Serendipity touched my sendoff to Patagonia. Weary from four hours sleep, I settled into a soft couch in the Santiago Sheraton lobby to await the airport transfer and talked quietly to two folks waiting for their Atamasco Desert adventure. “Patagonia is one of my favorite places in the world,” Tim Cahill said, and proceeded to describe the flocks of rheas browsing, the weirdly spiraled mountains, the plains that go on forever. Over coffee, we discussed the joys of travel.
And now I am here, after a good night’s rest in Puerto Natales. It is a backpacker’s town, a jumping off point to the mountains and glaciers that ring us. Yesterday I saw penguins, a seal, and a massive sea lion defending its turf. I saw rheas grazing next to cows, and ghostly cypress swamps amid the endless soft yellow and lilac plains. Flamingos stood in salt marshes.
I’m a little queasy, perhaps from food or drink, but managed to handle the bouncy five hours or so in our little bus yesterday. Three hours up a gravel road for us to reach camp tonight, where I’ll be off the grid until Friday. Here are some photos from last night and this morning in Puerto Natales.