30 March 2015

Patagonia

I just got back to my home in Viña del Mar from a weekend long trip to Patagonia with some friends from my program.

It was probably the most beautiful place I've ever seen.

I only have one class on Fridays and no classes on Mondays (and most of my friends don't have classes either of those days), so we decided to take advantage of it and fly down to Punta Arenas (the southernmost large-ish city in Chile) early Friday morning. We left Valparaíso on Thursday evening and stayed in the Santiago airport overnight.

my friend Tory trying to sleep in the airport- not the most comfortable place
By Friday afternoon we were in Punta Arenas and checked into our hostel. It is pretty far south (about 53 degrees, whose northern equivalent lands over Alaska), and very flat. We were past the southern tip of the Andes, and right on the Strait of Magellan, which connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

a sea lion statue in Punta Arenas
The next day, we got up early for a tour of Tierra del Fuego, an island at the southern tip of Patagonia. Part of it belongs to Chile, and part to Argentina. 

our ferry at sunrise

Once we got there, we toured a small town called Porvenir. We learned about the people who were native to the area, who were wiped out entirely by European settlers. The town had a little plaza with information about them, as well as a museum.

We then continued on throughout the island, seeing flamingos

dogs
and PENGUINS!
The penguins were amazing. There weren't that many, and they were kind of far away (my camera has a good zoom), but they're one of very few colonies of King Penguins accessible by the public in Chile (they tend to live in Antarctica). We also got to witness them teach their babies how to make the right sounds, which was really cute.

The tour continued throughout the island, and when we got back we went to bed early because we had to get up at 4:30 AM the next day for a tour of Torres del Paine national park.

It was so, so, so gorgeous. We went all over the park. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:







And those pictures only begin to capture it. It was an amazing weekend, and I feel so lucky to be able to be here doing this. I highly encourage everyone to study abroad- it opens your mind to how things work and are in other parts of the world, you get to meet new people and learn new things, and you get great stories out of it!

I'll leave you with a picture of my friend Holly (also an LC student) and I representing Lewis & Clark in Patagonia- to show where going to Lewis & Clark can take you! :

"LC"

Email me with any questions! rekidder@lclark.edu

Rebecca