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Retired and living like a King in Patagonia!

Bonus points for anyone who knows this quote…  Ok so I’m pretty far from retired, but after trekking around Patagonia I for sure wouldn’t mind living like a King there someday!  Or just an average everyday guy…

It. Was. Amazing!

Bariloche

After a long commute from Cape Town I arrived to Bariloche, Argentina, which is where we’d be kicking off 6 weeks of exploration, hiking, the occasional glass of Malbec, etc.  Obviously Joe was asleep when I met him at our hostel, dude is seriously talented at sleeping!  I had forgotten what a narcolept he was at times… Joe had been to Bariloche before when he travelled in 2008 but hadn’t been back since.  He had talked it up pretty heavily saying it had amazing hiking, biking, food/wine, and an overall really fun vibe that attracted adventure-seeking travelers from all over the world!

First things first- after long commutes, massages just make sense, no?  They do in the world of Joe and Brian.  This was great… Joe was kicking off his sabbatical and I was wrapping mine up, but we’d get to pretty much hang during this crossover time for 7 weeks.  It’s been awesome exploring the world alone, but having one of your best friends to chill with, without having any ‘real life’ obligations was gonna be epic!  We were gonna be outdoors a lot doing a ton of hiking.  We had the ‘O Circuit’ of Torres del Paine on the horizon and Joe is doing Aconqagua in the very near future, so we thought we’d just train as much as we could.  Plus, hiking is awesome.  I love it.  Such good exercise.  You’re out in nature, generally capturing some pretty good photos, and all in all just enjoying both the conversation as well as the moments of quiet time…

After the massage and following a dinner of steak and wine (yes, we’re ‘mostly’ vegetarian, but we ARE in Argentina after all and figured a little extra protein would probably help with our energy levels…) we turned in, tomorrow we started testing ourselves…

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Sunset, night one.  This was gonna be good…

 

There are many trails around the area, varying in length and difficulty.  We of course sorted by longest/most difficult  We wanted to hit the ground running (hiking).

A Chance Encounter- While awaiting a bus we realized we wouldn’t be able to buy sunscreen and it was a super sunny day- so Joe asked a group of younger guys if they happened to have any we could borrow.  They did and then we all rode the bus to the trail together, chatting the whole way.  2 of the guys were travelers from Israel and the other was a kid named Dylan.  He grew up in Boulder and was currently on a gap year from his studies at U of Miami, working at hostels in exchange room and board, and just experiencing as much as the world as he could.  We pretty much adopted him on the spot.

The hiking in Bariloche was amazing!  Every morning we’d jump out of our beds, excited about the day’s upcoming adventure in nature.  I remember when I used to dread having to get up in the morning for something like this.  Get out of bed to walk to coffee?  No problem.  Get up and hike 12 miles?  Eff that… But no longer!  Nothing can get me up and moving faster than a day on a trail!   

Will let the pictures do the talking, though they don’t even remotely do this place justice!  It’s some of the most beautiful and peaceful scenery I’ve ever found myself in…

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With our newly adopted little brother Dylan…
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Cool that I got to share this experience with Joe!
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Good times…
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The Refugios were generally the end goal of most of the day hikes…
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We’d always find a little quiet time to just sit and look out at this beautiful blue ball we share with the universe and each other…
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A seasonal restaurant/bar sits halfway up the trail, not a bad view!
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Eagles were everywhere around here!
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Dylan generally beat us to wherever we were headed, damn young legs…
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A ‘Cathedral’ built into a Boulder in the middle of the woods…
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Take time to reflect… (see what I did there?)
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The future is in good hands!
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A new take on my classic travel pose
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Beauty in nature…

 

And just like that, it was time to move on!  We treated Dylan to a ‘boys night’ steak dinner on our last night to thank him for showing us the trails.  Plus, homeboy was pretty much living on a giant ziplock bag of noodles he carried around with him haha.  Respect.  It was a chance meeting, but one that I like to think was beneficial on both sides.  Was nice getting a fresh perspective on the world, and at the same time sharing some of our life experiences and practices (like meditation) that will hopefully impact Dylan’s life positively as well.  Life is good…

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Farewell dinner (for now)…
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Even Vegans eat steak in Argentina… 😉

 

El Chalten

After Bariloche we flew to El Calafate for some more hiking.  We’d start by driving 2 hours to the town of El Chalten (famous for Mt Fitz Roy, the inspiration for the Patagonia Clothing Logo) where we’d spend a few days exploring the area.  I have to say, one of my favorite drives ever.  We were jamming to awesome music, on a sunny day, with this epic mountain range getting ever so closer.  One of those perfect road trips where you just can’t help but smile and feel pure happiness… 

Life was pretty simple these days: wake up, stretch, eat, hike, meditate, eat, hike, massage, eat, sleep.  It was awesome!  Every single day on this trip so far we’d see something new and be like ‘wow, just when we didn’t think it could possibly get any better than yesterday…’

And when I say life was simple, I mean simply amazing.  I felt so healthy, so balanced.  I realize more and more that this is the life I want to live.  It doesn’t take much to be really and truly happy.  No amount of ‘stuff’ will ever be able to compete with these views… enjoy.

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Driving to El Chalten…
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Entering the park…
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What a special little town!
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Even while staying in hostels, we still rocked Avo Toast!
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Daily meditation was a part of our lives…
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Leading to many a smile…
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Having fun on the trails 🙂
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Mt Fitz Roy- So many pics it was hard which to choose!
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Hiking all over the park gave us many different vantage points…
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You’d be under tree canopies and the mountains would just pop out!
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Joe is taller than me???
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Living in the moment…
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Mt Fitz Roy, El Chalten, Argentina…
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Striking poses…
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#Bliss
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Lampin’ in my new El Sportivos!
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Don’t Do It!!!
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He did it!  (Generating plenty of applause from the hikers above…)
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Another day, another way…
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Never gets old…
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Mindfulness…
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I will definitely come back here…
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That’s all for now!

 

 

 

 

Calafate

We’d spend two nights in El Calafate so that we could check out the Perito Moreno Glacier.  A-Mazing!  So cool to see something this massive up close, and even more crazy in that even though sheets of ice kept rupturing off (a sound you can truly only appreciate if you’ve heard it in person), it’s one of only 3 glaciers in the world that isn’t retreating.  Maybe there’s hope for the planet after all…

We took a boat right up to the glacial wall and then were dropped off to hike around the park (a UNESCO world heritage site) for a few hours.  Even when we weren’t on the proper trails, we were still getting our steps in!

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This thing is Massive!
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Mandatory glacier shot #1…
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Mandatory glacier shot #2…
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Glacial photobomb…
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Up and over the hill to the other ‘side’ of the glacier…
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Straight out of Superman!
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Just so impressive…

 

Back in town, I was dying for a proper coffee.  As it turned out, the highest rated espresso place also happened to be a wine bar/store, WITH an impressive whiskey/tasting selection!  On top of that the staff was in super festive moods as they were decorating the store for Christmas… all while listening to Ed Sheehan.  Oh yeah- it was also known for having the fastest wifi in town!  This place checked so many boxes for me it made my head spin!  We hung out there for a bit catching up on some admin as tomorrow we’d be headed to Chile to meet up with AJ and really get off the grid for a bit hiking Torres del Paine…

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Home Sweet (Coffee, Wine, Whiskey, and Wifi) Home…
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Two great tastes that taste great together…

 

 

Thoughts

I have to say I really really loved my time here.  The ‘I don’t have much but I don’t need much’ mindset really came back full force, probably the strongest it’s been since Nepal.  Family aside- A sunny day, a trail, and some good boots… add a side of Avo Toast and a good friend or two and I’m not sure really what else I truly need in life.

Much Love and Bliss,

B

 

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Never Stop Exploring…

bmw22oz View All

Just a guy on a hero's journey...

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