90 Photos

Elusive Patagonia

Patagonia. How does one describe an area that is indescribable? It's a land of stark contrasts--jagged snow-capped mountains peaks, pristine lakes, and massive glaciers of mesmerizing beauty, but also a landscape of barren emptiness inhabited only by the incessant Patagonian wind. We called it ''Elusive Patagonia.'' After reading our journal and viewing our photos, what would you call it?

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Day 5: Paine Grande across Lago Nordernskjold
Author
George Sloan
Which Patagonia did we encounter, the hard mistress, or the enchantress? Well, some of both. Since most of our time was spent exploring the area's national parks, we saw the best of what …
Day 11: A sea lion among a colony of Imperial cormorants
Author
George Sloan
For our last day in Ushuaia and the final scheduled activity of our trip, we took a half-day boat ride on the Beagle Channel. Having read Darwin's ''The Voyage of the Beagle'' in …
Day 10: The southern end of the Pan American highway
Author
George Sloan
Today we toured Tierra del Fuego National Park with a canoe trip down the Rio Lapataia to Bahia Lapataia, and a 5-mile coastal hike -- the longest trail in the park -- ending at Ensenada Zaratiegui. …
Day 9: The port at Ushuaia
Author
George Sloan
Of course, the next morning was bright and clear as we waited for the bus to return to El Calafate for a flight to Ushuaia, our next stop. At least we had a chance to see the mountains in all their …
Day 9: Poincenot (left) and Fitz Roy (right) at dawn
Author
George Sloan
Our second chance for hiking to Laguna Los Tres was thwarted again by the weather. We didn't want to hike 15 miles to see more clouds and mist. So we hiked to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, a small …
Day 8: Start of our hike to Loma del Plieguey
Author
George Sloan
Our itinerary for today said we were supposed to hike to Laguna Los Tres, a glacial lake at the base of Cerro Fitz Roy, the highest peak in the area at 11,168 feet. But the weather report called for …
Day 5: Grey Glacier up close
Author
George Sloan
Today we visited another glacier, Perito Moreno, one of the world's few remaining advancing glaciers. The glacier is in Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park and is part of the Southern …
Day 2: Sunrise in El Calafate
Author
George Sloan
This was a travel day from Torres del Paine back to El Calafate.
The Horns and Paine Grande, Torres del Paine
Author
George Sloan
After two very active hiking days today was a rest day for us -- a return to the short hike to Salto Grande and a three hour boat ride on Lago Grey for a close-up look at Glaciar Grey. The weather …
Happy hiking couple in Torres del Paine
Author
George Sloan
Our hike today was a 13-mile round trip, 3,000 feet in elevation gain trek that would take us to the base of The Towers, the iconic symbol of Torres del Paine Park. It was, or should have been, the …
Day 3: The Towers in early morning light
Author
George Sloan
The early morning light blessed us with gorgeous views of The Towers -- Torre Norte and Central -- Cerro Nido de Condor, and Almirante Nieto, just above our Dome. Today was a full day of hiking. The …
Day 2: Mylodon Cave National Monument
Author
George Sloan
After spending the night at the Esplendor Hotel in El Calafate we took a public bus (a large, very comfortable tour bus) the following morning for a four hour ride to Puerto Natales, crossing into …
Day 1: Bird and wildlife sanctuary in El Calafate
Author
George Sloan
After staying overnight in Buenos Aires we flew to El Calafate the following morning. El Calafate, a city that seems to exist only to service the area's tourist industry, was the jumping off …
Day 1: Landing in El Calafate
Author
George Sloan
Certain areas of the world captivate our imaginations for a host of reasons, some of which are obvious and easy to articulate, and some of which are vague, ethereal reasons known only to our …

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