“Chose your love and then, love your choice.”, Mendoza, April 29th, 2011

Quick decisions are sometimes the best. On Sunday, the 17th of April 2011 I sat in an internet café in Buenos Aires thinking where to go next and if it is already too late (fall kicking in) for Patogonia. For two weeks I had not found a cheap flight and then it pops up, not cheap but affordable, however in only 12 hours from now. Quick decision and at 7am Monday morning I take off from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, the most southern city in the world. I had planed my trip in a way to only have summer wherever I go but the fresh air of 4 degrees Celsius and the snow up in the mountains was a fantastic feeling after so many months of 30 degrees and above. Antartica hostel was a great place to arrive as it was warm, comfortable, informative and friendly. Hector, from Chile, checked into the same dorm room as me and we connected right away. Next day we went trekking together in the national park “Tierra del Fuego” and enjoyed a sunny day of fall with a variety of colors only nature can offer it.

We even took some political action to solve long lasting problems. See yourself, smile.

The knowledge of being as south as it gets makes you perceive everything different and special. The most southern supermarket I went to, the most southern bar I drank a coke at and the most southern Casino I lost 100€ in. The latter I did with Steve, an Irish, who I also met at the hostel together with his 2 friends he travels with. Throughout the next weeks I will meet them again and again.

As Hector had rented a car I took his offer and the two of us plus Matthew, an American, left at 8 in the morning for Punta Arenas in Chile. It was a great 9 hour drive through endless land, tough roads, meeting even tougher locals and crossing the street of Magellan, finally understanding what my history and geography teacher tried to tell me.

Hector took a flight back to Santiago as his 2 weeks vacation where over (aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, how must that feel, I can not remember anymore) while Matt and I stayed a strange and great hostel at the same time. It was a house owned by a young woman working most of her time on a ship. Therefore she more of less left the hostel to the guest so that we felt like owning a house for a night. Following a hostel hour around dinner time. On the back right side is the kitchen but you can tell this yourself, I am sure.

After a forced second night (it was easter and all busses anywhere where fully booked) here I went on to Puerto Natales, the base for all visitors to the famous Torres del Peine National Park. As the weather had turned bad (rainy) and as I am not into 4 days of trekking anyway (at least not without Gabor) I booked just a one day tour and that was a great decision. First, because it rained all day long and second I met two Swiss guys and a Chile family who where so much fun and we all really enjoyed the day.

Another great decision was to book another tour to Glacier Moreno in El Calafate, Argentina right for the next day. Again for two reasons, the weather was fantastic that Easter Sunday and I met Marianna, a 77 year old Australian woman. Boy, let me tell you, if women (and men) my age only had half her energy, half her humor and half her optimism the worlds problems could be considered solved. One thing she said was: “tonight I need to skype my daughter from my netbook and upload my latest pics. I have not photoshoped in a while.” How cool is that………….

We laughed so much but we also had such interesting conversations about so many topics. She teaches school children but since retirement she concentrates on children who can not go to school, for example those of circus employees or those who live too far away from towns in Austalia. Besides the title of this post she also told me another “poem” which she was given by her teacher 75 years ago and which she has taught to all her children herself since over 50 years:

“We shall pass though this would but once.

Any good therefore that I can do, any kindness I can show, let me do it now.

Let me not defer it nor neglect it, as I will not pass this way again.”

Its such people you met that make traveling so amazing and addictive. And of course the unbelievable things you see. Glacier Moreno was after the Gorillas and Rwanda and the Volcano in Kongo the third natural experience that took my breath away leaving me speechless. To see how this glacier calves into the river, the sound of ice breaking of, the waves it generates and the varies blues the sun light greats, simply impressive. By the way, this glacier is supposed the only one, the last one in the world that still growth or at least is not declining. When do we humans get our act together?????????????? (you do not hear what I say in this video but I only wanted so say that I do not know what to say anyway……)

When travelling in Patagonia or South Argentina you either must have lots of money (for flights) or you must like long bus trips. My longest one was yet to come, 28 hours from El Calafate to Bariloche. Here some impressions of it. The flat tire did not make the trip shorter but for some reason I enjoy these trips. I sleep relatively well and save the money for hostels, the movies shown are partly nice, if you connect with people its entertaining and if not there is still the most amazing nature to watch passing by outside.

In the Hostel in Bariloche I ran into my 3 Irish friends again and as it seemed to become another rainy day (in total I had 3 bad days out of 12 which I consider very good for fall in Patagonia) I decided to go with them to Mendoza, the city famous for its vine. We enjoyed a great evening (while the girls prepared the potatoes, salad and stuff, Steve took care of the meat and prepared the vanilla pudding for dessert) and Steve and I ended up in a Casino again. Don’t panic I have not become a junkie, I just leaned to love Poker and enjoy a game every once in a while. The next day I walked alone through town, enjoying my photo hobby, hoping you like the results.

From Mendoza I went back to Buenos Aires to spend another week with Danny and his family as well as to learn Spanish, go to a football game and to do all the other “must does” for tourists there. You will see………………………….

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  • Gabor says:

    Patagonia – what a great strip of land!

    Watching the pictures you can feel, smell and taste the nature –> especially the wind and the fresh air. Good that you are wearing a nice and warm hat …

  • Yvonne says:

    Hi Frank!

    Ich bin sprachlos über deine Bilder!!!! Ich wußte ja, dass du gut fotografieren kannst – aber was du jetzt für Fotos machst ist einfach grandios!!! Du solltest die unbedingt überlegen einen Fotoband auszubringen – ich hätte da schon das ein oder andere Lieblingsfoto (das ich mit auch an die Wand hängen würde :-) )! Ich freue mich riesig, dass du deinen Weg so gut machst und es dir deinen Berichten zu entnehmen “fantastisch” geht! Bitte mach weiter so – so kann ich auch ein kleines bißchen mit auf Weltreise gehen und dich in meinen Gedanken begleiten!!!
    LG aus Osnabrück…

    • frank4444 says:

      ganz lieben dank für deine worte, die mich sehr freuen und motivieren. absolut, die reise entspricht bzw übertrifft meine vorstellungen, die ich mir über viele jahre gemacht hatte. beim fotografieren merke ich zwei dinge, die zu guten bildern führen: zeit und das ich die kamera nur mitnehme oder raushole wenn ich es fühle. das ist auch eine wichtige selbsterkenntniss. viele grüße an alle in und um osnabrück.
      tschau frank

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