Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Trekking in Torres del Paine National Park

Trekking in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine was...incredible.  Knowing how the weather in Patagonia can change hourly, I set out thinking, "Well...if I have at least 2 days of good weather and little rain or wind...I´ll be pretty happy."  I happened to be very lucky, and thoroughly (can I say that again?  thoroughly) enjoyed a week of great weather and walking by myself.  

My original plan was to trek the "circuito grande" with a guy from Canada; however, plans changed at the last minute and I started and ended the circuit alone.  Along the way I enjoyed talking with some cyclists from England (taking a break from cycling, trekking instead), Argentine and French friends I met in Ushuaia, a handful of people from Spain, and another cyclist from the U.S.  But, during the day, I walked alone, stopping frequently to take in the grandeur of the Andes, and listen to the wind whip through the grass and the trees.  I thought a lot about past trips (High Road in Wheaton, Spain with Katie, Central America with Ben J., India and Nepal), when certain smells and sights brought back great trip memories from the past.  My mind also wandered to a lot of friends and family, wondering what everyone was doing, and also thoughts about the future, getting back to the US in a few months, and pending plans.  I valued the time and space to think, and how physical movement is often so helpful for freeing the mind to thinking through life as well.  

The Andes are beautiful; I will let the photos do the rest of the talking, in case you have any doubt...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

OK in Chile After Earthquake

Hi All -

I've received numerous emails asking about the earthquake.  Thanks for your thoughts/concerns!  I want to let you know that I am OK, and was actually on my first day of a six day trekking circuit when the earthquake happened, therefore was unable to make contact with anyone until now.  I am currently in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, near the city Puerto Natales, which is quite a bit south of Concepcion, the epicenter.

I just got off the trail, and should now have internet access on a regular basis.  I will be volunteering in the National Park for the next 2-4 weeks.  Here is a photo of Glaciar Grey, 17km long, from the trekking circuit.  Thanks again for your thoughts/prayers.  I'll update more soon as I'm able.
Love, Andria