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That's about the extent of the Spanish I learnt while visiting Argentina, Chile and the starkly beautiful region known as Patagonia. Well, also "vino bianco" and "pisco sour", and couple of other essentials.

In February 2005, IP-TREK members met up in the exciting metropolis of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our group came from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Venezuela (thank goodness for someone who could speak Spanish - I don't count Paul). We were incredibly fortunate to be led by the wonderful, highly professional (and heaps of fun) Argentinean guide, Verena Santangelo, representative of our tour supplier, Peregrine Adventures. Verena travelled with us to the remote regions, trekked the trails with us, and tucked us up in bed at night after convivial dinners.

After sampling the delights of Buenos Aires (steak, red wine, steak, bookshops, steak and tango - did I mention the steak?) we flew to the remote Patagonian steppes, to the town of El Calafate. From there it was 200k in a bus over gravel roads (I won't dwell on that part) to the frontier settlement of El Chalten, at the foot of the mighty peak of Fitzroy. This trip saw us based in lodges and other local accommodation, and trekking out each day on several of the most famous Patagonia trails. With treks of about 20-25k per day (no altitude problems here), we were able to reach the glacial lakes at the bases of the famous Patagonian peaks, with spectacular views and icy cold water for a dip, if you were game.

We bussed across the border to Chile, to the Torres Del Paine national Park, and trekked to the spectacular Torres themselves. In between - massive glaciers, wonderful mountain views, South American red wine, guanacos (have a look at the pictures) and fabulous company.

The trip wound up with a flight down to the Fin del Mundo - the End of the World - at Ushuaia, the world's southern-most city, and some day trekking in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. A great boat trip out onto the Beagle Channel - Argentina on one side, Chile on the other - brought us up close and personal with the wildlife, and rounded out the South American experience.

Annette Freeman, Sydney, July 2005

Trip Brochures and other Supporting Materials:

Patagonia Itinerary (PDF)
Guide to Travel in Latin America (PDF)

For more stories and pictures, visit the following members' sites/galleries:

Annette Freeman's Gallery

About Patagonia:

Members who attended Patagonia:

Larry Hefter
Nancy Lee Carter
Barbara Sullivan
Ken Ross
Paul Blanchard
Karel Bentata
Annette Freeman

Friends who joined us:

Jeannie Thomas
Mark Alexander
Jill Davidson
Marg Ross
Janet Bradley
Norelyz Rodriguez

Special Thanks to:

Verena Santangelo, the best tour guide.

Future Treks

Other Past Treks:

Altas Mountains-Marrakech-Essaouira
Morocco, 2011
Silk Road
(Uzbekistan)/Fann Mountains(Tajikistan), 2009
Inca Trail/Machu Picchu
Peru, 2008
Mt. Kilimanjaro
Tanzania, 2007
Cradle Mountain
Tazmania, Austalia, 2006
Canadian Rockies
Argentina/Chile, 2005
Bizkaia (Basque) Region
Spain, 2004
Everest Base Camp
Nepal, 2003
Milford Track
New Zealand, 2001
Quttinirpaaq National Park
Ellesmere Is., 1999

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