Trip to Buenos Aires and Patagonia

Our trip to Buenos Aires and Patagonia, Chile and Torres Del Paine national park.

Patagonia

Patagonia

Traveling has always been a huge part of my identity. In my twenties almost every other year I would go on a several month long excursions (Thailand for 5 weeks, Spain for 5 weeks, South East Asia for 10 weeks..) but ever since I moved to Chicago, started grad school, got married and started a business I haven’t had the time to get away the way I used to.  So over a year ago my husband and I decided 2014 was the year to take a big trip.  Timing is hard with my business because I feel like I’m almost always in busy season, so we finally decided on the last two weeks in February would be a great time to get away (after Vday but before NSS.)  It’s also the middle of summer in South America so we enjoyed a warm escape from the brutal Chicago winter.

The trip had two parts. The first week we spent in Patagonia the second week at our friend’s apartment in Buenos Aires.

We started off in Patagonia on a seven day guided trek in Torres Del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia, then 2 nights in El Calafate with a day trip to Glaciar Perino Moreno. The photo above was taken through the bus window on the way to see the glacier, looks fake, doesn’t it?

The photo below is the early morning sunrise hitting the Torres Del Paine mountains on the dawn before of one of our treks.

We booked the 7 day trek through Eco Camp which was a really great experience. They provided a guided tour and meals for the entire trip.  We chose this route because neither of us had time to spend researching or planning the hike ourselves. Plus we both speak very limited Spanish: “Hola, Cervesa Por Favor.” The hiking was strenuous and there was lots of steep uphills over rocks, which you would then have to traverse downhill after reaching the summit.  The pinnacle was the Torres themselves, truly the most spectacular mountains I’ve ever seen in my life.

Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine

Our group of 12 tourists plus 2 guides hiked the “W” trek which is the most popular trek in the national park. It takes you through the valleys into the center of each range for a full panoramic view of the mountains. There are ‘refugios’ offering room and board where hikers and campers stay along with way.  I really enjoyed the trek, but I did struggle with keeping up with the strict schedule of the group. Up at 6:30am, breakfast at 7am, on the trail by 8am. I’m used to hiking (and working) independently on my own schedule so adjusting to someone else’s was a bit of a challenge for me.

When the trek concluded we next made our way to El Calafate on the Argentinian side of Patagonia. It’s a small but bustling tourist town with a cute walking strip, nice food options and close the impressive Glaciar Perino Moreno, one of the only stable glaciers left in the world (meaning, it’s not receding)

Glaciar Perino Moreno

Tourist busses can drive almost straight to it, while onlookers wait expectantly for ice to separate and crash into the water. Yes, I took that photo above, and yes, it is real. We also splurged on a three hour ice trek ON the glacier which was also super cool.

Leaving Patagonia we next headed to Buenos Aires where we were lucky enough to stay at a friend’s apartment in the hip “Palermo” neighborhood.

Highlights in Buenos Aires include:
1) Steak Dinner at a Parrilla (pronounced pah-ri-sha) ie. grill. We loved Don Julio: great wine, delicious steak, lovely atmosphere
2) Wine tasting at Anuva Wine; all boutique, small batch Argentinian wines you can’t find in the states. Have you heard of Torrontes grapes? Apparently it’s the next big fad in white wines out of Argentina.
3) Tango Show at Piazolla Tango. We did it without dinner, but in hindsight would have preferred dinner + show. They also offer complimentary Tango Lessons an hour before.
4) Teatro Colon. A hugely impressive, traditional European Opera House.
5) La Recoleta Cemetery. Old raised tombs; some are falling apart but most are maintained in their full opulence.
6) Shopping in Palermo – lots of hip shops, relaxing cafes and great fashion

Once I got to Buenos Aires there was wifi everywhere and, with the help of Lisa (studio assistant extraordinaire) I was able to keep business running as usual.

My days looked like this:

Cafe Con Leche y Agua con Gas

and my nights looked like this:

Steak and Vino

I arrived back in the states last Monday and am now fully back into the swing of things. There’s so many more things and news I want to share with you! I’m working on getting some more help around the studio so I’ll have a little more time to blog.

It’s good to be back! xo, shayna

2 Responses to “Trip to Buenos Aires and Patagonia”

  1. […] since I got back from my trip to South America things have been extra busy.  In fact, things have been extra busy for me since the beginning of […]

  2. […] the scenes photo! Sorry, my bad. The last month has been busy! Getting back from my 2 week trip to South America I hit the ground running.  I battled several consecutive colds and was real low on energy for […]

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