A humongous SHOUT-OUT and THANK YOU to all our KID commentators out there and their TEACHERS!!!! I was flabbergasted when I got an Internet connection today and saw a whopping 23 comments!!!
EASILY the most we’ve gotten in one day! I can’t wait to answer all your questions and comments. I’m excited to answer them because each day we are experiencing more and more on our road trip, which means I’m better equipped to answer your questions. We’ve just emerged from some of Argentina’s and Chile’s biggest National Park gems: El Chalten, Perito Moreno Glacier, and Torres del Paine.
My goodness…if mountains were like candy I would be on my life’s biggest sugar highs right now!
To answer some of your questions:
Glaciers: Since arriving in South America we have driven to the 3rd and 4th largest ice fields in the world (Antarctica and Greenland get 1st and 2nd place). We’ve hiked up to 3 glaciers, drank glacial ice water with glacial ice cubes, and seen many many mountains capped with glaciers.
Did you know Mt. Rainier has a massive glacier?
Best Thing/Attraction So Far: I really enjoy seeing mountain landscapes and hiking to viewpoints. Hiking up El Chalten aka Fitz Roy has been one of the most beautiful days for me.
We hiked up this mountain on a 2 day backpacking trip. Our bags were a little heavy and the trail was pretty crowded…it was tough going! (I should tell you this is one of the top recommended hikes in the world.) Additionally, I was having a tough time with the on and off rain and the famously strong Patagonian winds (they can easily get up to 60mph! The average speed we drive on highways). I knew the mountain was famous and well worth the effort, but the hike was feeling very difficult.
After about 90 minutes (that’s like all of the time you spend on math in class) of hiking a continuously uphill path we came to a magnificent view. The famous three sharp granite peaks. I shouted out “WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!” in amazement. (I’m sure the other hikers around me were annoyed someone was ruining their nature moment—oops!)
I felt on top of the world.
Simply put- I just couldn’t believe my eyes. I prepared for this moment by looking at lots of maps of the trail and pictures of the mountain, but no photo could compare to the clarity of the sharp peaks, the bright reflection off the ice, and the birds chirping around me. It felt as if the mountains were created just for me.
Afterwards we continued to hike for another 3 hours to reach Laguna Torre, an emerald-turquoise lake surrounded by the famous peaks. We spent an hour just staring at the colors. The whole time I kept asking myself, “How is this view even possible?”
“How did the glaciers and winds create this artistic set of rocks?” This was probably one of the hardest days I’ve had, but definitely the most rewarding.
Where are you going next?
Our goal on this trip is to drive to the furthest point possible in South America, and then back.
This road is called the Pan-American Highway, it goes all the way up to Alaska (Seattle is on the way). We are almost at the end of the road! We will reach it at Ushuaia, Argentina. It isn’t possible to drive further because you’ve reached the Southern Ocean… Antarctica is 10 days away by boat! It’s chilly, rainy, mountainous and very desolate. It is summertime here, but I thought it would actually be MUCH colder, it’s 55°F on average- similar to Seattle’s winter.
We are seeing a lot of ocean beaches here. I’m taking pictures of cool shells.
What’s your favorite thing to do at the beach???