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Patagonia Traveller’s blog: Fitzroy, Paine and Ushuaia

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Chalten sign and view to Fitzroy, Argentina

Larry and Gillian are coming to the end of their month of travelling with Andean Trails in Patagonia.

We put together a tour designed to take them off-the-beaten-track – read the first instalment in their blog – covering Santiago and Aysen and remote border crossings.

Once in Argentina, Gillian and Larry trekked to the base of Fitzroy and Cerro Torre, and took a day tour to Perito Moreno.

They then set off for Torres del Paine on a self-guided trek. Their tour has ended with a few days in Ushuaia and a flight out from Buenos Aires.

Check their progress below with a mix of WhatsApp messages and photos they’ve been sending us.

Spectacular!

 

Chalten sign and view to Fitzroy, Argentina

El Chalten and Fitzroy

 

Larry said: “Walk yesterday from El Pilar then to lake below Fitzroy was terrific. Weather perfect. Calafate today soon and another warm sunny day. Hasta luego 😎”

 

 

Blog pic of view of Torres del Paine, Chile

Torres del Paine, Chile

 

Larry said: “Greetings from Cuernos refugio. Showers are hot, staff seen very accommodating 😎👍”

“Great early morning walk to Torres towers yesterday. Lovely weather. Good planning by you to chileno, fun night there and easy ascent plus missed the crowds. Hordes going up by midday! Having chill morning and coffee in hotel soon until bus.”

 

 

A distillery sign in Puerto Natales, Chile

Gin! Cocktails!

 

Larry said: “Gin cocktails , whisky ready in about 6 years! Had a tour…couple of enterprising Aussies running it. Going well and looking for more space for bigger distilling. 300 bottles gin per year at mo. Just got entry in Lonely Planet Guide.

 

 

Ushuaia city view and mountains, Argentina

Ushuaia city view

 

Larry wrote: “In Ushuaia now. Coffee at General Ramos and pics of outside and by loos! Post haircut , shots of Monte Cervantes, interesting tale of sinking of Argentine cruise ship here in 40s. Pics from museo fin del Mundo.

“Hebridean sky just sailed in too from Antarctic. We have booked full day tomorrow going on boat in beagle channel to Harburton and back by bus . 👍😎”

 

Holiday review notes

Larry and Gillian added, in answer to our questions:

 

What has most surprised you?

The buildings and apart from indigenous people the short history of Patagonia a surprise.

No trains in Chile!

The remoteness and grandeur expected but size of ice cap in North amazing and a surprise.

Villa O Higgins quirky community, hard to know whether buildings someone’s house, shop or restaurant! Good walking around there..

Also the Carretara Austral drive, fascinating and loved the marble caves.

 

What is best day you have had?

Very hard to say… probably Terra Luna days are stand out though. Cool place, good food, lovely people, fab scenery. Good to meet Philippe.

Both days out with guide Nathaniel great, would say big brisk extra yompy hike to Lago Fiore (as he reckoned we were up for it), the zip wire a surprise but cool, jet boat amazing, good dinner beers after at TL so that day has edge.

Also Cerro Castillo hike, good IPA session with Nico guide after, luckily he shared my sense of humour ..4 pints…in funky little bar in CC after, great chat.

Also walking across border to Lago Desierto.. lovely weather and amazing view of Fitzroy before us.

The day before great too with boat to O’Higgins gGacier and meeting people who pitched up at Mancilla.

Towers was spectacular and worth doing despite other crowds.. definitely way round was good choice and liked Chileno and early start there meant we had a good quiet time there.

 

Is there anything you would have done differently?

Extra day Santiago and extra day Terra Luna..would have been nice to have chill day after full on days of activity just to explore Puerto Guadal and enjoy the accommodation.

Possibly bypass Punta Arenas but bus trip good tho probably not possible with itinerary. Maybe there is more to the place but that was impression.

Extra day in Ushuaia maybe.

Would have liked boat trip Natales to Puerto Montt if could be configured in itinerary but really enjoyed drive down Austral and routing .

Towers route was best way round..weather variable, happy not to be camping and carrying full kit!

 

Your highlights?

Leones Glacier and overnight trip as stated earlier.

Paine Towers.

Lago Desierto arrival as above.

Fabulous trip.

Found a jazz club in Palermo, good Quartet, good extra find.

Ps Thx Andean Trails.😎😃

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