You HAVE! to grow a beared in Patagonia

Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
Trip End Dec 22, 2010

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Where I stayed
Yakush hostel

Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dry barren Land streaching out to the horizon, horses galloping over the hills and flamingos quenching their thirst in watering holes. This terrain, the pampas is so unique, but at the same time, familiar. I cant help but think back to my time in the military.

Suddenly my thoughts are filled with negative feelings. I see myself crawling on my elbows and knees advancing 200m through the scrub, feeling cold, wet, tired and hungry. There is a cardboard target at the top of the hill. I have to take it out with a grenade... my partner screaming at me "go go go!"

It makes me think about the human mind. The simple but complex way of de-humanising an individual; by shooting all day at a piece of cardboard, over and over again. Until the unnatural becomes natural. You don't think of this target as a person, just a goal, a mission, a task that needs to be complete. Is this process healthy?

Radiant sunlight twinkles off their glorious back and white bodies. Dolphins blessed with the same surreal colours as the Orca(killer) whales, playing amongst the ships wake. We were crossing the Magellan straight into Tierra Del Fuego(earth of fire). These waters were the main route of passage for ships moving to a from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, until the construction of the Panama canal in Central America.

A familiar face greats me at Yukush Hostel in Ushaia, Johannes. He quickly infroms me on the cheapest way to enjoy the National park and in cinco minutos, I have a plan. You can do all the research you want on the internet. But to get the best value for money whilst travelling. Turning up at a hostel and talking to others is by far the best way to gain accurte infromation.

With 1 apple, 1 avocado and some crackers from Johannes, I was up in the early hours of the morning hitch hicking towards the national park. I wanted to arrive before 8am to gain free entry into the park. The first bus to the park left Ushuaia at 9am and wasnt cheap. Decideding to hitch hike from 6 30 ish was by far, the cheapest option. The biggest advantage with this plan, was having the opportunity able to enjoy the park on my own.

Hiking through the bush, I came accross some funny birds with red heads. They started pecking the bark off the trees. Shit! I thought, those things are wood peckers. A massive smile emerged on my face, I couldnt wipe it off. I remebered a cartoon growing up as a child. "woody the woodpecker" haha, I cant belive Im actually seing a real one. This is really funny for me. as I had no idea they exsisted down here.

This park was pristine, the water clear, the mountains magnificant. For some reason, I felt really happy and couldnt figure out why... The rivers were pure, clean and frequent. It was a great feeling dipping my hands into the river, scooping up the cool water and drinking it from my palms. It felt so natural, so right. Who needs a water bottle.

Just as I was about to reach the top of a mountain, The weather turned. With only a jacket and no warm clothes. I had no choice, but to turn around...I looked at the muddy track back. It was depressing realising my faliure to accend to the top and then rewarded with a sloppy return through the mud, back to civilisation.

I met an Argentinan guy named Kim on the way down. He was wearing baggy jeans and skate shoes.... and still acending.. If hes climbing to the top wearing that, I have no excuses. I climbed to the top with him and the view was amazing.

Exploring the landscape around Ushuia one late afternoon, Andrew and Australian, Casper  I came accross some locals cooking lamb over a fire. I smelt soooo good. They asked us to sit with them to enjoy a beer. They taught us about the now extint civilisation that use to live here and how they survived in this harsh climate, until being erraticated by European settlers. They offered us food and also wine. It was great spending time with friendly locals, I need to do this more.

Johannes, Casper, billy an Australian and I tried fishing..... ephasis on tried... some of the best fishing in the world is down here in Patagonia. Dad would love it down here fishing in Rio Grande or Rio Geallegos. But we were fishing in a Harbour off the town of Ushuaia. They only thing caught that day was Sea weed.

My spanish isnt very good, I feel frustrated with myself at times. I know Im missing out on so much experiances because of this.

Johannes and I decided to head towards Porta Natalas, in preparation for a 7 Day hike through Torres Del Paine, in Chile.

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