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Buenos Dias from Buenos Aires: My time in Patagonia

¡Bienvenidos! I’ve had the most eventful two weeks in Argentina. When many people hear Patagonia, they might think about the outdoorsy jacket in their closet, but trust me, it’s so much more than a clothing brand. Patagonia is this entire region in the south of Argentina and Chile scattered with gigantic mountains, lakes and glaciers.

When my friends and I visited, we went to three towns in Argentina. First, we went to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, which, if you look at a map, is that tiny scalene triangle at the bottom right side of the country. Unless I plan on actually going to Antarctica some day, Ushuaia is the southernmost place I will ever be. The small town is surrounded by the Glacier National Park and the Bay of Ushuaia. We visited an old prison where horrible convicts used to be imprisoned. Because Tierra del Fuego is basically an island at the end of the world, people thought it would be a good place to put the worst criminals. Then it started expanding, and eventually became the touristy town that it is today.

Unfortunately, we did not walk with penguins in Ushuaia, as it was too expensive for what many tour companies were offering. However, we did some awesome hiking in Ushuaia, despite the fact that a couple of my friends did not enjoy “trekking,” which is what many Argentines call it. We hiked around a bay and were able to see beautiful Patagonian mountains, and I climbed to the bottom of a glacier and touched the ice. I felt accomplished when I reached the end of the hike, as I had climbed a very steep mountain.

We took a 17-hour bus ride from Ushuaia to El Calafate, the next town we visited. It was the longest bus ride I have ever taken, and we had our passport stamped three separate times because we crossed in and out of Chile. Technically, I can say I have been in Chile because I have a stamp to prove it. We also got on a ferry with our bus to be taken across a bay.

Once in El Calafate, we did some more amazing excursions. One of my favorite parts was a horseback riding excursion around the mountains. My horse was very sweet, and I saw some beautiful views. I also met a couple from Paris who was living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and talked with them. Traveling isn’t just about seeing cool sights and learning about the city you’re visiting. It’s rewarding to meet people from a different place and learning about the cities they’re from, too.

A few of my friends and I went to Perito Moreno glacier a few days later and got to look at it closely. It was much larger than I had pictured, and it was constantly making sounds. Ice was constantly falling inside it and splashing into the water.

We also went to El Cheltén, a small town about three hours away from El Calafate, for a day and hiked Mount Fitz Roy, of which the logo of the brand Patagonia is based. The mountain range was enormous, and I was in awe as I stared at that iconic mountain.

My trip to Patagonia was rewarding. I hiked some breath-taking trails and saw things that not many people have seen. I feel very privileged to have been able to experience the beautiful region. If you ever get a chance to go to Patagonia or to just do something that might seem scary or foreign, I recommend doing so. You might learn a lot about yourself and other people from the other side of the world. 

Jessica Hill is a sophomore studying journalism and global studies. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Is Patagonia just a jacket to you? Contact Jessica at jh240314@ohio.edu or tweet her @jess_hillyeah.

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