Patagonia.......a stunning region in South America, in both Chile and Argentina. Wild weather and trekking! First I stayed in El Calafate, a small town closest to the gorgeous glacier Perito Moreno. Milky water, snow-capped mountains, AMAZING cloud formations, tiny wildflowers, floating ice, and the sound of cracking as the glacier moves. 

I went out to EcoDome Camp, in the middle of the Patagonia wilderness, and stayed just a few short days in a dome suite, with windows cut out in the ceiling, and a timber walkway. They come and light your fire in your dome in the late afternoon as it gets cold at night. I loved my time here, I trekked the French Valley trek (part of the bigger 'W' trek), I mountain-biked down dirt roads with the sparkling sun in the sky, ate a Chilean BBQ and drank red wine. I also discovered why many of the guides wear glacier glasses - the wind, at times, is intense. It blew so much dust into my eyes that I could not see, and felt like I had gravel in my eyeballs. Luckily (other travellers!) I met an Aussie guy who gave me some single-use eye drops...thank goodness. No shops around here!

This is not an area for the faint-hearted. The trekking is intense, the conditions change from warm and sunny one minute, to freezing cold and windy the next. The French Valley required a ferry ride to get there (and you have to time your return trip in case you miss the last one!) and around an 8-hour hike. And when I say 'hike', I mean, walking walking walking, no time for stopping, hardly any time to take photos. It was fantastic! For some reason, when you're in an amazing place, the food tastes better, the wine tastes better, and you sleep much better at night!


There is not enough time or space to rave on and on about Antarctica here...but I will NEVER forget it! What an exciting journey, from flying down to Ushuaia, seeing the red ship MS Expedition docked at port, awaiting new passengers, feeling apprehensive and nervous about the dreaded Drake Passage 2-day crossing, and seeing Antarctica for the first time. WOWIE!

Where would I even start? Okay. Scenery: magnificent, other-worldly, white, grey, blue. Crazy wind, rough seas, and then a surface like glass that I sea-kayaked on for over 16kms on one session! I didn't take nearly enough photos, but I had joined the 'kayak bootcamp' and spent a lot of time paddling and trying not to cry with emotion, because my glasses would fog up. 

Marine life? you betcha! elephant seals, leopard seals, seals of every sort, gentoo penguins with bright orange beaks, penguins porpoising in the water and off icebergs, following a pod of minke whales by listening to them breaching, orcas, birds birds and more amazing birds! Please note: no polar bears here (before you ask)...that's the Arctic :) 

Ship life was fantastic: experienced, knowledgeable, funny, entertaining crew who kept us 100% safe at all times when off the ship. I swam in minus 0.5 degree Celsius water on Deception Island (brrrr COLD is not even close!!), I camped in a tent I put up myself on a windy shore, watching the ship move away from the location because icebergs were floating too close, feeling the exhilaration and the excitement of being IN ANTARCTICA!!! As you can probably imagine, i highly recommend this journey. It is worth.every.dollar. And more.