Posts in Global
Torres del Paine W Trek: Day 3

I got up early this morning and left at 7 am, in hopes of meeting my friends at their campsite 7 kilometers away, so that I could hike with them the rest of the day. I was the first one to leave the refugio. Purchased breakfasT at the refugio isn't served until 7 am, and most people weren't attempting to go up the notoriously long and steep Valle de Frances pass (the middle part of the W), so this day for them was shorter.

This was the first and last time on the entire trek that I wouldn't see another person on the trail for more than 30 minutes. I thought I'd be nervous, but I really enjoyed the quiet and peace of walking alone, in the early morning's softer light. The wind was so strong that it was blowing water off the lakes, making it look like the water was evaporating. Despite the forceful wind, which I had to lean into in order to stay upright, all felt calm.  

 

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Torres del Paine W Trek: Day 2

Since I knew today was going to be a short one, I let myself have a late start. Gillian and I left around 10 am. Even though we were just retracing our steps from Day 1, the hike felt completely different. Going the other direction definitely results in new perspective and views! Even views of the same mountains looked different because of the weather; today, the bright sun and eerie mist at the top made the mountain's rough rocky edges look even more dramatic.

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Torres del Paine W Trek: Day 1

I had SUCH an amazing experience on my 5 day W trek in Torres del Paine National Park, arguably the most popular multi-day trek on the continent. Every day continued to surpass the previous, and I couldn't believe how beautiful and REAL my surroundings were. These kind of places usually exist in my dreams and imagination! I'll share some of my favorite pictures, but in my opinion, they don't nearly capture how surreal, breathtaking and engulfing every moment was. 

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Onwards to Puerto Natales, Chilé

I'll start this post with a funny story. As many of my friends and previous roommates know, I am a frequent sleep talker. I've had the humorous affliction since I was younger; and while I've grown out of sleep walking, I'm still apparently quite chatty in the wee hours of the night. So, I should have known why the guys at the front desk and my bunkmates greeted me this morning and asked, with those unmistakeable inside-joke chuckles, if I had a good night. Apparently, last night, in my four-person hostel dorm, which shares a wall with the front desk, I cheered "Goal!!!!!" in my sleep and started laughing. While I have zero recollection of this, I'm guessing I was watching an exciting futbol match in my dream and my team scored? I'm not an avid sports fan but I guess I am very deeply aware, even in my subconscious, of the fact that I'm in South America! Needless to say, for the rest of my trip, I should probably make it a practice of warning the other travelers in my hostel dorms of my habit!

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Entering Patagonia through El Calafate

As expected, I won't be able to blog about my journey every day, but I've been jotting my thoughts and experiences down in my journal to share later. Having left the urban metropolis of Buenos Aires, I now find myself with spotty Internet and phone connections, but luckily the surrounding landscape over here makes up for it! 

On the second day of my trip (Dec 7), I flew into El Calafate, which is in the Patagonia region. I didn't expect much of the airport, but the cleanliness, modernity, and spectacular view of Lago Argentina on landing was an awesome welcome into the town.

For some reason, I imagined El Calafate to be a small town, with maybe 10 blocks of buildings; yes, a silly and unfounded idea. While the downtown was maybe that size, the extended area was quite large, with locals' homes spread across a patch on the foothills of the surrounding mountains.

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Buenos Aires in 6 hours

Greetings from the Southern Hemisphere! After more than 20 hours of traveling, including a 2 hour flight delay, I have finally made it to Argentina. I arrived this morning at 1:30 pm feeling  ready to see as much of the city as I could before sunset. Luckily, the seat next to me from Houston to Buenos Aires was empty, so I actually slept a decent amount (sprawled across the row) on the 10 hour flight.  The Ezeiza International Airport here in Buenos Aires is new and modern, customs was a breeze, and the transfer to the Manuel Tienda Leon shuttle bus was easy.  The ride to my hostel was pretty hilarious; my lack of Spanish skills coupled with my driver´s lack of English skills fostered an awkward yet entertaining attempt at conversation. We exchanged a lot of hesitant nods and laughter. 

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Being impulsive!!!

I have very exciting news! I'm departing TODAY for a two week trip to Patagonia! Since returning from Bike & Build, I've spent most of my time applying to jobs, working part-time, and doing some craft projects here and there, so my unemployment period hasn't felt as adventurous and relaxing as I had hoped. After accepting a job that doesn't start until January, I decided I should really take advantage of the time, which to me, obviously meant traveling!

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