The southern part of Chile and Argentina – Patagonia, is one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited. The high Andes mountains are snow capped even now in the middle of summer and lupines cover the hills and fields that are dotted with sheep and horses. For anyone who loves the rugged outdoors, or you just love amazing scenery, visiting Patagonia is a must.
We stopped at a little farm near Futalefu in Chile for 2 nights. It was rainy and cold, but we kept the fires going for hot showers and a sauna. Luke caught 2 trout in the river which we had for lunch.
Christmas Eve was spent in Queulat National Park, and although it was raining again we still hiked up to a viewpoint of a glacier. Although we couldn’t really see the glacier it was a beautiful hike up through the forest.
We got up early Christmas morning, but instead of unwrapping presents we hopped on the truck and drove to Coyhaique where we dried out in the sun and started preparations for our Christmas feast. Chickens roasted on a spit over the fire, mulled wine and secret santa made for a slightly unorthodox but thoroughly enjoyable day.
Back in Argentina we arrived in El Chalten, to an absolutely breathtaking view of Mt Fitzroy. There is only a small town here, a base for people who want to explore the mountains and glaciers. Luke and I walked out to a glacial lake at the base of Mt Fitzroy, about an 8 hour return journey through beautiful valleys.
There is also an amazing waffle restaurant which was right beside our hostel, and we treated ourselves with a pork and apple waffle after our days hike. I know it sounds strange, but it was so good.
Our next stop was El Calafate where we visited the Perito Moreno Glacier. We stood watching the glacier for about an hour, hoping that in the sunshine a piece would break off, and much to our delight a huge piece of ice calved into the lake.
On New Years Eve we drove into Torres del Paine National Park, back in Chile, a definite highlight of Patagonia and a must visit if you are coming to this area. Luke decided to do the 3 day “W” trek here with 3 others from our truck. I opted for doing day hikes to avoid carrying a big pack. We dropped them off at around 6pm and carried on to a farm just outside the park where we camped. New Years came in pretty quiet this year, I stayed up until midnight but was in bed at 12:01 for an early start and a 10 hour hike the next day.
Luke really enjoyed the trek, and we both saw some amazing scenery while in the park. I also stayed back at the farm one of our days there to go horse riding. It was an absolutely stunning place to spend a few days, and is a place that we would easily come back to.
We are now in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, gateway to Antarctica. The wind is strong and cold here, and although it is the middle of summer we are wearing our down jackets. It is amazing to think that 6 months ago we were at the top of North America and now we are at the bottom of South America!