Patagonia, a trip down memory lane

April 2023

In 1992 we traveled by public transport from Buenos Aires all the way down to Calafate in Southern Patagonia. The emptiness and the endless landscapes awed us. They still do. Nowadays Calafate has a real airport. On our flight in we were amazed by the landscape with its mountains and glaciers, the bright blue lakes contrasted by the vegetation.

Thirty years ago we did not have the time and the equipment to go hiking in Torres Del Paine. Back then we promised ourselves we would come back. And we are glad we did. The landscapes are stunning. The Andes and the Fitzroy massive with its towers are breathtaking. The light and the colors seem to change constantly due to the ever changing weather. Sunshine, snow, rain, we had it all within the hour. The strong wind creates impressive lenticular clouds, which look like massive spaceships. The vegetation is adapted to survive these harsh conditions. Beech forests which are native to the southern Andes region line the gorges and the hillsides. Sturdy shrubs and grasses grow on the open planes and along the lakes.  

Back in the days there was no internet. All the information we needed on where to go and stay we got from our Lonely Planet guide book and the travelers we met along the way. We kept people at home updated through a scheduled collect call once a week and by writing letters, which were photocopied and sent on by family and friends. To take our stories home we took pictures with a simple Kodak camera and transported our film in a lead bag, not to have them damaged by the airport scanners. Nowaday we have more than decent digital photo equipment. We hope you enjoy the pictures in our gallery down below. Soon we will publish our pictures of the pumas of Patagonia.

What an adventure

In March 1992 we embarked on our trip around the world. We had just finished our studies and had not really started our working careers. So off we went with our backpack and sleeping bag. On our first intercontinental flight ever, smoking was still allowed. When we landed in Buenos Aires there was a cholera epidemic. What an adventure.

Perito Moreno

Visiting Perito Moreno again was interesting. Today the glacier is a real tourist attraction, just like Calafate, which we remembered as a sleepy little town. But it was good to be back and see that the glacier was still there due to the massive southern ice field which keeps on feeding it and defines the weather in Patagonia.

The return berries

We especially liked the Calafate berries. Locals in the region use them for all sorts of delicious food and drinks. The shrub is considered a symbol of the Patagonian region. In fact, there are legends about the plant that say that individuals who eat the Calafate berry will return to Patagonia within their lifetimes, which is what we did. 

Have a look at twikga Stories…

The stories of Tanja Dekker Illustration and the twikga books, children’s books about the wilderness, with its diversity of animals, plants and landscapes…