Argentina and Chile
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In February, 1995 I trekked around Patagonia in Argentina and Chile. The seclusion and beauty of Patagonia is unique in the world and perhaps one of the last unspoiled frontiers.

I went on the trek with Geographic Expeditions and saw three great sites: "Parque National Torres Del Paine" in Chile and then the Fitzroy area of Argentina with two major regions: the "Parque National Los Glacieres" and the "Perito Moreno Glacier" in Argentina.

After flying into Buenos Aires, I took a small plane to the tip of South America, Rio Gallegos. This is a small city of 100,000 people where you can rent cars or catch a bus back north. We left for Torres Del Paine region in Chile in a mini van. It was short boat ride across a lake where we set up camp for the night. Each tent had a timber wall surrounding it to protect us from the high winds. One of my best memories was the night sky so full of stars it was almost impossible to site the Southern Cross constellation.

The next several days were spent hiking the park. The granite spires aptly named the Towers de Paine were simply astounding. As was the sight of two condors soaring at least 500' above my head. They were black spots against the blue sky without the aid of binoculars. These huge birds soar on the winds until they see a small lamb alone in a field. With amazing speed they swoop down for a quick kill. The The Torres del Paine (Towers of the Blue Sky) are three towers with the tallest at 8,000'. They almost do not look real but they are!

Next I took a hike to Lago Grey and the Grey Glacier. I had lunch resting in a field of green grass on the edge of the lake. The afternoon entertainment was the calving of the glacier into the lake. It was quite a show!!

Next was a trip to Los Glaciares National Park and to see the mountains of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. We stayed at a nearby hostel and trekked into the park. After a short visit to the Fitzroy base camp, I left my group to see the mountain up close. It was an amazing granite spire to see up close. To think it is climbed was unbelievable.

Unfortunately the next day was rainy as is often the case in Patagonia so we missed the views of Cerro Torre.

The last leg of the two week trip was to Glacier Perito Moreno in the Los Glaciares National Park which was created in 1937 and covers 1.5 million acres. It holds 356 glaciers. In 1981, UNESCO declared it Humanity's Natural Patrimony, a World Heritage Site. The Perito Moreno is one of the largest glaciers with a terminal face almost 3 miles long and a height of over 200 feet above the level of the water. The park has a civilized area to watch the glacier calve into the water. Another great show!

While I only trekked on this trip it made me see that there were amazing sights throughout the world. I am sure it is "grown-up" today (2005) but I bet it is still an incredible place and well worth a visit.

I returned to Argentina in 2005 to climb Aconcagua, te highest mountain outside the Himalayas. Please follow the links at the top of the page for more information.

Fitz Roy
Fitz Roy

Guanaco on the Argentina pampas
Morano Glacier
Morano glacier in Argentina