Post-finals celebration – PATAGONIA
After classes and finals are officially finished, it is very common for students in my program to travel for a week or so. I went to Patagonia for 12 days after the program ended, and it was easily one of my favorite trips in my life.
First, went to a small backpacking town called El Chalten and went on daily hikes and horseback rides. The best part of being there was all the people that we would meet each day. In our hostel, we stayed with an Austrailian couple who weren’t feeling their jobs so they just quit and are traveling for an indefinite amount of time (6 months so far) and two Italians who are just rock climbing for three weeks and had all this equipment. Each night, we would play bananagrams and card games with random people in the hostel from all over the world. Below, there’s a picture of my friend Megan and I with these two girls we met from Israel and Germany who met on the trail and are now traveling together for the next several months!
After that, we went to a town called El Calafate and saw a huge glacier, bigger than the entire city of Buenos Aires! It was really incredible, and every few minutes you would hear a huge sound like the crash of thunder, and a giant chunk would break off of the glacier and fall into the water.
Also, I discovered my new favorite animal… it’s called a Guanaco and they are all over Patagonia. They’re like a mix between a llama and a deer and super adorable
Then, I did a 5-day backpacking trip in Torres del Paine with a group of 8 people, half friends from my program in Buenos Aires, and then the other half were with IFSA-Butler in Santiago, Chile. We stayed in tents every night and carried all of our food and equipment for the trip with us in backpacks. It was easily the most beautiful place I have ever been. The trip was 85 kilometers, and we definitely finished with plenty of blisters and sore muscles, but unforgettable memories. A trip like that allows you to be completely disconnected, with no cell phones or wi fi, forcing you to enjoy the journey, nature, and people you’re with, without any distractions.
In the morning of the fifth day of our hike, we woke up at 4am and hiked with head lamps up to watch the sunrise at the “torres” (pictured below) The beauty was unreal and an incredible end to the trip.