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Saturday, July 30, 2011

when in Patagonia

We spent a good part of July waiting for snow (and shredding pow when the snow finally did dump). But, we can't really complain because we bided our time in the most mystical and breath taking locale - northern Patagonia.

Our typical day started with waking up to the sun rising over the mountains, a cup of strong hand brewed coffee, and a stick-to-you-all-day kind of breakfast.

There is nothing better than a breakfast samich to get the day started
As we ate we discussed the day's activity - we did not ruminate on the lack of snow for long. However, if there was new snow we would layer up and take the thirty minute bus to Cerro Chapelco to partake in the sacred act of carving new lines into feet of sugary powder.

A view from mid-mountain - Volcano Lanin is in the background.

If it was not a bluebird day we often took a hike through the nearby foothills of the Andes.

Along the way we ran into a variety of flora and fauna: birds of prey, oxen, dogs, a bull (and of course I was wearing a bright red shirt - training for the running of the bulls I guess), wild horses, and the occasional bandurria bird. Our favorite hike was around 5-10 miles on Mapuche land.

Mapuche are the indigenous people of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina. It was interesting to have the opportunity to peek into the daily life of the Mapuche and it sparked long conversations about the pros and cons of keeping a culture in tact even if only certain aspects are followed. The stark contrast of tradition versus assimilation to the modern Argentine culture was eye opening and reminded us of how North American Natives must live - in a world between constantly struggling to keep the young generations remembering.

Look out from one of our many hikes

Jason and his Flora
Road to the Mapuche Village
After spending long afternoons hopping streams, stumbling up rocky paths, and gazing at glittering snow capped peaks we would drink a steaming cup of cold season tea, read, and start to discuss the prospect of dinner.

These conversations often times led to killer dinners cooked in our wee little studio apartment that would steam up the windows. A bottle of Argentine Malbec beckoned us to linger at the dinner table before cleaning up and snuggling into slumber.

1 comment:

l. and J. said...

Wonderful writing. I can see the country side before my very eyes. But oh, that red shirt, and the bull. . I wonder who ran faster, the person with the shirt, or the bull?
Missing you guys. Love you!