Our trip to Patagonia is over. After a 13 hour bumpy flight we arrived home yesterday from Buenos Aires. It’s been one hell of an incredible adventure and we’ve gained lots of inspiration for future travel blogs. For now we’ll do a quick WE12TRAVEL Patagonia alphabet about some first impressions:
W = for WALKING
We did quite a bit of walking (we prefer to call it hiking though) over the past three weeks. Some of the best trails were the one leading up to refugio Otto Meiling and in Huerquehue National Park. Those were the prime Patagonia hikes we’d say. The most dissapointing one was led us to Cochamó. Not because it was extremely muddy and slippery, but just because the weather was horrible and we didn’t see anything other than rain …
E = for EMPANADA
A typical South American pastry! We ate them in all sizes and all flavors. Our favorite pick for lunch or as a quick snack on the way. The best one we had was probably at a stall along the road nearby Pucon. We had a triple cheese and it was simply divine. Anto will try and master the empanada making over the upcoming weeks.
1 = for ONE LANGUAGE
Traveling to Patagonia requires some knowlegde of the Spanish language. We were amazed how little people knew English and glad that we got hang of the basics such as ordering in a restaurant, getting a cab and checking in at your hotel. Anto did a Spanish beginners course over the past months which really helped. In the beginning it was a bit difficult but later on she had whole conversations in Spanish with the locals and other tourists. Spanish is not only a beautiful language but (in our opinion) not too hard to understand. The time and effort we put into learning it will definetely be of use for future travels.
2 = for TWO COUNTRIES
Patagonia is the souternmost part of Chile and Argentina combined and actually covers about one third of the whole surface of both countries. As we’ve been told, the word Patagonia comes from Big Foot (or the Sasquatch as he is called in some countries), after the naked people with big feet that used to inhabit this part of the world. This is just one version of the stories we’ve heard, so please correct us if we’re wrong!
T = for TANGO
We are no tango fans but you can’t really escape it when you’re in Argentina, especially when you are in Buenos Aires. During our bike tour through the city we visited La Boca, which is the place where the tango was born. Here you can pose with tango dancers for pictures and even with the real Maradonna look-a-like (he asks 50 Pesos for a picture though, such a scam!).
R = ROADTRIP
We did most of our trip by rental car. Traveling by car is our favorite way of transportation since it gives you a lot of freedom. You can stop anywhere you want to for pictures and travel at your own pace. During this trip, we had a 4×2 pick Chevy pick up that enabled us to drive even the worst unpaved roads you can imagine, right into the bush… Patagonia is definetely a very good place for a roadtrip, we were glad we decided to get the car and spend a bit more money that way!
A = for AUTRALIS EXPEDITIONS
A dream come true for us was a cruise onboard Stella Australis, one of the ships of Australis Expedition Cruises. They do trips through the southern part of Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn. We visited immense glaciers such as Pia Glacier, got up close and personal with Magellan penguins, embarked at Cape Horn and followed Charles Darwin’s footsteps in Wulaia Bay. In one word: AMAZING!
V = for VOLCANOES
The volcanoes in Chile were one of the major reasons for us to pick the Lakes District as a travel destination. We’ve always been incredibly interested in them: how they were made, how they work and how they look. Even though the weather wasn’t as good as we hoped for, we still got to see all the major ones such as Osorno, Villarrica, Lanin and Puyehue, including the damages of its latest eruption. We even climbed one!
E = for ECONOMY
Can you imagine walking around with four different currencies in your wallet and using them all on the same day? It got quite confusing at times. Since the financial crisis hit Argentina, we thought it would be wise to bring plenty of US Dollars and Euros, which were accepted in most places, also in Chile. We also had both Argentinian and Chilean Pesos in addition for small amount payments. As opposed to other trips, we almost didn’t use our creditcards to avoid high charges. At least we already have a clear idea of what we spent instead of waiting for the creditcard bill. Oh and did you know that the Chilean bills have national parks on them? Really awesome!
L = for LAKES DISTRICT (or Los Lagos)
Although not officially the name of the whole region we covered, we generally say we’ve been to the Lakes Districts of Argentina and Chile. That’s for the insiders, to the outsiders we just call it Patagonia. We saw countless lakes, surrounded by mountains, volcanoes and ancient rainforests.
This post came instead of the weekly plog. Because basically, all the plog would contain is pictures of the above post. Instead of using poor iPhone pictures, we made a selection of our good photos. Don’t worry, next week the plog will be back. In the meanwhile, please go here for some previous inspiration about out trip and other things we’ve been up to in the past weeks!
For more about our Patagonian journeys, you may also enjoy reading the following posts:
– A journey to the end of the world!
– Park Post: all you want to know about Torres del Paine National Park
– A photo blog of our first week in Patagonia
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