Monthly Archives: January 2013

Hiking Fitz Roy

Hiking to Mt Fitz Roy was an amazing experience. There’s great trails and incredible landscapes that lead all the way up to Laguna de los Tres, the gorgeous lake that sits below the rugged Fitz Roy peak. Campamento Poincenot offered shelter from the winds overnight and allowed me to leave my heavy bags behind as I made my way up to the lake….twice. I also made the effort to check out the Piedras Blancas Glacier and Laguna Torre, as well as lots of other lakes and fun surprises along the way. I would liked to have pushed on to Lago Electrico but I’ve only got a limited amount of time here in Patagonia and I was more than satisfied with what I’d seen (and keen for a shower and some food!).

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Battling the Wind at Laguna Torre

I made the (semi ridiculous) decision to take a 3 hour detour to Laguna Torre on my way back to El Chalten, despite carrying a huge pack on only a few hours sleep. I’ll probably only see this part of the world once though so when you think about it, why wouldn’t I make the detour?? What I once thought was strong wind turned out to be nothing more than a fresh breeze as this place was blowing a gale! As I walked over the ridge near the lake I could barely stand up, it was so intense that I couldn’t even walk down to the water’s edge. I took one photo and then got the hell out of there. Haha in retrospect this is one of my favourite memories of the trip, even if it was horrendous at the time.

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Sunset & Sunrise at Mt Fitz Roy

Watching the sunset at Mt Fitz Roy was a little bit magical, so much so that I got up early (very early) and watched the sunrise as well! They’re both unique experiences and not to missed if you get the chance. Expect nasty weather and then hope for the best, someone must have been looking out for me because it was remarkably calm while I was up there.

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Just Me and the Moon

After setting up my tent below the summit of Mt Fitz Roy and I climbed up there and enjoyed a spectacular sunset. It was so great I decided to get up in the middle of the night and return for sunrise. While crossing a river not far from my tent I spotted the moon above the hills looking extra pretty, I should have been sleeping but that kind of thing can wait when there’s so much great stuff to see!

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A Quick Stop at Mirador Rio de las Vueltas

Picking up a sleeping bag and tent in El Chalten was making my already heavy bag almost unbearable. I took the opportunity to take a break at Mirador Rio de las Vueltas, a gorgeous spot that also serves a reminder of how windy it can get in Patagonia. And when I say windy I mean WINDY! I struggled to hold the camera for this shot but it came out ok. The scene reminded me of a pretty landscape painting so I added a little texture to give it a painterly feel.

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The Jagged Peaks of Mt Fitz Roy

After a picturesque bus ride from El Calafate to El Chalten I stocked up on supplies and picked myself up a comically sized sleeping bag and tent combination (advances in technology don’t appear to have reached here yet) for an overnight hike to Mt Fitz Roy and beyond. I was looking forward to this part of the trip and the the closer I got to the jagged peaks of Mt Fitz Roy, the more excited I got! I eventually arrived at a fork in the path that gave me the choice of two routes that would eventually meet up again. Being the indecisive person that I am I stood there without moving for about 5 minutes before deciding to take the high road that eventually got me this great view of the Mt Fitz Roy summit.

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Epic Epicness at Perito Moreno Glacier

The Perito Moreno Glacier is an epic sight, throw in huge sheets of ice routinely crashing into the water and you have yourself quite a spectacle. As great as it was I wish there were a few clouds around as the plain blue sky made my shots a little boring (yes I am complaining about blue skies). I spent a few hours doing a glacier walk which was fun, it was nice seeing the glacier from a different perspective and the deep blue lakes hidden away in the glacier were just beautiful.

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An Evening at the El Calafate Wildlife Reserve

After settling into my digs in El Calafate I did a little looking around and came across a wildlife reserve down near Lake Argentino. It turned out to be an incredibly beautiful spot, especially as the sun went down in the evening. Reflective ponds, pretty flowers and animals frolicking in the long grass made for some great photography!

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McDaniels – I’m Lovin It!

Oh yeah! Time for some McDaniels!….wait, what?

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Posted in El Calafate, Patagonia

Arriving in El Calafate

Three flights later and I’ve finally arrived in El Calafate, Argentina, where I will begin my Patagonian odyssey. I have that feeling you get when you arrive in a strange part of the world and can’t speak the language, there’s apprehension but a fun sense of curiosity that draws you around the next corner to see what lies ahead. Right now what I hope what lies ahead is food because I’m hungry!

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Posted in El Calafate, Patagonia

Leaving Brazil….Slowly

I’m leaving Brazil but they’re not making it easy for me. It’s three flights from Iguazu Falls to El Calafate in Argentina and I’m kinda over the whole airport experience to tell you the truth. On the brightside, complaining about flights is definitely a first world problem and it occasionally gives you the chance to see something you might not have before, like the sun coming up over the runway….or is it going down? I don’t even know anymore.

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Iguazu Falls – Photos from the End of the World

Iguazu Falls feels like something you’d find at the end of the world if you were one of those old school explorers navigating the high seas. Theories of the Earth being flat aren’t so common these days but it’s fun to use your imagination. Iguazu Falls is a tourist destination for sure but there’s still room for a little exploration and discovery if you don’t mind forking out for one of the fancy pants hotels that lets you walk around to your heart’s content after everyone else has been kicked out of the park. This is by far and away the best way to see Iguazu Falls, you’ll still enjoy yourself during normal hours but there’s something magical about standing there by yourself, marveling at the spectacle, just you and nature. If you can only visit from one side I’d personally go with Argentina because of the variety of trails and view points it offers but the view from Brazil ain’t half bad either.

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The Devil’s Throat at Iguazu Falls

Taking the extended walkway deep into the Devil’s Throat of Iguazu Falls (on the Argentinian side) was an awesome thrill and perhaps the most impressive display of mother nature’s raw power that I’ve ever seen. I must have been there close to an hour soaking up the experience (and water). The wind was fickle so getting decent shots before spray ruined things was tricky but I stuck with it and got a few shots that came out nice.

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Posted in Brazil, Iguazu falls

Iguazu Falls in Argentina

After checking out Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side I got up early in the morning and made my way over the border to Argentina. There was more to see over this side, although the sheer number of people in the park made things a little stressful (especially huge tour groups, yuck!). As well as a wider range of trails, there was also the chance to take a quick boat ride over to San Martin Island which sits in the middle of everything. It’s fun exploring the island and you get some great angles of the falls, complete with epic rainbows!

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Iguazu Falls in Brazil

I was pretty excited about Iguazu Falls so I planned on seeing it from both sides, starting off in Brazil. Staying at the hotel inside the park made a huge difference, it was a little expensive but it gave me the opportunity to walk around as I pleased in the evening without having to worry about pesky commoners getting in my way. You get a nice overview of the falls from Brazil including perhaps the best angle if you were going to take just one photo.

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Looking for a Camera in Rio de Janeiro

Before I could really enjoy my stay in Rio de Janeiro, I needed to find a camera to replace the one I “misplaced” in the Atlantic Ocean. This proved to be extremely difficult. It would have been fine if I was looking for a cheap point and shoot but I wanted a decent DSLR that would work with my lenses. The staff at my hostel were nice enough to locate a store for me, only when I got there (across town) it turned out to be a copy center! Great! Thanks guys, they don’t even sell cameras!! Haha kinda funny in an incredibly dissapointing way. I ended up buying a Canon Rebel from a shopping center on the outskirts of Rio which was a relief, even if the price wasn’t. This allowed me to venture forth in my exploration of Rio, checking out all the hotspots and even doing a tour of a local favela (not a slum, but close). It’s interesting that I need a camera with me to really enjoy places these days, I’m not sure it’s a worrying trend or just a reflection of my uber-enthusiasm for photography. I don’t love the photos I took here but hopefully they’ll improve as I get used to my replacement camera.

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A View of Rio from Sugarloaf Mountain

Taking a cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain is pretty much a must-do while in Rio de Janeiro. It’s a bit of a tourist trap but well, what I am going to do about it? Take my money and let’s get this over and done with already! Haha that’s a little harsh, I enjoyed it up there and even waited for it to get dark so I could see the bright lights of Rio from above.

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Random Robot Battles in Santa Teresa

This one is tough to explain. Santa Teresa is a wonderful, artistic area of Rio de Janeiro and I had a great time staying there. Occasionally I came across things like random robot battles, and I feel all the better for it.

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Fun Street Art in Rio

One of my favourite things about Rio is the fun street art (graffiti?) you find all over the place (especially good near Santa Teresa). I walked past this wall and couldn’t resist getting my camera out and taking a snap. I wish more places were this bright and colourful, I mean, you can’t have drawings of skeleton faced women everywhere but it’s nice every now and then.

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People I Don’t Know at Escadaria Selarón

Escadaria Selarón is a funky set of stairs in Rio de Janeiro near the neighbourhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa. They’re bright, colourful and very ornate, but they’re still just stairs so don’t expect too much. I don’t actually know the woman in this photo (although I wish I did!), there was always someone getting in the way of a clean shot so in the end I just gave up and ran with this one.

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