OK, so I am going to begin this blog, by bragging about our super cool daughter and my amazing husband.
Keira at age 4 has hiked some fairly strenuous and long distances, negotiating rough terrain and having a lot of fun doing so. She takes everything in her stride, staying in the roof top tent (she now calls it home), using the outdoors as our living room, and bathroom at times, playing with other children of all nationalities, charming adults into playing tag and princesses and being super cute whilst she does it all. We are so proud of her.
Michael put in hours of research and time in preparing our vehicle for this trip, and with a lot of advice and help from two friends, John and George, he has done a remarkable job. He is definitely a “jack of all trades”. After 21 years he continues to amaze me on a daily basis with his abilities and knowledge. To date he has helped fix a friends tire and headlights, fixed our fridge connection, problem solved issues with fuel pumps, air filter and fan belts, repaired electrical cords, and towed our friends Westfalia van for 200 kms. He purifies our water with 2 different systems, and really takes care of the day-to-day tasks to make our trip run more smoothly, and to make sure “his girls” are ok. Oh, and as I mentioned before he prepares gourmet meals every night on a camp stove. Secretly I think our German friends put up with Keira and I, in order to reap the benefits of Mike’s cooking abilities!
Now back to our trip. After Ushuaia we headed to Puerto Natales and reconnected with Kaj and Carina. We hung out there for a few days eating yummy cakes, chocolates and drinking teas and coffees. There was no allocated camping so we made our camp in a parking lot overlooking the lake, not a bad living room!! Over the course of the 2 nights we had many neighbors as other over Landers joined us, creating our own camping community. We even got home baked bread from a French couple!
We did decide on a hostel for a night as the winds had reached 60-70 knots the night before, and although the tent was totally safe, the noise of the winds and the tent movement was a little scary. Keira slept through it all!
Puerto Natales in Chile is the base from which to visit Torres del Paine National Park. We stocked up on supplies there and once again the car allowed us freedom so we were able to stay 5 nights in the park
Torres del Paine is known for its Torres (tower rock formations), glaciers and hiking. The scenery was incredible, and ever changing. The cloud formations, winds and sun influencing the mountain views and vistas. Hard to define as you need to observe the scenery from a variety of perspectives, at all times of day and experience all the natural elements first hand to truelly appreciate its beauty.
There are some amazing overnight and 4-5 day hikes to be done in the park, but we settled for day hikes so Keira could come and we could experience the park as a family. A good incentive to return when she is older.
We are now in Rio Gallegos in Argentina for the next week, as our friends need to get some car repairs done and we are going to take the opportunity to get a service on our vehicle too. We were hoping that their car could be driven all the way here but 50 km into the trip they had problems. Mike was prepared with recovery gear, so we towed them 200kms. It was an interesting trip.
We all have colds at the moment so we will stay here for a few days to recover. Then after that we will be heading to El Calafate to see glaciers, and El Chalten for more hiking and then to travel on the Carretera Austral, the most southern and most remote road through Chile.
We are enjoying our time in a hostel, with hot showers, a bed and Mike is taking a break from cooking. It was our friend Carina’s birthday today, so we will celebrated with cake and balloons and Keira wore her party dress.
I will try and update gallery pics in the next few days.
Keep us posted on what is happening in your lives.
SPECIAL NOTE: thanks so much to everyone who contributed to Keira's "international love blanket". She has been using it a lot to snuggle under, and it is one of her most treasured possessions.
Just a place to keep our mates informed on where we are at, and what we are up to.