This is a story about the Chilean Patagonia, which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited.
My name is Mariana Barros and I work as a travel designer in Brazil.
One of the perks of my job is that I'm invited to visit awesome places and more often than not my boyfriend goes with me. His name is Fabio and he's a photographer and filmmaker, which is very convenient when you visit picturesque places.
It's a long way
The first thing you have to know when planning to visit Patagonia is that it's an isolated region of the world. It can take a while to get there.
Our trip from Brazil took about 32 hours, between flight duration and layovers. Lucky for us, it was arranged in such a way that we arrived in the town of Punta Arenas very early in the morning, just in time for this:
So, at 5am we were picked up at the airport for the 3-hour drive to Puerto Natales, the closest town to Torres del Paine National Park.
The route is very scenic, so we battled jet lag and stayed awake for pictures.
Patagonia in general proved to be a revelation to us, the complete opposite to the antartic wasteland our imaginations led us to envision before arriving.
You can feel it when you go on any of the tours or hikes. What striked us was a certain emptiness, the kind where you feel connected to a world from long ago.
The silence is omnipresent, as is the vegetation, the jagged peaks and pristine rivers.
The red-eye from Santiago is highly recommended.
In Puerto Natales we got to experience the amazing Singular Hotel.
The former home of a cold storage plant built in the early 20th century, The Singular has been transformed into a very cool hotel.
and the food is probably the best we had in Chile.
The breathtaking Tierra Patagonia Hotel was the next stop on our way Torres del Paine. How would you feel staying in a hotel with this view?
We felt energized, and that's exactly what we'd need for the amount of hiking we'd be doing the next morning.
The Torres hike takes almost 5 hours to climb and about 4 to descend. 5 miles each way and over a 2000ft ascension. It is doable, but not an easy task, especially for those like us, who aren't used to hiking. We were passed by a local 10 year-old and stayed alongside a lady on her 60's (we're 30).
But then, after you've exhausted hope of arriving and can only focus on your next step...
You arrive at this oasis...words can't do it justice.
The view we talked about earlier though, isn't restricted to daytime. The hike takes a full day, so we got back to the hotel close to nightfall. After resting and having dinner, we went out to the deck and decided we should bring the camera...
The moon and the stars came out to toast another exhilarating day. We kept going in the days to come, dreaming about what we experienced and hoping to see and feel more.
We imagined and it became real.
Where will our imagination take us next?
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