Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trekking in Patagonia slide video

Trekking in Patagonia

Between Febuary 5th-27th, 2011 I made a trip to Patagonia in Southern Argentina and Chile to do some trekking in the Patagonia Andes. After many trips and treks in the Himalayas in India and Nepal, this was my first time to visit Patagonia. I went with two Brasillian Dhamma students, Joao Rafael and Fabiana Gomes.
We flew from Sao Paulo via Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego which is the southermost  town of any consequence in the World. Ushuaia sits on the Beagle Channel that connects the Alantic and Pacific Oceans. This is the channel that Charles Darwin sailed through in his ship, The Beagle, when collecting information later used in his Opus, The Origination of the Species etc. On our first day in Ushuaia we took a three hour boat excursion out into the Beagle Channel to view some sea lion and comorant colonies.The nearest penguin colonies were a seven hour boat ride away. Being short on time we decided to take a pass on the penguins. It was a way to practice non attachment also.
The next day we went into the Tierra del Fuego National Park to camp and made two day hikes.The weather is fairly cold,windy and rainy way down in Southern Patagonia. The daytime temperatures were between 5-15 degrees centigrade, even in summer. We were told, however, that while we were there the weather was fairly mild in comparison.
  From Ushuaia we flew north to El Calafate to visit the famous Perito Moreno glacier and make a three day trek with camping to Mt. Fitzroy and Laguna Torre in the Los Glaciers National Park. The weather was fabulous during the trek to Mt. Fitzroy, sunny and warm. However, on our second trek in the Torres Del Paine National Park further south, it was the opposite. It rained on us the whole night through whiled we were camped at Campamento Torres. We did not even get to see the goal of the hike, the three towering monoliths of Torres del Paine because of the low and thick cloud cover. To make it worse, just after we had trekked back to the roadhead and boarded our bus back to Puerto Natales, the weathed quickly cleared up, providing those who were just on their way up, fine views. Being Buddhist meditators we had to practice letting go, gratitude and lovingkindness.

   A highlight of the Patagonia journey was a four day cruise from Puerto Natales northwards through the Fijords of coastal Chile to Puerto Montt. This gave us a rest from hiking ,camping and travelling in cramped vehicles. However, this ship was a cargo Ferry and carried as its main cargo many tractor trailers filled with cattle being ferried north to the markets. The cattle were cramped like sardines with hardly room to move for four full days and nights. The only thing we could do was practise Metta (lovingkindness) meditation towards them.
As we cruised northwards a few hundred kilometers the weather became noticeably warmer.
 Following that cruise we travelled north of Puerto Montt to make an interesting three day trek to Banos de Caulle in a region of volcanos, fumoroles and hot springs. We finished our Patagonian adventure with a three day trek to Refugio Frey and Refugio Jacob-Martin in the Nahuel Haupi National Park in the Lakes district of Chile/Argentina. We then flew from Bariloche, Argentina back to Sao Paulo.

Because of the time limits on Youtube this slide video presentation is in two parts.  The first part covers the beginning of our trip in Ushuaia to the end of our treks to Mt. Fitzroy and Torres del Paine. The second part covers our four day Navimag Ferry excursion from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt and the two last treks. 

Trekking in Patagonia part 1

Trekking in Patagonia part 2