollution was bad and the view of the mountains was not clear. It has not rained in a few days, and it takes some rain to clear the air, and the view. Anyway, we first parked at Patio Bellavista, which is one of those several levels open air type Malls with tons of restaurants, and shops. From there we walked towards the Cerro San Cristobal, but first made a small detour to visit La Chascona. This is the ... read more
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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas December 1st 2014

Our last day In Punta Arenas was at leisure. We got up at a civilized time, and had one of those giant breakfasts that were inevitable at the hotels. I honestly had every intention of not eating very much, because we had two additional food stops planned for that day, but it is impossible not to eat in excess at these occasions. We checked out the Spa and pool area in the hotel, which was spectacular, and also did a walkabout of the Casino, which was not too large, by our standards, but nice. Our hotel was perfectly located, only a couple of blocks from the Plaza Mayor, where we headed to look at some of the goods in the stalls that dot the entire plaza. Lots of wool goods, as you can imagine. Legend says ... read more
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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Puerto Natales November 29th 2014

Our drive back to the border was without rush, so we took the regular, PAVED, route instead of the bone rattling one we had taken on the way to Argentina. We drove back through the steppes, with lots of sheep along the way. Milthon told us that, although the sheep adapted to the area, it is causing problems with the environment because they pull out the vegetation by the roots, and it is so windy that the thin layer of top soil is flying away, and about 25% of the area is now ruined. Also, the sheep have a shorter lifespan there, because the tough vegetation wears out their teeth, and they will die of hunger after about 5 years. Poor things! We did see some gauchos along the way with some of their cattle, but ... read more
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At 7:30 Saturday morning, after another mind boggling breakfast, our driver Miguel and his wife, Sybill, picked us up for our crossing into Argentina and El Calafate. We were warned that the border crossing requires lots of patience and that it can get really backed up during heavy tourist season. There are two windows, and a couple of guys processing a considerble amout of peole. Even though we had tried to get an early start, we got stuck behind one of those obnoxiously large tourist buses that create a crowd just by themselves. Holy Cow! It was a slow process to say the least. At last, we got through the bureocratic nonsense and got back in the van heading down this dirt and rocks road (did I mention most of the roads were dirt roads?) towards ... read more
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