Updated on March 29, 2013
People, places and names.
We called ourselves “Team Julian”, a tribute to the lone male guest in our core group of travelers on G Adventure’s “Best of Patagonia” trip. Julian is from England and he’s traveling around the world. Some of us are jealous.
Other men and women, eventually joined the group, but the name remained.
It’s interesting how a name can change the way we see an object or a place. There are elegant names for so many things in Argentina and Chile. There’s the lovely flower named “Don Diego de la Noche”. “El Chalten”, the tiny town where climbers gather to scale Mt Fitz Roy means “smoking mountain”, a reference to the nearly constant cloud-cover the Indians first saw when they approached the peaks. Robert Fitz Roy, for whom the mountain is named, was the captain of the HMS Beagle. My favorite is “Aguja Saint Exupery.” Any college french student will recognize the last name. (Aguja means needle.) Most of us read “Le Petite Prince” as a class assignment. (I still have my grubby little copy filled with english translations above the words and a few notecards with vocabulary written by my 19-year-old hand.)
Antoine de Saint-Exupery was a pioneer of the Aeroposta Argentina, a pilot who flew over these amazing mountains delivering mail to tiny towns that would be lost to the rest of the world without him and others like him. He wrote a novela about the experience, “Night Flight”. It’s considered a classic in France.
Some of the names were easy. Six of us knew one another through various connections–current and former co-workers, college roommates, volunteer work and two sisters. We would learn Federico Ferrero, our terrific “CEO”, “Chief Experience Officer” on this wonderful trip. And of course, the name that drew us here, Patagonia, we’ll never forget.
They have a saying there that if you eat the fruit of the Calafate berry, you will return. My travel buddy Mele and I had huge bowls of Calafate ice cream–a yummy purple concoction that tastes like sorbet. And really, when you look at that tiny spit of land south of Tierra del Fuego, doesn’t it look like a finger urging you to explore just a little bit farther?
These final photographs are people pics of our fellow travelers as well as a day trip to Uruguay to the town of Colonia. Happy trails, everyone. Hasta la proxima!