Elena Macia


Elena Macia

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas November 1st 2019

Really early start today 😫 - breakfast at 6.15am and I’m up well before worrying about getting the stupid cases shut. Shove everything in and Rodolfo is ready and waiting to take us to the bus station at 6.30am. So nice to see him and say goodbye. He was fun to be around and had great playlists on our drives! We’re on Bus Sur this time. Not the luxury double decker we’re used to, but it’s comfortable, warm (nice!) and has overhead usb chargers which is handy. Unfortunately it also has piped audio linked to a tv screen at the front which is on an endless 5 minute loop of ads and music. David lasts about 30 minutes then goes to the front to ask the conductor to turn it off, which he does - phew. ... read more
Views towards the sea from the older barrios
Anti-Piñera signs

South America » Chile » Magallanes October 31st 2019

After a good night's sleep Maia’s back on form - hurray! We have breakfast, pack up our stuff and wait for the kayak van to arrive. It’s an absolutely beautiful, clear, sunny day - the best so far. We are able to enjoy some of the views that have eluded us so far. The Rio Serrano area where we’ve been staying at Nash Lodge for 3 nights is very quiet, with only a few places to stay, but we can imagine that it will soon become developed. Nash is building 20 more rooms and we see workers putting in fence posts elsewhere, getting ready to demarcate the land. We hang out with the cows and a dog outside in the sunshine and have a chat with some of the staff from Nash Lodge - Carolina the ... read more
Grey Hotel
Dwarfed by the icebergs on Lago Grey
Icebergs with Paine Grande in the background

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine October 29th 2019

Got up to pop to the loo at around midnight. Comment to anyone who’s listening that the sky is full of stars. Am just having a wee when there’s the sound of a bucketful of water hitting the floor! Maia has been violently sick, stumbles into the bathroom and delivers another load into the sink as I’m on the loo. Awesome! Try to put the light on, but there’s no electricity. Try to flush the loo but there’s no water. David is up and puts the mobile phone light on. Maia and I are trapped in the bathroom by a sea of sick. David throws me a pair of socks so I can try to hop over it back into the bedroom. I go downstairs in the hope or finding someone who can give me some ... read more
New Forest + snow capped mountains
Glorious sunset

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine October 28th 2019

Líe in - yay! We don’t go down to breakfast until about 8.30 - absolute bliss. Surprisingly we have no aches or pains after yesterday’s exertions, so we’re ready for action. Delicious breakfast including proper mugs of tea and coffee, scrambled eggs and yummy cake. All perfect. Departure time is a leisurely 9.30. We drive through more beautiful countryside to get the Paine - Pudeto catamaran to cross the Pehoe Lake for today’s hike to Mirador Francés. It’s allegedly a 16km return trip. There’s an option to do a 24km hike further up the mountain, but the timing of the ferry at this time of year (11am), doesn’t give us time to do that hike and get back in time for the last ferry of the day 😅. The catamaran trip is half an hour and ... read more
Tree cemetery
View of the Valle Francés on the way up to the Mirador
One at a time hair-raising bridge

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine October 28th 2019

Superb day hiking our longest ever hike to the Mirador Base de las Torres in Torres del Paine, Patagonia. The hotel have kindly prepared an early breakfast for us so that we’re ready for Andrea and Rodolfo to collect us at 7am to drive to the national park. It’s a pleasant two hour journey, but surprisingly it’s less stunning than other trips where we’ve had where we’ve seen more wildlife and mountains. We’re still approaching the Andes, but it’s just a bit less dramatic from this direction. Hiking poles at the ready, we set off at 9.15am and arrange to see Rodolfo again at 6pm...I think I’ve misheard as I didn’t quite realise how long we’d be walking for and now feel a bit nervous about my ability to complete the walk. After 1km we’re hot ... read more

South America » Chile October 27th 2019

Fun road trip from El Calafate to Puerto Natales today. Woke up early worrying about what time we need to turn up at the bus station for our 7.30am departure. We’ve asked Ginny for the taxi at 7.00am but when I check my booking again it says we should arrive one hour before departure. Now I can’t sleep so get up and shower and go and knock on reception door just before 6.30am. The stray guard dog ‘blanqui’ curled up outside can’t be bothered to stir, but luckily Susanna is up and lets me in. She reassures me that turning up 15 minutes before departure is fine, but I ask her to get the taxi for 6.50 all the same. She also accepts card payment for yesterday’s trip, so at least that’s sorted. There’s a 5% ... read more
Scary dude next to me on the bus
Vast open spaces for mile after mile
La Ovejera at the Chilean border

South America » Argentina October 25th 2019

Exciting day visiting Glaciar Perito Moreno. Bit of a lie in today as our tour pick up wasn’t until 8.15am. We are armed with hats, gloves, boots, ski socks and layers to keep warm. The company that does the tours is called Hielo y Aventura and we have chosen the Mini-Trekking tour. We wanted to do Big Ice, which is longer, but Maia is 15 and you have to be 18+ to do the tour. At the other end of the scale, 50 is the upper limit for Big Ice, so this was my one shot! (Too bad). I am delighted that our tour guide and driver duo are called Dora and Diego - very cool! We have managed to bag the front seats on the bus, with the huge window as our TV screen of ... read more
Glaciar Perito Moreno From the pasarela
Glaciar Perito Moreno from the pasarela
Glaciar Perito Moreno from the boat

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz October 25th 2019

Up early for a 7.30am departure with Eduardo, our driver from the airport yesterday. We decided on a day trip to El Chaltén, one of the must-see area in this part of Patagonia. It’s over 200km away and a two and a half hour drive, but the journey goes quickly as the road is good and there’s lots to see on the way. As well as the beautiful views of the Patagonian scenery, we are treated to a mini safari of Guanacos (a bit like llamas), ñandúes (rhea - like emus/ostriches), condors, hares and a few horses, cows, pigs and sheep. We skirt the Lago Argentino, do a portion of the N40, then head towards the northern part of Parque Los Glaciares where we see the famous Cerro Fitzroy and glimpse our first glaciers. The park ... read more
On the approach to Cerro Fitzroy
El Chorrillo Salto
I need to find out what this plant is called...looks like sea urchins on the mountains

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate October 24th 2019

Up early for 7am breakfast, before taxi arrives at 7.30am to take us to the other Buenos Aires airport. Have enjoyed staying at Los Patios de San Telmo. Much, much cheaper than Chile (US $150 for two double rooms for 2 nights versus US $210 for a family room in Santiago for one night at Casasur Charming Hotel), great location in lively, characterful San Telmo, interesting decor and generally chilled with a nice vibe. Only small niggles would be that the room was a bit too warm with air con not working and fridge not working. Pretty smooth and uneventful trip to El Calafate with LATAM. Spent about half an hour with a helpful LATAM sales lady trying to decipher the various emails I’ve received from LATAM about problems with the refund. All pretty confusing and ... read more
Looking out towards Lago Argentino
Our stray dogs waiting to take on next passing car.

South America October 23rd 2019

Looking forward to day of cycling, but still have a few things to sort out: missing suitcase, flight we couldn’t book yesterday, nowhere to stay in El Calafate and no activities booked. It’s a drizzly and slightly chilly morning - sums it up really. Head off to the bike hire place after breakfast. Our guide is Marcelo and he is determined to cheer us up! He explains our itinerary for the day, and as it’s just the 3 of us, works out how to get us to the LATAM shop along the route so we can try to book our flights in person. We have a fun day cycling around Buenos Aires, punctuated by interesting stops where Marcelo explains some history and brings the tour to life by preparing ‘mate’ (yuk) and ’ferne-cola’ (yum!). We get ... read more
Mate! (eugh)
Bike Tour

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