We are back online! There has been a lack of posts recently due to an unfortunate event in Trelew where we had a s***tonne of our belongings stolen from us. We were both completely unharmed, only the truck had war wounds to be cared for, which we did immediately! Then moved on from the city and back into the peaceful tranquillity we had become accustomed to.
The nights leading up to Trelew had been wonderful, we had met a great pair of Argentinians from Buenos Aires who had put their shoes on and set off on their adventure, to travel and find new experiences. We had spent a night around the fire with them, drinking wine and mate (a South American specialty) and Phil finished the evening off with half a bottle of Limoncello, I don't think either of us would be able to explain how he came to such a decision but he certainly came to regret it shortly after.....The following day was, let's call it a 'day of rest'.
Let's skip passed Trelew because, you know......
We were welcomed into a wonderful seaweed farm in Bahia Bustamante, by the kind owner, Matias. After spending the night there, we were offered the opportunity to explore the beautiful coastline surrounding the farm and words cannot explain how beautiful it was. It reminded us that our journey had barely begun and we had so much more to explore and enjoy, none of our belongings were as important as the experience we are privileged enough to on. The next stop was the petrified forest, an amazing scenery of tree remains turned to stone through 'petrification'.
Our camp spot for that night was just amazing, inside a huge canyon filled with salt flats, we were accompanied only by three rock climbers and some flamingos. It was an easy enough spot to get to in the truck, sneaking round any salty soft bits of ground, however all of that changed when an almighty storm hit during the evening. Hail stones the size of small cats were falling from the sky, threatening to smash through our tiny camper! We were instantly and acutely aware that the exit of this canyon was going to be nothing like the entrance.
Morning came, and this canyon really was an incredible place to wake up! After some breakfast on the edge of a huge rock, we packed up and began our exit, for which Phil was nominated driver. Lucky boy. Here is where the car had her first experience in low traction, a gear designed specifically for when you are unsure of whether or not you are going to EVER make it out of a situation.
Here's how it all went..We started out, everything was fine, we had a little joke about how if we got stuck we would have two choices;
1) get down and dirty, knee deep in the gunk to build some ramps for the wheels in the hope she could find some grip to get moving again.
2) Wait for the sun to come out and dry up the mud, we had plenty of food for a few days so it was a strong plan in my opinion!
Praise the lord! Neither of these options were needed, as Phils mud rally skills ramped up and we drove out....diagonally.....tail end first......in complete shocked silence.
El Chalten was our next destination, to visit Mt. Fitzroy. This was quite a touristy little town, full of all the things we humans love, wine, beer, burgers, coffees, Ice creams, waffles, it was a dream town of goodies! Of course we didn't hold our selves together and resist for the sake of the budget...we had two burger dinners, a dulche de leche smothered crepe, coffees and a rather strange oreo/cream/sugar concoction. We spent a day enjoying some of the smaller hikes around, before the big one, when we would wake up at 3am and hike in the dark, in order to catch a glimpse of Mt. Fitzroy, shining in the orange spotlight of the 6.30am sunrise.
On our way out of El Chalten, we encountered a lovely little area next to a waterfall and decided to get out and explore beyond the beaten track. We climbed up and over some huge boulders and we were delighted with what we found on the other side. An area where the locals could enjoy their beautiful surroundings without being disturbed by the annoying tourists (of course, we don't fall into that category). We found an amazing little series of rock pools which were just too enticing to resist! After a quick dash back to the truck for our towels and swimwear, we were in the water! and moments later we got the hell out of there! The water was freshly melted from a huge glacier on the mountain above us and it was beyond our imaginations limit of how cold water can be before it is ice. Ouch!
We pressed on to our next destination, Ushuia and Tierra del Fuego national park. Our first hike was an 18 mile coastal walk, with wonderfully easy terrain and so many different sites to see along the way, it was a very relaxing day. The wind here is unbelievable, which pushes the weather along so rapidly that we were in miserable, cold rain one moment and within 5 minutes we were stripping off our layers in the heat of the spring sunshine.
In the middle of the walk is a visitor centre and café where we stopped for a hot drink, to eat our sandwiches and rest our feet for a moment. Here, there is a small peaceful room full of information regarding the indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego, the Yaghan people. We loved the information regarding these people and their way of life and I'll leave you with the first words you see as you enter this area;
You are at the 'end of the world'. Mountains, sea and woods together form the landscape, wherein are stories that are told in shapes, colours and movement, even in feelings and absences.
To understand them it will be necessary for you to become and observer, attentive to all that surrounds you, big or small, near or far, alive or not,
because everything is intimately related. That is where you will find the answers to your questions.
The Yaghan people had a word for this way of looking at their world: Maia-Ku.
When that spirit of enquiry (Maia-Ku) germinates within you, you will feel more than 'at the end of the world', rather at the threshold of a new world ready to reveal its secrets.'