In Patagonia

The last two and a half weeks (I had to count it twice before I believed it hadn't been longer) have been a blur of hiking, long bus rides and rapidly changing weather, scenery and plans. Since the Navimag ferry dropped me off at 3am in remote Central Chilean Patagonia-the kind of place where even the main highway is unpaved and despite being in the southern hemisphere I still got a bit of pre-Christmas snow, I`ve been working my way south, bouncing in and out of Argentina (where the highway is still unpaved, but at least not mountainous).

It`s not always easy going-I`ve been snowed on, marooned in dead-end truck stop backwaters and just found out Torres del Paine--the world-famous national park that planted the idea of travelling in Chile in my heart over 10 years ago--is closed for the rest of January due to wildfire. And to be honest, that`s half the fun-although sometimes it takes a couple hours worth of perspective to remember that.
But even before those few hours of perspective kick in, the beauty of the landscape usually takes care of it. Everywhere I`ve been I could happily have spent longer in (LOA?).

IMGP7963.JPG(Glaciar Perito Moreno near El Calafate-huge tourist trap, but you can see why)

Over the last few weeks I`ve started planning less and less with results and more with processes-as in, I started this trip with a careful list of where I would be nearly every night (which I had to abandon less than 48 hours in), and now I have more of a mental flow chart of possible next moves from the possible locations I could end up in. For example, my current plan (hastily compiled this morning in light of the Torres del Paine news) is something of the following.

Tomorrow-bus to Punta Arenas (I actually have a bus ticket in advance! weird!)
If <bus to Ushuaia monday> go to Ushuaia on monday
   -->hiking on Tierra del Fuego
If <bus to Ushuaia available but not until tuesday/wednesday>
   If ferry running, visit penguins in Punta Arenas
   If bus running, visit Natl. Park near Punta Arenas
Else
   If possible to go to Isla Navarino before Tuesday and return before Sunday
   If weather on Isla Navarino is good
       -->Lago Windhond hiking (several days trip)
       Else day hiking
   Else return to puerto montt or bariloche

The best part is, none of those are bad options :). Have another picture.
IMGP7826.JPG(Sunrise at the foot of Mt. Fitz Roy)

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Posted in: Class of 2013