Torres del Paine Part 3: Salto Grande, Lago Nordenskjöld, Chilean Patagonia

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine
April 13th 2007
Published: August 8th 2007
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With 3 days left in the park, I had some hard choices to make. Not hard choices like looking for a new job, breaking up with my girlfriend or buying a new car- after all I was on vacation! My choices were more along the lines of where I should hike to next, Lago Grey or Lago Nordenskjöld? I chose the latter. Salto Grande was impressive, but the short hike to the overlook puts one closer to the Cu... Read Full Entry

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11th July 2007

stephen, now it's my turn to see south america through the eyes of other hikers and cyclists. your evocative photos and words remind me of our fantastic hike in torres del paine. if anything, it is more magical in winter than in summer. thanks for the memories! chao, claire
12th July 2007

Nice blog
I must say your photos are wonderful. However, why do you constantly criticise "gringo travellers". Just because you can speak Spanish, you claim to be more authentic than anyone else travelling the globe. If you're such a hardcore traveller, why do you only take short "vacations"? Congratulations on having US$400 stolen from you - you just made the same mistake a "gringo traveller" makes... Your self-righteous attitude labels you an American no doubt... Enjoy your 10 day vacation. You might enjoy it more if you get off your high horse...
12th July 2007

I didn't think I CONSTANTLY criticize them do I? And for the record, I can speak Spanish but Im not fluent or consider myself an excellent speaker by any stretch. Also, I never once said I am a "hardcore traveller" nor would I want to be considered one! Furthermore I never claim anything in my posts, but maybe my next post will be titled "I am the only authentic traveller" just to piss you off. And I didn't make a gringo mistake by having my wallet stolen from my tent in the middle of the night, it was the thief who had a lapse of ethics. I take short vacations because I have a career where I work 50 hours a week. All my travelling is done on the side, in addition to working, saving and living in the real world. Im not a 23 year old student freshly out of school with time to burn and no roots to pull up. "self-right·eous adjective confident of one's own righteousness, esp. when smugly moralistic and intolerant of the opinions and behavior of others." Yes, I would say that is generally true as I am rarely tolerant of the behavior of people I find offensive to other cultures. And frankly, I dont know how I could enjoy my vacations anymore than I already do! The view is nice from the saddle.
12th July 2007

My Position from the High Horse
Travelblog is filled with people travelling the globe, true "Hardcore Travellers" coloring the visited countries map more red than 10 frogs in a blender. I am not one of them. Self righteous travellers see their way as the only way, whereas I see my style of travelling as only right for me. Strong opinions make for great reading. For me, authenticity in travelling comes from two things- Attempting to learn about the language/culture of the place you are visiting, and learning about the native flora and fauna as well. Im not the first to talk about the Gringo Trail and Gringo Travellers using the America's as a checkerboard to jump their way across two continents- it is quite a well documented phenomenon! I wouldn't expect anyone from Britain or its territories(self-rightousness par excellence) to understand what America is all about. Yes I am white, yes I am from California and yes I claim a stronger bond to Latin and South American countries than anyone in Australia, Germany or England. The Spanish Empire and its ensuing effects on cultures are still being felt today here in the America's. A 18th century Spanish Mission that turned Indians into slaves is 1 km away from my home as I write this, half of the community I live with speaks spanish, and I see America as one family with many branches- North America, Latin America and South America. You said I am an American, and it's true- But I am no more American than Mexicans, Columbians, Brazilians or Chileans. One America, divided. Most people would go to Spain and marvel at the architecture- I would be disgusted at the opulence built on the backs of millions of slaves and Spanish subjects. For this reason yes, I see myself as coming from a position slightly more authentic than most travellers not attempting to learn any Spanish and transiently travelling through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Ecuador. For me travelling in America, be it North or South, is something far more meaningful than a trip around the world. Utopia, Conquest, Subjugation, Extermination, Rebirth. These are the social scars common in every inch of American soil- from Alaska to Patagonia.
12th July 2007

looks like youve hit a nerve with someone... neanwhile i just thought the photos of poo were funny!! keep enjoying your travels xoxox

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