Photo Essay: Patagonia

Every time I sit down to write, I only think of one place. Since I visited the Patagonia region of Chile and Argentina, everything about me has changed: my demeanour, the way I think about the world and the way I evaluate everything and everyone in my life. While there are a handful of places that I have visited over the years that I could have easily called home, it is Patagonia, with its chaotic weather patterns, extreme mountains, rugged coastline and beautiful people, that has etched itself into my psyche.

Being from a relatively flat country (Australia), I am not accustomed to being surrounded by alpine mountain ranges and sheer snow-capped peaks but I quickly grew used to my surroundings and developed an appreciation for the natural beauty of the region.

After spending years of my life travelling, I have come up with a rule of thumb that is this: with beautiful places come beautiful people. I spent the month in Patagonia hiking some of the most scenic trails in the world of a day while sharing a campsite or a meal and a bottle of wine of an evening with some of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. These people not only added to the experience of finding myself in such an incredible place but enriched my life by doing nothing but being themselves.

The photos in this post are those that bring back the smells of the Patagonian forests or the ocean. They remind me of the people I shared this unique part of the world with and above all else, they remind me of why I travel. Patagonia is the most incredibly picturesque place I have visited on earth. Just being there evokes feelings and emotions that my everyday life in the western world does its best to suppress. I felt small and insignificant. I finally knew what it felt like to be humbled.

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Fierce winds whip up the surface of the lake as we sit close to each other to keep warm.
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Flowers.
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Cerro Fitzroy (I plan on making it closer to the summit next time I visit).
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Who doesn’t love penguins?!
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Perito Moreno glacier.
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The Towers of Paine – Torres del Paine National Park.
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Cerro Fitzroy covered in snow in summer.
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Time slowed down.
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As we drove south, the mountains and scenery grew more dramatic.
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Cerro Fitzroy.
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Patagonia is big sky country.
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The truck!
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We were pretty happy to catch our first glimpse of Cerro Fitzroy.
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Torres del Paine.
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Another angle of Perito Moreno glacier.
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Pretty excited to be on the open road!
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Viedma glacier – Argentina.
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A rare still moment in the windiest place on earth.

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Two of the people who made our time in Patagonia as special as it was.
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King penguins on the Beagle Channel.

 

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