When it comes down to the world’s most recognizably profound outdoor environments, Patagonia will undoubtedly be at the top of that list.
Looking at any pictures of the vast scope of land, this becomes obvious. There is something about the uniqueness in the composure of the mountains and the virginity of the valleys in between that is instantly recognizable.
Being a student here, the first question that everyone asks is, “when are you visiting Patagonia?” and it creates an air of mysticism around the subject. Not of the sights to be seen because they are plastered everywhere on the internet, but rather of the experience of being surrounded and overwhelmed by pristine and seemingly prehistoric earth.
My friends and I spent six days hiking the W trail. The first days were enthusiastic and loud. Arriving after a comfortable few days of preparation and anticipation, we were fresh faced and clean. We laughed in glee at the sights and wowed and awed together at the more astounding experiences, but after the first two or three days, the ritual of walking and taking in all that Patagonia had to offer in that instance became almost a religious experience.
We were no less content than when we were more verbally expressing our attitude, but the consistency of the wonderment that is being induced by the ever changing environment didn’t need the constant reaffirmation. At some point it starts to take an internal turn and what was originally thought to be a social experience turns introspective.
By the last few miles and in walking with your back to the mountains, you start to realize the gravity of the sights and experiences that you have witnessed, and regardless of anyone’s previous experiences you get on the bus back to Puerto Natales a little different than when you stepped off, ready to hike your first day. These pictures are some of the many sights that contributed to one of the most rewarding and humbling trips I have had the pleasure of experiencing.
The world awaits…discover it.