The Adventure Continues
The following story is the second part of an adventure that changed my life. So before you get too deep into the second half of the story click here to read the first part.
And if you have been waiting on the edge of your seat to see what happened after the 60-mile trek, keep reading.
After we left the flooded park, we ended up in this beautiful town called El Calafate, Argentina. We still weren’t talking to each other, but we managed to keep the conversation polite. I felt a little gratitude towards him since he saved my life.
The best part of this beautiful little town was the food (yes food is a theme for me). Every morning I would get up and walk to the small bakery that served fresh baked goods that had dulce de leche inside. For a couple of U.S. dollars, I would eat several of these pastries every morning. AMAZING. If you have never tried dulce de leche, you are missing out. It is similar to caramel sauce but much better.
There was a massive Portuguese and Italian influence in the region, so the pasta and sauces were just incredible. We were able to see the Moreno Glacier (see picture below) which was stunning. We also recovered from the 60-mile trek, had our laundry done, and slept in real beds.
The rain put a damper on some of the camping we had initially planned to do, which was ok with me.
Because a two-person backpacking tent is really about the size of a single bed with a cover. We did take a couple of days to ride a bus to El Chalten, Argentina to see Mount Fitz Roy. The weather for our trek was perfect. We hiked for a few hours, the skies were clear, and the peaks were stunning. We ate a quick lunch and then went back to El Chalten where we were staying in a hostel.
As soon as we got back to El Chalten, the skies opened up, and it rained for the next 24 hours. Some of the roads washed away, making the bus ride exciting. Our time exploring Patagonia was coming to an end. We needed to fly back to Santiago, which meant my trip was coming to an end soon. I had a lot of alone time to reflect, write, process, and read. The towns were tiny, and the people were beautiful, and this part of the world seems untouched by the hustle of modern living.
Once we got back to Santiago, we had a couple of days left to explore, so we went to a winery. Before this trip, I didn’t know much about wine, but it seemed like a fun adventure. The taxi ride to the winery was another death-defying experience. I am very grateful we didn’t have to drive in that city!
The Concha y Toro Winery was beautiful, and I fell in love with Chilean wines. We spent the entire day learning about wine, history, and samples which made the cab ride back to our place less terrifying.
My adventure was ending, but in just 28 days, my life changed forever.
As luck would have it, we came home just in time to be part of a blizzard. Which made it feel like my adventure didn’t end. And since this was before texting or high-speed internet, the breakup was clean and done. I did have to process everything and how I couldn’t wait for my next adventure.
Here is why this adventure changed my life forever, and while I HIGHLY recommend traveling:
- Confidence, yes going to a foreign country without being able to speak the language can be slightly intimidating. However, I quickly learned how to communicate. Learning how to interact with other people regardless of language and navigate around a new country is a huge confidence booster.
- Food, this trip opened my world to new types of food, sweet and savory. The freshly baked pastries with the dulce de leche, ceviche, empanadas, and cake for breakfast. In the morning we ate breakfast with the families we were staying with. And there was always cake, cheese, lunch meat, and coffee.
But the Wine…
- Wine, I still buy Concha y Torro wines, and I have learned that an affordable option that rarely disappoints when dining out is a Malbec.
- Courage, I am not sure what was running through my head when I agreed to go on this adventure. As I have reflected after so many years, I believe it took a big cup of courage. I stepped far out of my comfort zone, ok so I jumped so far out of my comfort zone that I am not sure I ever found it again.
- Conflict resolution, traveling in a foreign country in close quarters with a person who just dumped you sucks. But I had to adjust my attitude and make some type of peace so I could enjoy the trip.
- Culture, we stayed in spare rooms with strangers and shared meals with them. We immersed ourselves in their culture, and it was incredible.
- Pisco Sours, Pisco is a tequila-like liquor that is the drink of choice in Chile. I highly recommend you find a South American restaurant that serves them and have a couple.
- Lastly, but most importantly, this trip unlocked a piece of my soul that was meant to explore the world. And no matter how many adventures I have taken since, I can’t suppress my urge to see the world.
I am aware that this epic adventure was almost 20 years ago, Before Child (BC). And while you may not be in a position at this current moment to take a month-long trip to South America, you can find smaller adventures to go on with and without the children. My son has been flying since he was eight weeks old and we have been on lots of road trips.
It is important to me to let my little man know that there is a significant world to explore and I have had to learn how to do that on a shoestring budget.
Now that he is almost old enough to ride in just a booster seat, I am starting to save for Ireland. He may not remember specific details from our adventures, but I am confident he will remember seeing his mom happy, and feeling happy feels that accompany adventures.
Now I want you to think about places you want to explore; they don’t have to be big international trips. Maybe there is a small town not far from where you live that is known for serving excellent breakfast. Perhaps it is camping or even a day trip to see a natural wonder. My point is this, start planning!