Year: 2019

20181126_211257-_D5A7256

Up Above Awasi Patagonia

After arriving home quite late from our evening hike to Mirador Condores, Walker and Diego, our guide, plotted an early morning sunrise spotting trip. I woke up groggy, and all I remember is that Diego took us off-road into an amazing lookout spot, our SUV mounting the landscape with ease, literally no one, even cattle, awake yet. We drove to the top of a bluff near the hotel, and the sunrise didn't disappoint. I viewed it from the pseudo-warmth of the car, literally chattering and shivering,…

20181126_194506-_Z7A3064

Patagonian Perfection in Torres del Paine

Here at last is the heart of Patagonia: One of the surprising benefits of staying at Awasi was actually the distance from the park, which tended to be hung with clouds that sat over it, as well as more crowded. From the short distance, we were able to hike in places like the Baguales, completely devoid of tourists, as well. But as our trip neared closer, we did make a few jaunts into the actual national park of Torres Del Paine, stopping at lookouts like Lago Nordenskjord to capture that thick…

20181126_125151-_Z7A2921

The Great Guanaco Experience

I'm fairly comfortable admitting I had never heard of a guanaco before we arrived in Patagonia. But we started to see them speckling the hills in Argentina, and then truly canvassing the landscape in Chile, and we got to know their fluffy, puppy-like version of a llama look quite quickly.  The afternoon of our puma sightings in Torres del Paine National Park, in Chile, we took a few more scenic walks, starting with the walk around Laguna Azul, just for the brilliant color and the view of…

20181126_070254-_D5A6988

Puma-rama!

When packing for our trip to Patagonia last November, Walker hemmed and hawed about bringing a longer lens, which is admittedly heavy, but also is best for capturing fauna.  Our first morning within the true confines of Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile made us all so glad he had, and even disputed with Aerolineas Argentinas to carry along. We left our lodge, Awasi, early and dark, and drove about an hour to where Diego, our fearless tracker of a guide, suspected Walker would find at…

20181125_152715-_D5A6849

Lago Sarmiento, Chile

What to write about something so beautiful the photos take my breath away and yet have only one clear memory of, as small as I look in this photo? Well, I will tell you that story anyway. It is more an image than a story. During our stay at Awasi Patagonia, outside the Torres del Paine National Park, one afternoon, after riding horses at Estancia Lazo, our guide Diego figured we had just enough time to squeeze in one short walk before dinner, around Lago Sarmiento. Take a lookie. The astounding…

20181125_130639-_Z7A2442

Estancia Lazo

For my whole life since I can remember, I've had a dream, and it looks like this: I'm in a field, and the grass is not not too high, and I'm on a horse, and we are galloping, with mountains surrounding us, across this plain. Not toward anything, just running. It is the speed that intrigues me. Until this trip. More on that later. This trip refers back to Patagonia, which we are working on sharing more of at last here. Our guide for about a week at the Awasi hotel, Diego, would recommend each…

20190226_171746-_Z7A6837

It's the Quiet Village (of Haarlem)

It sounded so idyllic, popping into a picturesque small Dutch town, to get away from the hustle of Amsterdam.  And, it was! (Caught ya!) When we had (non-)planned our stay in Amsterdam in February, we hoped for a bit of extra time outside the city. Luckily for us, we met a Dutch couple in Finland who gave us insider recommendations to visit either Haarlem or Bloemendaael an zee. So, with one final afternoon to spare in Amsterdam, we hopped squeezed in a cab hoping to make it to the closer…

20190225_175557-_Z7A6545

Spring Starts Early in Amsterdam

From the deep, arctic chill of meter-deep snow to the gentle, soothing canals of Amsterdam, our stop over on the way home could not have been more surprisingly balmy. We had planned for about half a week in Amsterdam after our time in Lapland, and upon arrival, stuffed our thick coats in our suitcases for the rest of the trip.  We came to Amsterdam almost as an afterthought, so had little intention or plan, other than to wander the streets, perhaps shop a bit, and maybe visit another small…

20190224_101641-_Z7A6158

Pretty Little Porvoo

We're in the home stretch here with photos from our trip to Finland last month, and I'm almost sad to stop writing about it, because I can almost feel the hospitality and warm welcome we got as I type. And the sour sea buckthorn berries sprinkled on our food. When I was planning a trip to Helsinki, seemingly everywhere I read about it mentioned a small town about an hour's drive that was worth visiting. It sounded picturesque, and I had imagined (falsely as established here) that Helsinki…

20190221_162210-_D5A7942

Lapping up Lapland (and the Northern Lights!)

Cheesy title--check! Now imagine a nordic wonderland. The snow is deep as your waist, powdery and dry. The flakes fall in symmetrical prisms, each with six distinct prongs, just as children draw snowflakes.  The pines are pulled up straight to the sky like lamp-poles, caps of snow draping off each one. A cabin is hidden in the woods, and as you approach, the doors open. The floors are warm, and the smell of soup is in the air. This was nearly our exact experience at Jávri Lodge, a small…