Highs and Lows from Patagonia

I’m back home after spending two weeks in Patagonia over Christmas and New Year’s.

We had an amazing time.

I’m hoping to be able to share some of the highlights with you in this post, and will likely be sharing more with you over the upcoming weeks.

There’s still a lot to take in and process from the experience and so I’m working to let it all settle in!

Like any good adventure, there were many highs and lows on this trip.

Some of the highlights of this trip, in no particular order…

  • Sleeping straight for 12 (actually, it may have been closer to 13!) hours in Punta Arenas after about 24 hours of travel. I think the wood burning sauna before bed really helped😉…another highlight from the trip

  • Random stray dogs roaming the streets (I reallymissed Veda on this trip and they provided me with a bit of a dog fix)

  • People who spoke English (seriously, this became a highlight after a few frustrating and embarrassing situations)… I came back to the US with a resolve to (re) learn Spanish before my next international trip to a Spanish speaking country!
  • Two full weeks being totally unplugged from my iPhone… I didn’t even use my kindle on the trip. I did use the iPad to watch movies on the plane so wasn’t totally disconnected from technology😉. It was glorious!
  • Hiking… yes, lots of hiking! 80 miles in 7 days, plus a lot of time walking around exploring the cities we stayed in when we weren’t hiking. I probably walked or hiked 100 miles on this trip. Thankfully, I really like hiking and I definitely got my steps in!

  • Meeting people. We met so many new people on this trip over the course of our travels. Everyone was friendly and helpful which made the experience that much more enjoyable. I especially enjoyed picking up two women from the Czech Republic who were hitch hiking to the Perito Morino Glacier from El Calafate and spending the entire day with them! They were living in Santiago and vacationing in Patagonia over the holidays. Fortunately, their English was good and so we were able to enjoy our conversation with them😊.
  • The views. The mountains. The scenery. It was just spectacular. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I can’t capture it in words, or even pictures but will share a few of my favorite sites with you to give you an idea of what it was like.

  • Hot (or at least warm) showers each day during the second week when we were backpacking overnight in Torres del Paine and camping. I wasn’t expecting this since we were camping in tents, but we had access to showers at each of the campsites where we stayed. It was definitely one of the highlights of my day, especially after a long day of hiking.
  • At least 2 hot meals most days during our 5 day trek on the W (again, second week we were there). We paid to have our meals included and it was well worth the additional cost. Having a hot breakfast and dinner after a full day of hiking was quite lovely I must say. And, the packed lunch was pretty nice too! It might have been because I was so hungry after hiking so much, but all the food we had while we were there was great!
  • Lamb stew and empanadas. Enough said.
  • Spending two full weeks with my husband and a week with 10 other members of my family (my mom, sister, 2 brothers, aunt, uncle, 3 cousins and cousin-in-law). I really enjoy spending time with my husband and my family, which really made the trip quite special.

Ok, I think that’s enough of the highlights for now… some of the lower points from the trip…

  • Spending 24 hours in cars, airports, airplanes, buses to get to Punta Arenas and another !30 to get home! And this doesn’t include the 8 hours of travel the day before from the park to Punta Arenas.
  • THE WIND. I’ve never experienced wind like this before. On the last day, I actually got picked up off the ground with my heavy backpack and blown several yards before my cousin grabbed one of my backpack straps to break my fall. I feel like he might have saved my life… or at least kept me from hitting a tree or something else that would have been much more painful. Fortunately, I walked away with just tweaking a muscle (I think) in my leg which I’m still nursing.
  • Sleeping on a plane. Or, not sleeping on a plane. Not a big fan of sleeping on planes, but I will sleep in airports! This is probably one of the best naps I've had😊.

  • Being cold the first night of camping. I learned that showering before bed, sleeping with a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag, and wrapping your puffy jacket around your neck to keep the warm air in the sleeping bag are all good fixes for this😊.
  • The wind. Did I say this already😉? I think I may have a bit of PTSD as a result of the experience I mentioned above. (My husband estimated sustained gusts of 90-100 mph if that tells you anything!)
  • Climbing up a mountain with a heavy backpack on. Yes, I should have trained. I didn’t quite realize how much climbing there would be on this hike. While it wasn’t my favorite activity, the views at the top definitely made it worth the effort. Thankful for the days where we were able to drop our heavy backpacks with all our gear and just carry a day pack (at least for a few hours).

  • Being constipated. This maybe too much information, but I can’t really leave this one out. It took my body about a week to get acclimated… digestively speaking!

I could go on, but I think that’s enough for now.

I will end by saying that my awareness (summarized in this post) is that it seems like every great adventure includes highs and lows. The lows make the highs that much more enjoyable and special.

I’m embracing this as my new perspective on life.

Bring it on!

I hope you had a good holiday season too😊.

Here’s to many more adventures to come!

As always in ultimate support of you,

Katharine

PS Photo cred goes to my husband. I wouldn't have any pictures without him! 

Leave a Comment