2018

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Where in the World (were) We? Santiago

Here we are at last. Almost exactly a year later. And my 20th post on the most pristine trip of all: Patagonia. (The real accolades go to Walker for getting through editing and selecting, unsung hero of this wee blog!) We weren't in Santiago long, because we really used the city as a launch pad to see Valparaiso and the vineyards, but we were glad our travel agents didn't suggest longer there because it wasn't as designed for tourism as Buenos Aires. We stayed at the Singular, and we were very…

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Valparaiso and Vines

(STILL a year late. Catching up!) After arriving in Santiago from Punta Arenas, we were delivered to our hotel, The Singular, which was clean, beautiful and very well serviced. We loved it there in the nabe of Lastarria, and our first night, had dinner at the hotel. We woke early the next morning for a full day drive with guide Felipe. He was a bit of a character, and was mainly interested in showing us the graffiti.  Not our biggest interest, but the city's colors did pop and swirl around…

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A Panoply of Penguins in Patagonia

My friends, we are determined to wrap up sharing our trip to South America last year before this year ends: just a few more posts to share, but they are good ones! Case in point: this one is dedicated to the chubby lil penguin. Here's a preview to whet your appetite. We had one day to travel to Isla Magdalena on our Patagaonian trip, and departed in the morning from our hotel in Punta Arenas. Despite it being a 5 minute walk to the harbor, somehow our transfer bus took about 45 minutes to drive…

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A One Year Wave to Patagonia: Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales

I sit in the glow of an over-decorated and possibly kitschy tree, the light of a silicon candle bulb waving proudly in the window. It's the most wonderful time of the year, truly. We are just back from a cold-but-cozy trip to the UK that I'll be sharing very soon, stags and highland cows and all, but it's time to finally tie a bow on Patagonia.  Quick recap since it's been a year: we started in Argentina, traveled to Torres del Paine. Our guides from Awasi, magical hotel it was, drove us…

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Giddy Up Over the Mountains and Through the River

(Notice: one year late post! We've got a lot lined up right after this, though, so stay perked for them!) We unexpectedly became little horse riders during our time in Patagonia. On our last full day, Diego took us to Laguna Azul to start a final ride with our two pals, Guachita and Carmen. Their home was at Tercera Barranca, a stunningly situated ranch near Laguna Azul. This was our steepest ride, and also the most open. Honestly, I could barely take an iPhone photo with the bouncing, so was…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…