I have been in Chile for 88 days, somehow that much time has lapsed. What the fuck. My tourist visa is about to expire. The idea of fast(er) travel is clearly a completely alien concept to me. The time has absolutely flown by. It was the best southern hemisphere summer of my life. Though, after close to almost eight months of summer in South America, the summer show is well and truly over. Here in Punta Arenas it is averaging about 5-10 degrees during the day and close to zero at night. I need to get into Argentina but that isn’t exactly evading the stronghold that the arms of Patagonia have on me.
I’ve been accommodated and fed by a wonderful Chilean family for three nights now. All my clothes have been washed but are still soaked wet on the line as the rain has not stopped in about 24 hours. Hopefully it clears and I can move tomorrow, otherwise it will be Wednesday. I’m getting restless again, and after the raw magic and power of Torres del Paine, recent days have been a bit boring. Spent studying Spanish, uploading all my photos, drawing and hanging around Punta Arenas which is beautiful and full of character.
I have three options; a) hope the navy can take me on a bare bones trip to Antarctica and back across a week while they move personnel and cargo between their research stations, b) get to Ushuaia, Argentina and then cross back into Chilean territory onto the real end of the southern world, Isla Navarino, with Colin from Washington who I met and hiked with in Torres, for one or two weeks of map, compass and machette hiking and fishing, getting lost and living off the land or c) bus or hitchhike to El Calafate from Punta Arenas and start moving north towards Peru and Bolivia while checking out more of Patagonia via places such as El Chalten, El Bolson, Esquiel, Bariloche, Perito Moreno. For a person with very little loose and every changing plans, this is all over thought. I need to buy a bus ticket, or get my thumb out, start moving, and get back into the flow.
I have no idea whether to stay in Argentina for the rest of my trip and get to know it as well as I have come to know Colombia, Ecuador and Chile, or to spend roughly a month each in Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. It’s not the end, I know I will be back. I think I will get off my ass and hitch hike into Argentina or take a bus to El Calafate or Rio Gallegos and then commence hitch hiking my way north along the Andes, as the bus ticket prices in Argentina are phenomenally high and will potentially bust my budget and make me spend the last month of this awesome trip eating rice. Fuck that!
I know Argentine Patagonia is going to be as addictive and wonderful as Chilean Patagonia. No matter, Patagonia was the principal reason why I came to South America, and here I am. It is better than I ever could have imagined. Old Pat. Love her.