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Chile, Patagonia

Tips for Trekking Torres del Paine with an “Indoorsy” Spouse

March 16, 2012

Scale Model of Torres del Paine: Making 50 kilometers of trekking trails look deceptively simple.

My traveling sweetheart is self-proclaimed as “Indoorsy,” more at home in coffee shops and brew pubs than in swaths of nylon draped over steel poles and staked to damp earth.

After successfully wooing him into a grand five day, four night tent-camping adventure in Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park, I had a tall order to fill in making the adventure worth the sacrifice.

Here are my best trekking tips for keeping his outdoor experience as comfortable as possible:
(Ha! Wink, wink. Ted, you are such a good sport!) Continue Reading…

Chile, Destinations, Landscape Architecture, Musings, Patagonia, South America

Trekking through the Ashes

March 12, 2012

“μ” Trek, Day 1: The western lands of Torres del Paine greeted us with smells of charred wood and scenes of black ash, remnants of a tourist’s mishap when burning waste at a campsite at Grey Glacier. To the south, we could see smoke rising in the distance. Our route was safely finished smoldering, but remote areas of the Park still suffered in flames.

Continue Reading…

Chile, Destinations, Patagonia, Travel Plans

Paying Respects to Torres del Paine: Planning A Visit After the Fire

March 8, 2012

We were dressed in high-tech mourning clothes, attending a funeral for the landscape, all but a few square inches of our bodies covered in black rain-proof, wind-proof, sun-proof zippers and Velcro, laces and glasses. The acrid smell of disaster burned our nostrils, a reminder of the recent tragedy that swept its fiery way across Chilean Patagonia…

We’re sharing our Torres del Paine tales this coming week, but first, a flashback to set the stage: Continue Reading…

Chile, Destinations, Featured Places, Patagonia, South America

Birthday Magic in Patagonia

March 7, 2012

La Casa Escondida: “The Hidden House.” With less than one day to spend in Punta Arenas, Chile between arriving by plane and departing by bus, we put our trust in a quick bit of internet research, made a booking, and hoped for the best.

It’s a tall order to ask to visit a region and get a feel for the people, the food, the architecture, the industries, history, and unique beauty of the place in one week, let alone a twenty-four hour whirlwind visit. It’s a taller order still to ask for a meaningful birthday celebration in the midst of transportation flights, connections, and transfers.

What a gift when outlandish travel hopes and wishes come true!

Our stay at this charming guest house nestled in the woods between the airport and the city perfectly kicked off our eleven day adventure in Patagonia. Continue Reading…