If the first four days in southern Aysen reminded me of the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, the next three days in the north reminded me of The Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and SE Alaska.
For the next few days we explored Aysen, the Patagonian region that inspired dreamers, adventurers, and entrepreneurs like Yvon Chouinard, the founder of the clothing company, Patagonia, and Doug Tompkins, the founder of Esprit and The North Face.
Gliding around and through turquoise-hued, marble formations in a kayak? Doesn’t get much better than that.
The next day wasn’t much easier – a ten mile round trip hike to the rim of Sierra Negra, the second largest active caldera in the world, five miles across at its widest point.
On our way to the Galapagos, we stopped in Quito, Ecuador, for a day. At over 9000 feet Quito is the highest capital city in the world ……
The last time I was in Cusco, in 1997, restaurant options included pizza, burgers, guinea pig and not much else. This time the meals rivaled the best I’ve had in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Paris.
The old man’s eerie monotone chant rose into the star-speckled sky, along with the embers from the large bonfire. He beat on the drum under his arm as the crackle of the fire provided counterpoint. The shadow of the flames flickered against the wall of the jungle surrounding us. Continue reading
The wet, slanted face of the boulder looks treacherous. To make matters worse, the bottom edge hangs over a precipitous drop-off with nothing below but air. I’m not sure how I am going to work my way up its slippery surface. As Alejandro reaches his hand out to help me, my boots slip and I slide out of sight. For what seems like an eternity, I am in free fall, not sure how far I will fall or what I will land on when I hit bottom. Continue reading