We’re now on our way to Trevelin, Argentina to begin our WWOOFing gig. There’s no internet at the farm, so you won’t be hearing from us much during the next two weeks. (Sad, I know.) But to hold you over on this New York to Nomad diet are some shots from our day-long hike we did on Friday through Los Alerces National Park near Esquel, Argentina.
It’s named after the famous tree — the alerce — that can live up to 3,000 years. You can see some of the oldest trees the park has to offer — 2,600-year-old beasts — but the only way is via a boat ride that costs an arm and a leg ($42…pricey for a backpacker!). So we did the next best thing and hiked for a good 6 hours. (We saw 300-year-old trees that were, sadly, less impressive.)
Was it worth it?
There was one river that was the most beautiful river we’ve ever seen in our lives. The park is so off the backpacker trail that we found only locals there. And one of the lakes facing a glacier was at just the right temperature to give us a cool down but not freeze our butts off.
But the horseflies. Those damn horseflies. Never have we experienced such a multiude of them on a hike. They’d circle our heads over and over until they found a nice landing spot to dig their pointy stingers into us. We quickly took note from other hikers and found stray leafy branches to use as makeshift swatters at all times. (We used them like nunchuks.) Often, we were so busy swatting them away that we couldn’t enjoy much of the hike. I’m really not exaggerating. I was pretty miserable for most of the hike. Theose dang flies made me wish I never came.
And I hate to admit it, but I’m starting to become a tad desensitized to the Patagonian landscape. At nearly 1.5 months in the region, we’ve hiked so much that all the mountains, lakes and rivers are starting to look the same. I’m terrible. I know! But I think it’s time for a change of scenery. That’s why I’m SO excited to head to Afro/Caribbean/Spanish-influenced Colombia after farming!
Speaking of, Eaman has decided to join me in Colombia! There were a few reasons. First of all, the excitement on people’s faces when I told them I was going to Colombia was infectious. Of all the places we told them were on our itinerary, the one that got people really talking was Colombia. After a while, Eaman started to realize that maybe he should’ve reconsidered the country that, at first, he didn’t have much of a desire to explore.
Plus, while I’d be in Colombia, he was thinking of going to Pucon, Chile in Patagonia and Mendoza, which of course would’ve been a blast, but as I said, the excitement of the Andean landscape is beginning to wear thin on both of us, and, learning from our too-long stay in Buenos Aires, he figured it was better to leave on a high note. The idea of going somewhere new with a totally different culture was enticing. As far as Mendoza, he did wine country in Tuscany, and as he says, Tuscany is hard to beat.
And, OK, I’ll admit, we both got a bit sad when I booked my solo bus ticket from Esquel to Santiago, where I’ll spend a few days then fly to Colombia. We’ve been having so much fun together that it was weird to all of a sudden part ways. We’ve both been really good about not being that clingy, annoying super-coupley couple so far — a few backpackers didn’t even realize we were dating! — that we figured maybe time apart to have some independence wasn’t as necessary as we initially thought it’d be.
We spent all of yesterday changing Eaman’s flights, booking new ones and tying up all the loose ends. (Admin days are such an energy-drainer.) But now we’re all set! A little recap to set things straight:
January 23: Leave farm gig in Trevelin, Argentina on bus to Santiago, Chile
January 24: Arrive in Santiago
January 26: Eaman leaves for Bogota, Colombia
January 27: I leave for Bogota (it was impossible to make it work so that we both left the same day)
January 27-February 6: Explore Colombia!
February 7: Fly to Panama for a week of fun in the sun
OK, now that our travel details are cemented, you can enjoy the views from Los Alerces…without horseflies:
The alerce tree, not one of the older ones:
Amazing Monet-like colors in the river:
Lake we swam in:
Super-cool twisty forest along a trail:
Wish us luck on our farm gig! And let’s hope the place isn’t infested with horseflies.