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Patagonia Trip 2013

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FC: Blair and Aunt Kim's Trip to Patagonia February 2013

1: We depart Dulles for Buenos Aires, Argentina | Then, 1,500 miles further south we start our Patagonian experience in Ushuaia, Argentina

2: A sculpture in Buenos Aires Florales Generica | The Presidential Palace and Freedom Square

3: La Recoleta Cemetary - the final resting place of Eva Peron

4: 1,500 miles south of Buenos Aires we flew to Ushuaia, Argentina - the southern most airport in the world - only 600 miles from Antarctica.

5: We hiked along the shores of the Beagle Channel on our first afternoon in Ushuaia

6: As always, Blair finds the highest point and climbs to it :-)

8: We headed out into the Beagle Channel on a Zodiac, driven by our own, Blair Cox, to walk into a Magellanic penguin colony on Martillo Island.

10: A Gentoo penguin, joined by a King Penguin that came up from Antarctica joined the others.

11: Our hike took us across an enormous bridge built by beavers | The next day we flew north to El Calafate and drove across the Patagonian steppes to El Chalten - the hiking capital of South America. Blair and Rob make sure that we were driving in the right direction :-)

12: El Chalten is a world-famous climbing destination set within sight of the solid granite, 11,703 ft. Fitzroy Massif

13: After appreciating the view from Hosteria el Pilar (above), we set out on a hike to Laguna Torre

15: But for the clouds, we would have a great view of Cerro Torre. Oh well, lets have a beer at Robs favorite Microbrewery.

16: The group starts out on our day hike towards the Fitzroy "needles"

17: Mt. Fitz Roy in the distance is in the southern Ice Field near El Chalten | We passed the camp for people climbing the spires

18: At the end of a 5-6 mile hike and 3800 feet of elevation gain, we arrived at Laguna de los Tres with a great view of the Fitz Roy Massif.

21: From Right to Left, Cerro Fitz Roy, Aguja Poincenot, Aguja Juarez, and Aguja Saint-Exupery. Cerro mean mountain and Aguja means needle.

22: The Viedma Glacier is a large glacier that is part of the huge Southern Patagonian Ice Field.

23: Deep blue glacier ice is caused by high pressure preventing bubbles from forming to scatter light as it moves through the ice.

25: The rock that used to be under the glacier. Scored and weathered from the glacial ice.

28: Blair was able to do some bouldering in El Chalten

32: Even Rob and Aunt Kim gave it a try. Luckily Blair didn't have any trouble doing all of the heavy lifting :-)

33: A morning drive brings us to Estancia Helsingfors in the western region of Glacier National Park

35: After a 3-4 mile hike we arrived at Windy Point. Blair was leaning against at least a 50 mph wind.

36: Wind

37: Rob and Blair did some slack lining. | Our guide, Rob, was not only an expert rock climber, but also an advertising spokesman for Helman's mayonaisse

38: Blair rode a horse part of the way to Laguna Azul

39: Laguna Azul is another picturesque glacial lake surrounded by mountains

41: The Perito Moreno Glacier, in Los Glaciaires National Park is one of 48 glaciers fed by the southern Patagonian Ice Field. This ice field is the world's 3rd largest sheet of ice.

42: The glacier is 19 miles long with an area of 97 square miles. When the ice advances, it seals off the upper lake, causing the lake level to rise until the glacier recedes. | On the way into Chile we stopped at an estancia for lunch

43: The border collie is the most valuable asset that the estancia owns. | A rhea

44: More wind as we drove from Argentina into Chile

45: Guanaco and Lago Sarmiento. This was the windiest day.

46: Guanaco are like cross between a llama and a camel

47: Our 1st night in Chile at Hosteria Mirador de Paine. This is the view we woke up to.

48: Paine National Park, Chile

49: Lenticular clouds in Paine National Park

50: Lunch

51: Another windy mountain top! | With Blair standing on the edge - again

53: Cuernos del Paine, The Paine Horns

54: Lago Grey

55: The wind is Patagonia can do interesting things to your hair

57: Salto Grande Waterfall

58: Torres del Paine National Park

59: Last hike of the trip.

60: Torres del Paine

61: After a quick stop in Puerto Natales, we depart from Punta Arenas. The luggage followed, eventually.

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