“The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see.” (Albert Einstein)
If Buenos Aires was the city that stole our hearts, Patagonia and the Lake District were the landscapes that stole out heart. We didn’t even scratch the surface (so much more we want to go back to see), but the beauty of the places we did see just blew us away.
The beauty at the end of the world
So first off, Ushuaia wasn’t quite the end of the world. Close to it. They call themselves the city at the end of the world; something of a technicality as there are other places further south (in Chile) but they’re not classed as cities. Either way, we’ll take it – we went to the end of the world. And what a place it was.
From seeing all seasons in the space of a few days (the winter feeling was a big shock to the system, with us scrambling around winter sports stores for warmer clothes!), to the backdrop of the snow-capped mountains against the Beagle Channel, the days spent trekking the Tierra del Fuego National Park and Laguna Esmerelda and the boat trip to the lighthouse at the end of the world; we loved every minute (at one point even bringing a tear to Carl’s eyes, being so grateful that we were getting to experience this).
If you’re willing to travel a bit further down, it’s a place we would recommend to anyone.
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)
Memoirs of a glacier
The main draw of El Calafate for us was the Perito Moreno glacier. It’s one of the bigger bucketlist items on our itinerary.
How this place made us feel is difficult to comprehend from pictures alone.
- Only after seeing it from the viewing platforms for an hour, hiking up to it for another hour, trekking on it for 3.5 hours and then hiking back down it could we truly appreciate how majestic it is (although after all that we think we were appreciating the coffee and sit down a bit more).
- Only after hearing the guide’s explanation of how the glacier forms, lives and ultimately dies (receding at an alarming rate) could we appreciated how fragile it is. As well as how critical its gradual demise is to our lives (being the 3rd largest fresh water supply on earth).
- Only after getting home and noticing Carl’s face red with the glow of severe sunburn could we appreciate how harsh the environment around the glacier is (also a good reminder not to be a numpty and forget to apply sun lotion!).
All in all, a mesmerizing and eye opening day. One of the best activities we’ve done, and again truly grateful to have been able to experience it (thanks to those who paid for it as part of our wedding fund!)
(Click on pictures to enlarge)
The most beautiful place in Argentina?
We’re not sure we can claim that given that we’re not yet done exploring the country (and likely never will be). But for us, after our experiences in Ushuaia and El Calafate, Bariloche was the cherry on top of an already pretty incredible cake.
From landing in the plane with birdseye views of the lakes, to reaching downtown Bariloche surrounded by views of mountains set against a crystal blue lake, to climbing the various viewpoints and cycling the 25k loop around the lakes; we spent five days agog from breathtaking view after breathtaking view. To top it off, we got to see this every day from the top floor balcony of our hostel (Penthouse 1004), thanks to a recommendation from Kim!
Bariloche had something extra special though. The people we spent the five days with there. An Argentinian from Spain (Sebastian) who we met up with for a couple of days and did some walks with. The hostel owners and workers, who made us feel so at home from start to finish. Above all, our fellow travelers, who were our surrogate family over Christmas; spending our time eating, drinking, sharing stories and laughing more than we have in any other place on the trip. For the first time, we felt like backpackers; part of a pretty special community of people living the same dream on slightly different paths.
Made us realize, all the beauty of nature is great. But it’s the beauty of sharing it with amazing people that makes it greater.
Like we say, Bariloche was the cherry on the cake. The remaining thirteen countries have some big boots to fill.
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)
Speaking of sharing – more daily pictures van be found on our instagram page: 2minionsontour
Till the next blog.
- Countries visited: 3
- Cities visited: 15
- Distance travelled: 20.181 km
- Modes of transport:
- Plane (7),
- Night-bus (3),
- Day bus (9),
- Boat (2)