Long before we left on this journey we had dreamt of exploring the magical world of Patagonia. We imagined glacier-clad peaks looking over turquoise lakes, out of which ran bubbling rivers through verdant green forests, with deer, guanacos, and hares running wild and eagles gracing the skies. We realized that this was probably an unrealistic expectation, but we still had dreams of an enchanting place at the southern end of the world. As we fished, hiked, and camped our way through the Lakes District we realized our Patagonia dreams were beginning to come true. As we got further south, into the heart of the deep south, it only kept getting better. Patagonia showed us many faces, but almost all of them were beautiful and wild.
We never planned this to be a climbing trip, or a trekking trip, or a surfing trip, it was always meant to be an overlanding adventure. That being said, we’ve been very lucky to enjoy an abundance of great trekking, surfing, and climbing over the past year. One of the many amazing places we stumbled across where we could enjoy one of our hobbies was Piedra Parada, a climbing area in the dry steppe east of the green lushness of the Lakes District. We spent four warm sunny days working our muscles and tearing our fingers up on the big walls of the incredible Buitrera Canyon. The routes were well-bolted and fun, the walls were enormous, the canyon was breathtaking, the air was warm, and the beer waiting in the fridge for us was cold. Once again we were very glad that we hauled that heavy climbing gear with us all this way.
We finally made it to the much-anticipated Lakes District in northern Patagonia. We had read accounts of other overlanders traveling through the area and knew that it would amaze, but nothing could have prepared us for the beauty. With its stunning azure lakes, crystal clear rivers, and temperate forests filled with the strange Monkey Puzzle Trees, the Lakes District far exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed a leisurely travel pace, spending our days fly fishing, hiking, and relaxing as we passed from one incredible lakeside or riverside campsite to the next.