Going South -Patagonia


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South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine
August 10th 2016
Published: August 10th 2016
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Patagonia.
It all seems so far out.
We think right away of the end of the world, the middle of nowhere, well, it is certainly around the corner from there, that is for sure.
5:30 hrs drive sound okay to get somewhere more or less exotic but this one we did during the night, crossing borders in gravel and dirt roads, through the mountains and with a thick fog, and no map at all we might add - although we were very much prepared with our world wide tom-tom, this one didn't have anything but Europe on it as we found out starting our journey - someone at the shop forgot to mention we needed to download the rest of it. We wanted adventurous? We certainly got it.
Pure on instinct and gut feelings is that we got there. But when we did, we were speechless.
Waking up in the morning wasn't an easy thing, the peace and quiet was incredible. We know now why bears sleep so well during the winter, remember here is winter, cold and foggy.
Following the advise of the hotel we adventured again towards Lake Gray.
At first we thought Lake Gray was Gray as in Dorian, but getting there after the hour ride showed us why it's called like this.
By then the fog had cleared the peaks that stand elegantly by the lake, far away the glacier could be seen.
Nadine stopped to photograph a couple of woody woodpeckers that were carving a tree, tak, tak, tak, like hitting a morse code message. Undisturbed they continued as she stood there papa-razzing them.
After the wood work we headed towards the shore of the lake, clear blue sky, sun shining on the mountains but freezing cold, thank goodness there was no wind otherwise it would have been colder.
On the way back we crossed the hanging bridge again heading towards the car as we looked for a place to have a bite.
Too bad for us, the wonderful lodge at the edge of the lake was closed for us due to constructions, it is after all low season in here.
We imagined having a coffee with that view in the morning could be amazing.
Since our tummies were making funny noises we decided to head back to our inn. On the way we passes a couple of wild horses herds,
stopping to take another picture it ended in a little disaster as I lost the muts Nadine had given me, she sad, me sad, ears sad. Lamas and Condors followed on the scenery.
The fog had cleared on that side of the valley, before arriving to our place we were able to stop and admire another lake, with more breathtaking mountains across it, we had been lucky, but, not lucky enough as the Torres were not fog free yet.
According to the people at the lake house, our chances would be better a day later as we were heading back to El Calafate,then the 3 famous tops could be visible...fingers crossed.

One of the great beauties of this place is, together with its nature, the silence, its peace and quiet. ( not in the summer though, we heard it then becomes overcrowded ) but for us now, even if it is cold, it was a perfect place to rest and fully enjoy nature.
As we headed back to Argentina through the national park, we had little hope that we would be able to see one of the main attractions since the fog was playing part again, hills up and down heading towards the exit, after one of them suddenly the sun started to appear and after a couple of miles, as we came out of a curve a lama standing on a field got our attention and as we turned to the other side and focused on the whole we saw the valley in front of us with the 3 towers rising up the skies!
Nadine was going at it as if she was on Hollywood boulevard, the only noise was that of the camera shooting. We parked there and enjoyed every second of it. Once again, we had been lucky.
As we passed the exit a magnificent view of the whole area followed us for miles and miles on our right, we felt so blessed for being able to see this incredible beauty.
Amor, amor!!! wait, wait!! stop, stop!! a big, a big, stop, stop!!
Nadine scared the living lights out of me, screaming as she saw two eagles sitting on a wire, and back we went.
With a bit of an attitude the two of them sat there checking things out before the 3rd arrived, Nadine was getting too close for comfort if you ask me as she was trying to capture the moment, causing for one of them to spread her wings and fly away, what created another fantastic shot. The other two stayed there, turning their necks just as in the exorcist movie, 180 degrees, keeping an eye ( eagle-eye) on Nadine and the surroundings, just before the memory got full we continued our journey towards the border.
We couldn't avoid feeling heroic for driving these roads at night, with fog and no navigation system and were grateful to our guardian angel for bringing us safe from destination to destination.
Now we were calculating if we had enough gas to get all the way to Calafate, avoiding pushing our luck, we stopped after crossing the border by the intersection that could also bring you half way to Calafate, we didn't take that one for everyone had warned us of its state and continues to La Esperanza and then to our final destination.
The little house on the prairie kind of a place is what we had in mind when booking our little cabaƱa. Nothing, nothing, turned out to be that way.
Asking how to get there turned out to be more difficult than expected since the streets had no name and nobody had a clue as were it was, even google maps was a bit off mark.
Imagine the worst neighborhood you have ever been to, multiply it by 3 and add a bit of scary music, that's where we were, and still no signs of the " cute little cabin" as advertised on Airbnb, finally i got out to ask at a butcher that looked more like disposing gang members bodies than your regular pork chop or ribs kinda place,it was here ...that by the grace of Mary that someone knew where the John Paul the 2nd street was, it felt like a miracle.
Cute was the cabin alright and our host was really nice and flexible, that nevertheless, didn't quite helped getting rid of the feeling of being in east L.A. in the middle of a bad movie.
Dogs barking the whole time, cars passing by, pitch dark, people yelling, more dog barking, our imagination playing on us, recalling those B movies with gang members and, we still needed to go to the supermarket. ( where is the emoticon with the big opened eyes when you need it?)
Suddenly our mind set changed a bit, we realized it was simply one of the last frontiers of the world, kind of up north in Alaska, then the " hood" idea became more relaxed, wished the barking dogs felt the same way.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is the main highlight in here, so early in the morning we made way to it.
As we were in the national park and stopped at a " mirador" to look at the glacier from far away, in here Nadine's two feathered friends ( or relatives ) were also present which it allowed her to have another photo session, little fellows with huge claws jumping around like roosters through the parking place, getting even closer to people's cars to get some food, which unfortunately due to their moronic ignorance or naive heart do give them food.
Keep the wild, wild! They should advertise all over national parks.
After observing the domestication of the feared eagles we got to the Perito Moreno.
Massive, impressive, huge ice walls reaching up to 70 mtrs high, 8 kms wide and kms deep. Featuring different shades of blue and white, facing the mountain where all the paths are ( kms of them ) which allow you to admire it from different heights and angles. The air feels like being inside of a walk-in freezer as the winds mix with the ice and waters of the lake. Since i had lost my muts i had gotten a new one, in which i looked a bit silly, better silly than frozen van Gogh ears, don't you think?
Big moment is when you hear the ice cracking as if there was a small earthquake ( or ice-quake) and then a big splash follows when one piece of the wall breaks... it is impressive just to imagine the size of that chunk, you wish you had some Whiskey to go with it. 😊
After walking all the possible routes in front of the glacier we took off to the cafeteria. There the cutest thing ever was waiting for us, a little fox. Super cute face and a fluffy tail, the moronic wild feeding humans were also here and little fox was using her charms to get a full tummy.
It took a lot of effort for us not to fall into the same mistake of spoiling the little wilderness this cute foxy lady still had in her, our hearts wanted desperately to feed her with our butter covered buns ( that sounds bad, doesn't it??) but our heads won and we didn't.
The cafeteria had the most amazing view of the glacier and we took advantage of it to have a tea with a view.
Time to head back to Calafate and get ready to go back to Buenos Aires, the city that apparently didn't want us to leave.
At night 120 kms/ hr winds rocked and cracked the little cute cabins tall winds, we felt like one of the 3 little pigs with the wolf outside blowing, wondered if the roof was going to take off before we did.....
The Perito Moreno glacier is considered the eighth wonder of the world because of the spectacular view it offers.
A halo of infinite peace on the wilderness, makes it very attractive for those who want to enjoy the fresh air and the sound of silence. Sound that disrupts only the movement of the glacier, which constantly gives the lake Argentino huge blocks of ice. These when detach from the socket ablation, fall into the Icebergs Channel producing a deep, shuddering noise.
At El Calafate in the winter temperatures can get pretty cold and in the summer winds up to 120-150 kms/ hr are reached, together with some 20 degrees, wondered how it is in Ushuaia.






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22nd August 2016

Brave!
I think the whole trip the Espiritu Santo of John Paul the 2nd was guiding you guys! How brave you both are! Wow!!!
8th September 2016

JPII
Hola! Yes he did! Also a few of our guardian angels were doing over time. :)

Tot: 3.005s; Tpl: 0.021s; cc: 12; qc: 48; dbt: 0.0241s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 2; ; mem: 1.4mb