Day 348 – 350 – Backtracking to Laguna Negra

Day 1 of the backtrack I had made the decision yesterday to backtrack to Laguna Negra since I failed to reach my intended campsite because of inclement weather. The weather was indeed better today but it was still overcast much of the day. The visibility was not as nice as I would have liked and there was still plenty of snow I had to make my way through. It made the trip back over the ridge much slower than on the first approach. However, I was happy to find the northern side of the mountain pretty dry. It’s funny one usually thinks of the north face as the icier side but that is coming from a northern hemisphere perspective. On the southern hemisphere, you want the north face. Still the drop down was rocky and my knees were feeling every creaky  step. I definitely brought way too much food with…

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Day 352 – Seven Lakes & San Martin de los Andes

After a few days rest from my hike, today I would go to the seven lakes and San Martin de los Andes. Since I had been told that this drive was exceptionally scenic, I was really looking forward to it. People that had return from it had raved about it. A group of us from the hostel pooled our resources and rented a car to head there.  The crew consisted myself, Urs, Gemma, Mary, and Graham. Aside from the mountain views above at the first pull off we saw this wonderful poochie. It was very happy to see us and extremely friendly. We gave it some love and it just melted. It rolled over on it’s back and eventually was so relaxed that it took nap in this position. After we were done enjoying the views we said goodbye to our little friend and moved on to the next pull…

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Day – 357 – Day hike up to Refugio Frey

I had been told by some friends that I should not miss going to Refugio Frey. In fact my plan was to do a 10 day hike in this area and make my exit through Refugio Frey. However, my plans were thwarted by inclement weather. Instead I decided that I would do a day hike into Frey. I took the bus to the drop off and the signage was pretty good. It is a well traveled trail and I see why I had been told this area was a must visit while in Bariloche. There were lots of things that stood out from this hike. One of the things that I enjoyed was the change in vegetation to fall colors. Another impressive aspect of the hike were the clouds that would hover above the lakes and in between the mountains. Yet you were looking down at them, they are wonderful…

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Day 361 – Touring Santiago de Chile

After a long bus ride from Bariloche and a little scare, I arrived to the Santiago bus station. The scare came about in the way of a customs agent strike which meant that being processed at the border was not guaranteed. We could have been turned away. Luckily, military had taken over these duties until the strike was over. We were instructed to bring all of our bags out of the bus and lay them across the ground. The dog on duty would then walk past them and sniff them out. My bag was searched because I carry lots of condiments while camping and the dog must have liked the smell. It pawed at a couple of other bags and those were manually searched. Unlike many of my other travel compatriots I don’t have a problem with bag searches. They are never going to find any drugs on me. The…

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Day 362 – Valparaiso

The interesting thing about Valparaiso is not only is it a Unesco World Heritage site for it’s architectural elements but it also provides a vivid, if not acid influenced street art. While I have conflicting feelings on graffiti art, there is no denying the immense beauty of the artwork found here. We started walking around the lower level of the city taking in the views of the surrounding buildings. One of those that stood out was the baby blue Chilean Armada Building. After walking around the lower streets and asking for directions for the upper tier of the city, we would find our way up to a very old turnstile. On the other side was a older gentleman collecting a fare for the rail/elevator up. Below is a video of that fun ride up. Once up top we took in the elevated views which, in my opinion, were not as impressive…

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