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Posts Tagged ‘Cold’

Patagonia is the region that encompasses roughly the bottom third of the countries of Argentina & Chile. It is an area of the world that has attracted travelers & bandits alike for centuries. Butch Cassidy, the Sun Dance Kid and Etta Place spent time here trying to escape the law and make an honest life for themselves, as is documented in Bruce Chatwin’s (a fellow traveler) timeless classic “In Patagonia”. Unfortunately for them, that didn’t last too long. What attracted us, along with countless others, to Patagonia is the regions beautiful scenery. From snow-capped mountain peaks & glistening lakes to the towering plateaus & vast expanses of wind-blown desolateness, Patagonia is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and unpopulated places on the Earth.

 Bariloche View

 

Thistle

Our first stop after leaving Susan, Dave, & Tiv in San Rafael was Bariloche, Argentina. Located on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi and home to countless chocolate shops, Bariloche definitely had the feel of a town in the Swiss Alps. We had only planned to stay two nights in Bariloche, so we figured what better way to spend our one full day there than taking a nice hike. A woman working at the hostel that we were staying at recommended an “easier” three hour hike that would take us up and over one of the surrounding mountains to a smaller lake that would be warm enough to swim in.

Notice how happy we are at the beginning of the hike!

Notice how happy we are at the beginning of the hike!

What she neglected to tell us was that the map the hostel gave us was horrible and that the “trail” had zero signs that could give us even the slightest idea where to go. After several hours of hiking we reached what we assumed was the end of the trail. We could see the lake, but had no idea how to get down to it outside of summer-salting down the mountain.

Bariloche Hike

After 6 hours of hiking and attempts at 4 different side trails proved fruitless, we finally decided to abandon our mission and get off the mountain.

This is Kevin - who turned out to be a girl, but we'd already named her - she followed us for 4 of the 6 hours!

This is Kevin – who turned out to be a girl, but we’d already named her – she followed us for 4 hours!

This is probably around the 5 hour & 45 minute mark, when we finally had to throw in the towel!

This is probably around the 5 hour, 45 minute mark, when we finally had to throw in the towel!

Unfortunately, for me there were two ways off: hike 8 km back down the way we came or take the suspended cable car. Despite my debilitating fear of heights, Lisa finally talked me into taking the cable car down and we lived to talk about it!

Cable Car Drama

Bariloche was great and we wish we could have spent a little more time there, but we already made plans to head south to a small mountain town called Esquel, Argentina with plans to camp at the Parque Nacional de los Alerces.  As we all know, sometimes the best of plans can get dashed out. In our case rain was the main culprit.  After 3 days of straight rain we decided that it just wasn’t in the cards for us to camp in Esquel.  At this point we had two options, head south again or end our time in Argentina.  In the end we decided that El Calafate, Argentina, in the Southern third of Patagonia, was going to be our next destination.

Sepia geese

 

life aquatic II

Like pretty much everywhere else in Patagonia, El Calafate proved to be a really beautiful city. With a population of around 100,000, it plays host to many thousands more during the high tourist season of January & February. During this time prices are very high for food and lodging. Despite our best shopping around, every restaurant ranged from kind of expensive to really expensive. Nevertheless, we had a great time in El Calafate after we changed hostels to one that was a little farther our of town, but had a great atmosphere, where we met a handful of fun travels along with a great staff!

Blue Skies

 

reflection

After a few days of hanging out around town, we were finally able to get on a tour to El Calafate’s main attraction, the Perito Moreno Glacier. One of the world’s fastest moving glaciers, creeping along at a little more than 2 meters a day & dumping 4 story building size pieces of ice into Lake Argentina all day long, Perito Moreno stretches some 35 plus kilometers back through the mountains and across the Chilean border.

Glacier Perito Moreno

Scenery - Puerto Moreno Tour

Black chested eagle

Our tour took the back roads to the National Park allowing us to see falcons & eagles at close range as well as stopping at a large estancia (ranch) that was home to horses, cows, goats, and a milk hungry cat.

Bull Skull

According to Lisa, my photo skills are improving – I took this shot!

frontier

Glacier Perito Moreno - Cobalt

Lisa even had a good time, despite that fact that she was freezing!

Lisa even had a good time, despite the fact that she was freezing!

We admittedly had some reservations about spending money to see a giant block of ice, but it was one of the most impressive things that we’ve seen so far on the trip. All in all, El Calafate was one of our favorite places so far on this trip, despite it’s Wisconsin like cool/cold weather.

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It was balanced when we put it up, but the kitties feel that the tree is their playground! See the little kitty in the corner?

I know we have been bad about blogging, but it wasn’t until my buddy Gillian sent me an email wondering how things have been that I knew it was time to drop a line.  Honestly, we’ve just been really, really busy!  I realize that’s no excuse for not staying on top of the blog, but that’s the problem with having a travel-oriented blog when we’re just saving right now. 😛 

Between work, Christmas shopping, planning for a trip to Raleigh and not to mention all the other normal parts of our daily routine – laundry, cooking, eating, sleeping, reading, crocheting – we’ve been busy & pretty exhausted as a result. 

Work, work, work: I have a huge project at work that needs to be done before we go out-of-town, so I’ve been working my butt off to make sure it gets done.  It’s not a very hard project, but it has me working in the vault, where there’s no insulation or heat, getting together contact information to send out invitations for a big event in February.  (If you’re new to this blog, then you should know that we live in Wisconsin & that we’ve been between 0 & 20 degrees F this past week – in other words it’s flippin’ cold back there!)  Then, there’s Corey with his 4, 10 hour days and his additional 8+ hour weekends tiling.  Friday was his 20th straight day of work!  I have no clue how he does it.  Luckily, that was his last tile job of the year & this week he only has to work Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.

It hasn’t all been boring work stuff.  Here are some fun decoration photos.  Please note our ridiculous cats in the tree! 

Norma Jean

 

Silverstein

I made these cute little crochet ornaments, but the cats have decided that those are there only for their amusement!

Crochet Ornaments

On to the shopping portion: Shopping for my parents was easy.  We’re all so happy to see each other that the gift aspect really isn’t that important.  Can’t tell you what they’re getting, cause the read the blog!  Corey’s parents are another story.  We ask them what they want & they either say nothing or I’ll get back to you & never do.  So we end up hounding them for weeks until they finally make a decision.  And, that still leaves his brother, Jared & his aunt and you can’t forget that we also need to get at least 1 thing for each other.  This year we decided to get each other more Christmas presents than last year.  Last year we still hadn’t saved a dime, so in an attempt to get the ball rolling we decided to get our passports in order as a gift to each other.  This time around we put a $60 (ish) cap on the amount we could purchase on each other.  It’s always fun to get a surprise from your love on Christmas!

What’s a travel blog without a bit of travel?   We’ll be leaving for Raleigh on Christmas day.  My dad inadvertently taught me one of the best holiday travel secrets.  If you want to beat the crowds and have a better chance of getting to your destination on time, then you should travel on fill-in-the-holiday day!  The first time we went to Raleigh we left mid-week right after Christmas, thinking we’d be fine.  Boy were we wrong.  Our first flight was delayed, making us miss our second flight & flying to another city in hopes of catching the last flight from Newark to Raleigh.  Our original plan was to be in North Carolina at 1 PM, but we didn’t get there until 3 AM.  We would have made it there faster if we drove!  That’s not to say that everyone who flies on Christmas day travels worry/hassle free, but it seems to be a more relaxed bit of people traveling & in general the flights seem to be on time.  Anyway, we’ll spend this Christmas Eve at the Waller’s in WI & Christmas Day with the Davis family in NC. 

We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!!!!

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