Superb. Everything I wanted it to be and more.
The most enjoyable trekking adventure I have had since Peru. By enjoyable I mean the least punishing physically, but still with great satisfaction.
9 individuals from around the globe came together for 16 days and blended into a single unit supporting each other. 3 Aussies, 2 Swiss, English, Sth African, German & Dutch, all with similar purpose.
What is Patagonia? A massive region of approximately 1 million square kilometres at the southern end of South America. Rolling plains and sweeping hills blending into snow capped mountains. I was constantly reminded of outback Australia as we travelled hundreds of kilometres in various buses in which the entertainment included playing boxes and SOS with my Swiss friend Romi.
Perito Moreno Glacier was my highlight. The Khumbu Glacier at Everest is a pile of rocks and mush. Perito Moreno is almost regal in its presence. Massive in scale yet majestic. To then walk over it was truly awesome.
The weather was not always kind but locals will tell you Patagonia has some of the most unpredictable weather patterns in the world. Weather forecasts are scoffed at.
Monte Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre completely blanketed one day, brilliant blue skies the next.
Not so lucky with Torres del Paine & the Horns in the Chile leg of our adventure which were visible but shrouded in mist and cloud. Amazing geological structures of granite amongst sandstone conglomerate leaving them standing as sentinels after millions of years of erosion.
The trekking was moderate with the exception of two climbs for the view of Cerro Torre and Torres del Paine. Both steep, rock strewn and horrendously windy. I have never trekked in anything so violent. The girls having to assume crouching positions and hold on so as to not be swept off their feet.
Freezing cold would be an adequate description.
However the views from the lookout summits were breathtaking. Jade coloured lagoons being fed by the endless shift of glaciers winding down from the stone massifs towering above. Coupled with soaring condors and the occasional sleet, Patagonia provided everything I had expected.
The towns of El Calafate and El Chalten were beautiful small multi-coloured villages. The meals from restaurants in these towns, Ushuaia and Buenos Aires itself were superb, and large. I delighted in accepting seconds from the girls in return for my deserts.
Guanaco’s and sheep populated the countryside as we bussed our way to Ushuaia “The End of the Earth” – another highlight for me. I had dreamt of visiting the gateway city to Antarctica for many years.
Penguin Island, The Beagle Channel Cruise, Tierra del Fuego National Park and the eerie La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires all further added to my adventure.
I could not have wished for more. Wonderful new friends and unforgettable memories will stay with me for ever.