Patagonia – December 2016


Best options:
Company
Cost pp
W Trek
Added activities
All inclusive?
tent?
$3345-3500
yes
kayak iceberg
walk glaciers
$3500 for porter, $300 for regional flights; can add rafting or horseback riding in Chilean Lakes District; wine country
Tent vs. backcountry refugees
Buses in Chile
Easter Island

THE REAL ITINERARY

Air Canada: KMS54I
AC1886 SAN 11:30a —> Toronto 7:14P
AC92 Toronto 11:45p —> Santiago 12:45p on Dec 24

 
Arrive 12:45p to SCL
Gorgeous flight over the mountains and coast! Looks kinda like the flyover Santa Barbara where the mountains abut the ocean.
Annoying guy in immigration keeps turning and his backpack keeps hitting mine. I want to punch him!  He’s invading my personal space.
Night in Santiago
José Victorino Lastarria 276, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
Fantastic lunch spot! In a great area to walk around. Delicious wine and food pairings.
 
Confirmation Number: 310507392 
Lovely modern hotel in the middle of Bellas Artes district. Easily walkable to/from. Metro stop close by.

6am flight to Puerto Natales –> 9:30a
Stay Puerto Natales for the day:

Hotel IF Patagonia

Calle Magallanes 73, XII Región Puerto Natales, CHILE
Email: reservas@hotelifpatagonia.com
Phone: +5661 2410312, Fax: —

They have a sauna – super hip and modern!!


Swoop partnered with Chile Nativo in Puerto Natales to organize W trek.

11am – meet at Eberhard #230 office for group orientation. 

Day 1:

Starting from Puerto Natales at 12 PM or from Cerro Castillo at 1PM, we drive all the way to Torres del Paine National Park. We will drive through open pampas and huge ranches (estancias), and chances are we will be able to observe one of the most typical animals in this area, the nandu, (rare South American ostrich). We will follow an unpaved road heading to Refugio Las Torres to spend our first night. Upon entering the park we will have excellent photographic and bird-watching opportunities as we drive alongside lagoons frequented by Chilean flamencos and black-necked swans. Today’s hike is on a gentle trail following the border of the park and offers opportunities to see guanacos (Llama family) andthe Andean Condor.

2 hours private transfer to Torres del Paine

Hike duration: 3 hours 

AccommodationRefugio Las Torres

Meals: Dinner 
It was freakin windy!!! Omg. Hard to stay upright!

Day 2:

We will start our first day trekking to the base of the Towers, following the Ascencio River to enter the Ascencio Valley. Our walk will be uphill for one hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the valley surrounded by unbelievable beech forests (Nothofagus family), glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll continue through the valley for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to a lookout (900m), excellent for picture taking. At this point, we will be surrounded by three giant granite towers (2850m) and a lagoon with slurry waters due to erosion produced by glaciers. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch to add to the enjoyment. After being awed by the towers we’ll start our descent, following the same path back to the hut.

Hike duration: 7-8 hours 18 km

Accommodation: Refugio las Torres

Meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch, Dinner 

Day 3:

We will start early morning to enjoy, weather permitting, a magnificent dawn filled with orange-pink colors. As we leave the campground we will arrive at Inge lagoon. Chances are, on this path, we may see the flight of an Andean condor or eagles hunting hares or small rodents. We follow a well-marked trail ascending (around 200m) from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750m), crossing the Bader River to arrive at Refugio Los Cuernos where we will stay overnight.

Hike duration: 5 hours 11km (500m difference of level)

Accommodation: Refugio los Cuernos

Meals: Breakfast, boxed lunch, dinner

(You can upgrade to private cabins with two beds and sharing bathrooms in between the cabins only and a free Hot tub access for USD $80 per single occupancy or USD $40 per double occupancy)

Day 4:

We will start our day with a 2-hour walk going to an undulating path until reaching the French River for our first glimpses of the hanging glacier. Then we will ascend (300m,) for one hour through a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests, to reach the French Valley viewpoint gifting us with a magnificent view of both mountains and lakes. We will lunch here with good possibilities of seeing avalanches from the hanging glacier or simply observe the west side of the Cuernos (2600m), Espada (2400m) and Fortaleza (2800m). Our way back will be the same until we reach the entrance of the valley where we will continue on a different path around the South-West side of Paine Grande, the highest peak in the Park, through native forests of Chilean fire bush and evergreen beech (Nothofagus Bethuloides), up to the shore of the Pehoe Lake.

Hike duration: 7 hours 18 km

Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande

Meals: Breakfast, boxed lunch, dinner 

Day 5:

We will begin early in the morning with our hike to the Grey Glacier. Initially ascending 200mts up a winding narrow path leading us to Laguna Negra, a place where we will observe the first glimpses of the South Patagonia Ice Field with its many unclimbed mountains. We will advance through forests and rivers, with possible sightings of spectacle and flying steamer ducks, up to the glacier viewpoint. We will have lunch at this place to and hopefully catch sight of ice calving from the huge glacier wall. Right after lunch we start an exciting adventure by boat. We will navigate for a while in front of the glacier in the hope of seeing icebergs calve. Our return journey offers views of Paine Grande with its impressive ice mushrooms and we sail through icebergs of different tones of blue. Then we will take a transfer back to Puerto Natales.

Hike duration: 4 hours 12 km

Boat trip duration: 2 hours

Transfer duration: 2 hours

Meals: Breakfast, boxed lunch 

Please note: Trip can start/end in El Calafate, Argentina. Arrival El Calafate around 2pm on Day 6. Please enquire for further details.
 
Done with trip around 6pm.
 
Massage/spa at Mandala Andino
301, 6160000, Manuel Bulnes, Puerto Natales, Natales, Región de Magallanes y de la Antártica Chilena, Chile
7p – Deep body or detox massage (Christy), Thai massage (Kris)
Find bus from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas: BusSur
SALIDA LLEGADA SERVICIOS PRECIO
Puerto Natales
30.12.2016, 21:00
Terminal Rodoviario Puerto Natales
Punta Arenas
31.12.2016, 00:15
Terminal Bus-Sur Punta Arenas
HOTEL ILAIA
Telefono / Telephone: +56 61 2723100, Dirección / Address: Ignacio Carrera Pinto #351, Punta Arenas – Patagonia – Chile.
E-mail: reservas@ilaiapatagoni

a.com

|   www.ilaiapatagonia.com


Fly out of Punta Arenas to Santiago: Sky NK5V6
Punta Arenas – Santiago de Chile
FLIGHT DATE CLASS CONNECTIONS DEPARTURE TIME ARRIVAL TIME
SKY 004 31/12/2016 L 10:10 13:30
Must get rental car to drive from Santiago to Valparaiso: https://goo.gl/maps/ivFNiMfuBBp (1 hr and tolls)
 
Airport transfer from Santiago to bus terminal. Then another bus to Valparaiso. We found our our air bnb hostess can arrange for a driver for us to do Casablanca valley wineries!  
 
Uber to plaza de sotomayor
Ascensor el peral 
 
 
AirBNB
 
Check In

Sat, Dec 31

3PM – 9PM

Check Out

Mon, Jan 02

Flexible check out time

Address

Javiera Carrera 340 1604

Valparaíso, Región de Valparaíso

Chile

Get directionsView listing


 
 
Sun, Jan 1, 2016
Valparaiso

Mon, Jan 2, 2016
Morning in Concepcion and alegre
3:30p cooking class at Cafe Melbourne

Tues, Jan 3, 2016

Casablanca Valley (bt Santiago and valpo)
  • Fruity chards
  • Sauv blancs
  • Pinots
Rte 68
Emiliana (biodynamic), vina indomita (carmenere), vina veramonte (cab, chards);
Casas del bosque, Bodegas Re, Loma Larga, Matetic. 
 

?Mendoza (8 hrs away) — too far w border check
 
Maipo Valley (south of Santiago, 1.5 hrs)
Cab, merlot, carmenere, Syrah
  • Town of Pirque as central locale
Vina aquitania (santiago’s most interesting; high quality, small production), vina almaviva (partnership w baron philippe de Rothschild and concha y torro; sophisticated sis of concha y toro), vina Santa Rita (premium casa real cab );
Haras de Pirque, Perez Cruz, De Martino. Vina cousiño Macul, 
Stay @ Hotel Casa Pando
Cabello 421 (6 blocks north of Plaza de Armas)

Wed, Jan 4, 2016
Colchagua Valley
Use Santa Cruz as departure point
10:30a Lapostolle (sig red Clos de Apalta); 12pm Montes
2p Viu manent
Stay @ Hotel Casa Pando
Cabello 421 (6 blocks north of Plaza de Armas)

Thurs, Jan 5, 2016
Pichilemu
Bus: Terminal Santa Cruz
Hotel: Ruka Lobos
Rsv: 1373.041.090
Punta de Lobos
3220000 Pichilemu

Maule Valley (export wine)
Feb 2010 earthquake
Town of Talca as base camp
Via wines (sustainable, sauv Blanc, Syrah), vina gillmore (cab franc)

Fri, Jan 6, 2016
Back to Santiago
21:00 Borago Santiago, Chile: http://www.borago.cl
Nueva Costanera 3467, Vitacura, Región Metropolitana, Chile
 
Renaissance Santiago Hotel
Avenida Presidente Kennedy 4700, Vitacura . Santiago 7630454 Chile 
Reservation Confirmation: 84481467
For MS Christy Cosper
MARRIOTT REWARDS MEMBER
CHECK-IN DATE
Friday, January 6, 2017
CHECK-IN TIME
03:00 PM
CHECK-OUT DATE
Sunday, January 8, 2017
CHECK-OUT TIME
12:00 PM

Sat, Jan 7, 2016
Santiago during day
Air Canada: KMS54I
AC93 SCL 9:10P —> Toronto 5:40am (Jan 8)
 
Renaissance Santiago Hotel
Reservation Confirmation: 84481467

Sun, Jan 8, 2016
AC1887 Toronto 8:20am —> San Diego 10:34am

Best convenient meals that work for me

Everyone seems to be busy these days.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re a student, professional, stay-at-home… everyone is running around in the rat race of life.  When I lived in Boston, I would have a delivery service called PeaPod deliver my groceries typically on my postcall day bc I knew that’s when I’d be home.  But today, delivery services have improved!  I’ll go through each of my favorites:




GOBBLE

For the person or couple or family who likes the idea of cooking and/or cooking together, Gobble makes it super easy to whip together a delicious meal that takes all the menu planning, grocery shopping, portion controlling out of it.  It’s my go-to date night meal.


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FRESHLY

Freshly is a more Paleo focused meal that offers single serving portions of breakfast, lunch, or dinner that is super quick and convenient!  Some of the best parts about this delivery service: high quality protein, no refined sugars or artificial sweeteners, always gluten free, low-glycemic carbohydrates, and nutrient-rich veggies.  Need I say more?


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FRESH AND FIT

Fresh and Fit meals are more a local delivery food service that is super convenient and served in single serving containers.  It’s all natural and organic, seasonal, and comes from local, sustainable farms.  It’s more veggie intensive and they taste delicious!


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DAILY HARVEST

Daily Harvest is a wonderful way to blend up healthy stuff that’s super convenient and perfect for that sweet tooth craving!  Usually I’ll whip one of these up in the morning — either with water or coconut water or almond milk.  The directions are on each cup.  Oftentimes I’ll add my own protein powder, chia seeds, flax seed, etc. to boost my nutrition.  These shakes taste delicious — almost like a decadent milkshake (but one that’s actually healthy and good for you!).  So go ahead and have one for dessert!

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*** UPDATE March 2017 ***

SUN BASKET

This is now our go-to meal planner for the week! We love the nutritious aspect of this quick throw together meal delivery kit. It’s faster to prep than Blue Apron, but slightly longer to make than Gobble. The sunbasket ingredients are organic and as expected have a longer shelf life in the fridge. The recipes are super delicious and diverse. I prefer a paleo delivery kit and this one delivers!! 

Sunday, May 24: The Mission and Presidio #SF

After a bit of a later start this morning (actually rolled outta bed around 9a), I decided it’s time to tackle The Mission.  Why’s everyone always talking about this area?  I had to find out.  So, I hopped the BART and headed for the Mission 16th St stop.  The area was pretty crowded…and here’s why: The Mission St. Carnaval! 

The energy and vibe were up! People lined the streets dancing, singing, eating, etc. Eventually, a gal builds up an appetite and Mission Chinese has been on my foodie radar.  I ordered the tea-smoked eel as an appetizer and the ma po tofu entree.  The app was a wonderful assortment of flavors and textures.  Perhaps the hoisin sauce was a bit overpowering, but kudos on combining a delicious flavor and texture-rich app.  The entree was massive!  Perfect amount of spice (probably a medium spice on my rating) for good heat without suffering through the tears and sweat of a super spicy dish.  Excellent flavor.  A side of steamed rice is welcomed to soften the salt load.


While waiting for my order to arrive, a gal was seated behind me and ordered the rice bowl.  I happened to overhear her conversation with the waitstaff about maybe ordering the same tea-smoked eel as I had ordered.  So, when my order arrived, I offered her a sample of mine to share.  Food, friends, and sharing all go hand in hand — this is why people congregate around food.  A familiar comfort with great company.  I find out her name is Cristina Soltesz and she does event planning.  We were conversing through lunch and before ya know it, she sees a friend of hers walking down the street.  Alex came in and ordered some food.  Then, more of her friends showed up — Sean and Emma.  And then another one of her friends (I forget his name) showed up.  In the end, 6 of us decided to roam the Mission.  Actually, it was more like Cristina and her friends being super amazing hosts and graciously showing me the sights and sounds of The Mission.

After lunch, we opted to walk and find some yummy coffee.  One of her friends suggested Four Barrel coffee.  I ordered a pour over: La Cabana from Colombia. Mild, hints of sweet,…no sugar needed.  Perhaps I am starting to understand what makes a great coffee…and it seems to be in the beans and the process.  The barista (or is it baristo for the male version?) placed a coffee filter into a cone that was atop what looked like an erlenmyer flask (yeah, flashback to chemistry, right?). He poured hot water into the filter then weighed out some coffee beans and then had then ground freshly for my one cup.  Once the grind was in the cone with moistened filter, he lightly poured some hot water over it until it started to show more packing and less liquid.  Then he poured more hot water over it and set the timer for 30 seconds.  After 30 seconds, another round of hot water.  I think that was repeated one more time and that was it.

The perfect minimalist approach to a flavorful (no additives) cup of coffee.  Hipster? Maybe.  Delicious? Yes.

After coffee, we headed down a graffiti walled alleyway.  Interesting and ever-changing according to our Mission expert, Alex.

From 6 friends walking –> to 4.  Then 3.  We packed up into Cristina’s car and headed out to check out Dolores Park.  It’s a beautiful open space but they were doing construction on it so most of it was closed off.  After that, we headed out to the Presidio area and dropped off her friend Sean.  We then headed back to her place and I met her husband and mother and father-in-law.  They’re from Italy and were a delight!  She speaks Italian as well — what can’t this gal do?  After a brief meet and greet and tour of her place, we then headed out to see Presidio National Park which looks like a gorgeous forest.

We stopped to check out Inspiration Point and then took in the atmosphere at Off the Grid in Presidio.  What a great gathering! Food trucks, open grass, music, and a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday!  After that, we headed out to Baker Beach for a different shot of the GGB.

Despite the fog, it was still a beautiful scene.  A quick jaunt and history of Sutro Baths and Cliff House.

Then onto a quick drive through Golden Gate Park.  It was such a delightful tour of San Francisco. Without Cristina, I definitely wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see so many things in the city.  She’s a real gem.  How often will you quickly connect with a stranger? We seem to be like-minded and she’s got a great head on her shoulders.  If you stumble across this, THANK YOU Cristina!!!