Volcano sightings keep life interesting!

Feeling ready to progress our way up north, we spontaneously booked a flight Puerto Montt to begin our journey through the Lakes District of Argentina/Chile. We spent 2 nights in the lovely town of Puerto Varas which has beautiful views and interesting Colonial style German buildings. We arrived just in time for a magical sunset.

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Josh got the buzz around town that a big soccer game – Chile vs Argentina was on that evening so guess where we ended up? A few beers, pisco sours and a massive pizza later we were having a jolly time soaking up the atmosphere. Needless to say Josh (bless his soul) was trying to discuss tactics and strategies with me, but I was quite content people watching 🙂

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The next day we put the hiking boots back on and made our way by minibus to Petrohue, the entrance to Chile’s second largest national park. Our aim for the day trek was to get a good view of the volcano, and that we did! Cool feeling being higher than the clouds..

20121019-083307.jpg Being in the Lakes District I guess you would expect beautiful lakes, but pictures don’t really capture how pristine and spectacular these bodies of water are! And the guy standing in front is alright as well 😉

20121019-083328.jpg Now this next photo is Josh showing off how much faster he was walking than me. That’s ok :). Spending 24/7 with one person means a little space is required… Today we soaked up the opportunity to enjoy some personal space.

20121019-083631.jpg Lunch at the lookout point was amazing! Food is always that much better when you have earned it. Tuna and avo rolls hit the spot.

20121019-192935.jpgAfter lunch we persevered up a little higher and a little closer the volcano. Hard work as it was quite a steep incline, but the reward? Running skiing (without skis) our way down the sandy trail. Adrenaline peak!

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Interrupted by this awesome cloud! Reminded us of the Philadelphia cream advert. We took so many pics of it and have o far been unless with deleting unnecessary pictures, but have kept a good handful of these cloud ones.

20121019-083840.jpg 16 kms of nature at its finest, finished off with a Chilean Pink Lady Apple makes for a very content girl!

20121019-083850.jpg Great day, great place. Coming to you next from Bariloche, Argentina.

Adios amigos and THANKYOU everyone for your comments, we love arriving at a wifi spot and reading them all!

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!

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Chile adventures on foot

After arriving in the town of Puerto Natales after a long 14 hour bus ride from Ushuaia our trekking adventure in Torres Del Paine national park was next on our agenda and the part of our trip we were both so excited for!

This trek involved carrying our tent, sleeping bags, mats, sleeping gear, wet weather gear, stove, gas, cooking utensils, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 4 dinners all on our backs for approximately 85 kms. Our hostel room was a bomb before we left.. 20121015-120610.jpg

We woke up bright and early Wednesday morning – but not early enough. Our phones were on the wrong time zone setting and thinking it was 630am it was actually 730am. Luckily the bus driver agreed to come back for us! We took a bus to the park and then a catamaran to the starting point of the W-trek which we were about to begin. Ready to go with bright orange wet weather gear- tick! 20121015-120623.jpg
From the very beginning of the trek the views were breathtaking. The terrain was so diverse from devastating desolate fire affected areas (caused by a tourist in January), to lush greenery, snow capped mountains, aqua lakes, glaciers and beautiful valleys and streams. With little to no wind the reflections of the mountains on the lake were incredible.
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Luckily we didn’t have to carry water with us. Any running stream of water was good to drink. And good is an understatement 🙂 water never tasted so fresh and crisp! 20121015-120641.jpg
Day 1 we walked towards Glacier Grey. It was so cool seeing the icebergs and the different shades of white and blue caused by the reflections of the sky and the surroundings.
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Got to love a few selfies 😉
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We camped right by the glacier the first night. We woke up thinking there was a massive thunder storm when in actual fact it was part of the glacier chipping off. Nature and its surprises.

For dinner we enjoyed devoured mushroom risotto from a packet. Our conversation went something like this.. “This could honestly be served in a 5 star restaurant”… “Maybe its just cause we are hungry”… “no i’m serious i don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything so good”. Lol.
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Next day we were all packed up and off to our next campsite. Crossing big, unstable bridges with signs like these are enough to make you a bit concerned. 20121015-120821.jpg

On day 3 we were blessed with beautiful blue skies which we did not take for granted after hearing horror stories about Patagonian weather.20121015-120829.jpg
A day of picturesque scenery.
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Panoramic 360 degree view. Feeling a bit low on the energy side of things, this definitely raised the spirits!20121015-120845.jpg

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Occasionally we would just stop, pinch ourselves that we were actually here and have a moment to take it all in.20121015-120914.jpg

This was by at our favourite day of scenery. Patagonia was really showing off what it has to offer 😉 20121015-120924.jpg

If mushroom risotto was 5 star quality, then 2 minute noodles AND creamy spinach soup deserved 3 hats!20121015-120930.jpg

Pitching our tent on a wooden board at the next campsite was luxury! A flat surface, unlike the previous night prevented me waking up squashed to the side of the tent on the hard cold ground (with Josh soundly asleep and oblivious) haha 20121015-120936.jpg

We had a relatively good night sleep and were ready the most difficult day of the trek. 22 kms and steep inclines. But after a hearty bowl of delicious hot oats- you know about my love for them– we were ready and pumped! . 20121015-120943.jpg

We reached our campsite way earlier than we expected, pitched our tent and decided to trek up to Torres Del Paine thinking it would just be a stroll. How wrong we were! Steep and rocky- but well worth the view! 20121015-120951.jpg
The cow mountain.
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After a lovely evening at camp we woke up for our last day, dosed up on the oats and coffee and off we went! 20121015-121006.jpg
We made it our tradition to run as fast as we could down hills (yes, with our massive backpacks on)… Such fun! This also meant our 10ks down to our end point just flew
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After a fun and relatively easy day we arrived at our final destination feeling good, accomplished and satisfied!20121015-121024.jpg

We enjoyed coke and coffee and a clean bathroom with oh so sweet melting soap!!!!20121015-121034.jpg

After finally returning to our hostel, returning our hired gear and scrubbing up like never before we headed out for a post-trek feed to a place recommended by our friend Bortzy, La Picada de Don Carlitos. a20121015-121103.jpg

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What an incredible journey we shared together! We crossed many boundaries that should probably never be crossed, spent hours chatting about random topics from trigonometry to economics to singing random songs, playing rhyming games, predicting passer-byers’ itineraries and enjoying kms of absolute silence.

Today we are taking a day to unwind, relax and rest the feet before taking a a bus early tomorrow morning to El Calafate back in Argentina.

Until next time, hasta Luego!

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!

Ushuaia – The end of the world

We arrived in Ushuaia ready for our adventure to begin, and Ushuaia, you did not disappoint! Ushuaia is the southern most city in the world, surrounded by mountains on one side and the Beagle Canal on the other. As soon as we touched down on the runway situated metres from the canal, with the backdrop of the snow capped mountains we knew we were in for a treat.

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Knowing we only had one full day here we woke up extra early yesterday morning to squeeze everything we wanted to do in. We stayed in a charming guest house called Viento Del Sur and we were served a delicious breakfast which fuelled us for what was to come! Our first stop was Glacier Martial, where you can catch a chairlift up to the base or walk up. We of course chose to walk. We were the only people to be seen and no footprints to follow which was both daunting and exciting.

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The snow was fresh, fluffy and perfect for snow angels 🙂

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and the view just kept getting better!

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We searched and searched for a path but it was nowhere to be seen. We did spot a couple of benches that had been snowed over almost completely and we assumed (and found out after) that due to the large amounts of snow the paths had been covered. But despite this we were not heading back just yet. We decided the only way to go was up! In thick snow, we treaded our way up the mountain. Stages of it required crawling on our hands and knees, fighting the gravity pulling us down!

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And there was only one way down! We tobogganed our way down on our bums. Crazy scary at first we were both just kind of shaking in our boots but once we gave into the idea of it, it was awesome!

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Beautiful morning!

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And no better way to finish it off…

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Now all we needed was a taxi to take us back to town. But none to be found, so we began our long trek down. Realising how long this was going to take us we resorted to other options. we were in luck and managed to hitch a ride with a lovely lady who happened to work at the tea shop.

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We headed to the supermarket, bought some things for lunch including brown rolls, tuna, ricotta and an avocado and caught a taxi to our next destination- Tierra Del Fuego (Land of Fire).

We had no real expectations of the national park, no map and no real idea of what we were in for. We naively got dropped at the entrance to the park, a VERY long way away from the start of the trails. Luckily an Argentinian guy in a taxi stopped and offered us to jump in the taxi with him. Matias, thank you! You truly saved the day. It turns out there are several trails you can do, of various lengths and difficulties and with very different starting points. While some head inland, we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and join Matias on the coastal trail.

And nothing could prepare us for what were about to see. The most tranquil place with absolutely breathtaking views!

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After 2 hours of walking we stopped for lunch. Beautiful views, great company, cold water and good food = bliss.

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We continued walking and were blown away by the beauty of this place.

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Literally a slice of heaven untouched and undisturbed.

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Smiles all round, all day.

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Can you spot Chile?

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After an awesome 10km walk we headed back to town, exhausted but very satisfied. We went straight to the supermarket, bought things to make dinner and retreated to the warmth of our hostel. A hearty meal and a bottle of red wine completed our perfect day!

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Josh’s thoughts

A quick introduction to this section:
Those that know us will agree that Kel and I are quite different in personalities- Kel is the artistic, idealistic and carefree type, who loves spontaneity – Kel often likes to leave things to the very last minute – often resulting in moments of chaos, but somehow always managing to pull through. I on the other hand am a firm believer in logic, practicality and forward planning. I like things organised, and when I write, it is generally direct and to the point.
Luckily however, the two of us complement each other like steak and potatoes (or in Kel’s case sushi and soy sauce). We both share a common love for the outdoors, food and exercise, and we aren’t afraid to tell each other when they do something funny, impressive, annoying or disgusting!

Given we are sharing this adventure together, I feel like it is my obligation to add some cold hard facts, tips and things we have learnt, to the end of each of kels lovely, fluffy, and emotional recounts. The idea of this section will be to help provide a bit more info about the places we visit, as well as to provide a little bit of practical advice to those thinking of travelling to the same places. It’s not comprehensive, but just a few things to know before you get there without ruining the surprise!

So without further ado, I present my tips on Ushuaia:

The weather changes extremely frequently So have lots of layers. I wore a long sleaved merino wool thermal, a polar fleece and a wind/rain thin outer jacket. And between these I was fine. The weather would move between sunshine, wind, rain and snow all in about 15 minutes.

Pick a trail for Tierra Del Fuego before you go, and get dropped at the start of that trail. Also, enquire as to taxi or bus service from the end of the trail back to Ushuaia because these are not always so frequent. We were lucky as a mini bus stopped for us and let us buy a ticket on the bus (rather than from a travel agent)

Travel agents are closed between 2.30pm and 5.30pm (and closed on Sundays) so make sure you book buses etc before or after.

ATMs can run out of money! So always make sure you plan ahead and keep a couple of days cash in reserves. Also, one of our bank cards stopped working (I think our bank was suspicious of all the money beings drawn in Argentina) so having a second bank account as back up was a saver for us!

Don’t expect people to speak English. Having at least a bit of Spanish is a must- it’s amazing how you can get by with just a few Spanish lessons at home under your belt (plus a travel companion who can speak a bit more!)

Anyway that’s all for now. Hasta Luego! (Until next time)

Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!

South America Travels

Things have been a bit quiet on My Love Affair with Running of late, as life seems to be getting busier! I haven’t spoken much about my upcoming trip (3 weeks to go!) so I thought I would fill you in, all while wearing my new specs from Kito. 

Such an awesome range of glasses and sunglasses made in Italy. Their new range ‘Look at the brighter side of life‘ is amazing! Check it out by clicking on the pic below.

I chose this black frame but I honestly fell in love with their collection and could have easily walked away with the whole range. Thanks Kito, I am loving my new ‘accessory’ 🙂

So back to the trip.. Josh and I are off for 3 months to South America. We haven’t planned too much but our backpacks will be filled and ready for whatever adventures come our way! Can’t wait to travel with my partner in crime…

Even though after 3 months we might end up like this 🙂

We are super excited and trying to keep on top of work while squeezing in last minute Doctor appointments for our shots, Dentist appointments for that regular checkup etc and shopping for all the little things that take time i.e. pink hiking boots (which I found yesterday and fitted me and my orthotic like a glove;))

 

We are beginning our journey in Argentina and will be trekking our little hearts out so can NOT wait to get good value out of my boots 🙂

Any advice for adventuring our way through South America? 

Happy Wednesday, friends!