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.
After a slow week in the Atacama Desert we drove over one last pass and finally descended from the altiplano into the verdant hills and valleys of northern Argentina. In Salta Tim braved a dentist, we got our first taste of the Argentinian lifestyle, and thoroughly enjoyed the company and fantastic cooking of some great overlanders. As we headed south we passed through incredible landscapes of painted hills and green river valleys before arriving in the charming town of Cafayate, where we spent Christmas drinking good cheap wine and practicing our grilling skills. Before heading back over the mountains to Chile we spent a few days in Mendoza, where we went wine tasting like good tourists, and then got hit with one of the worst hailstorms we’ve ever seen.