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|view of the lakes and mountains from the top of Mt. Campanario, Bariloche.|
Since many of those reading this blog have asked me in the past to post about Patagonia, I thought that there was no one better qualified to tell you about this distant and beautiful region of my country than my friend, Patricia Sgrignuoli.
Patricia, author of Notas y relatos de viajes - viajando por Patagonia (in Spanish with English translation tool), lived all her life in the city of Buenos Aires, but ever since she was a little girl she had a dream: to live in PATAGONIA one day.
Currently, Patricia and her husband are preparing to move to their new home in one of the most beautiful corners of Patagonia, the place that has always been *her* place in the whole wide world.
Here is the story of how she fell in love with this region of Argentina, and how her dream of one day living there, is now coming true.
Patagonia - My place in the world...
by Patricia Sgrignuoli
by Patricia Sgrignuoli
|Snow-shoeing in the forest in Tierra del Fuego.|
I was very pleased when my friend Aledys invited me to write a post in her blog about one of the most beautiful, magical and far-off parts of my country - Argentinean Patagonia - and the story of why I believe it is "my place in the world". It is not easy to express in words the emotions that this place always inspires in me, but I think that after reading these lines and looking at the photos you will understand how I feel.
This is my story:
I was twelve years old when my parents took me for the first time to Bariloche, a city at the foot of the Andes, during the summer holidays. I can still remember the view we had from our cottage window: the intense blue colour of the Nahuel Huapi lake, the mountains in the distance ... While trying to take in that breathtaking view of the surroundings, I remember thinking to myself how nice it would be one day to live in that place.
|Riding on a sled pulled by huskies in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego|
|Lago Caviahue, province of Neuquén.|
To get there I had to travel for 24 hours on a bus, making a total of 2,000 kilometres, which is the distance between the city of Buenos Aires and Esquel.
I went on practising ski for a number of years, and that is how I got to see places of the Patagonia like Chapelco (near San Martín de los Andes in the province of Neuquén) with its beautiful beech forests. I also visited the Atlantic coast of Patagonia: Puerto Madryn, a place with stunning beaches and skies so clear that you can see the stars and spot satellites as well. There, the Valdés Península, is a natural marvel with an amazingly rich wildlife like there is not anywhere else on the planet. The highlight of my trip to this beautiful place was the sighting of whales out in the sea, who just a few metres from the shore, seemed to be following our walk along the beach with curiousity.
|Images of Caviahue in the province of Neuquén.|
After I got married, my husband and I travelled to a place that we had never heard of before - Villa Pehuenia, a small village on the shores of Aluminé lake and at the foot of an extinct volcano. Mt. Batea Mahuida has been inactive for millions of years and a deep blue lake with volcanic sandy beaches was formed in the dormant crater of the volcano. Also, a very peculiar tree, the araucaria or pehuén (as the original inhabitants of the region, the mapuches, call it) grows in this remote place of the northern Patagonia.
|Mascardi lake near the city of Bariloche, Rio Negro.|
We both fell in love with this place and as of that moment we started seriously considering the possibility of moving there in the near future. This was a big step and we had to think carefully if we really wanted to leave behind the big city and start a new and completely different life in Patagonia. There were too many aspects to take into account, since in Patagonia life is not altogether easy: in the winter there are constant power cuts and fuel shortage; and sometimes the heavy snowstorms leave whole towns completely cut off from civilization... Despite all these problems that are logical in such a remote place, we finally made up our minds and decided that we wanted to make a home in Patagonia.
|images from Bariloche, in the province of Rio Negro.|
beautiful and majestic; mystical and unique; mysterious and magnificent; colourful and magical ... So many words can be used to describe this place, but to me it is simply where nature, adventure and legend come together at the end of the world...
When I wrote these words I had Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego) in mind, but the description suits the whole region of Patagonia perfectly. In this remote part of the country, there are no (or very few) shopping centres, no huge lights or big cities; but also, there is neither violence nor pollution... just endless plains, green valleys, mountains and lakes; clear skies and pure deep blue waters; above all, there is silence and peace.
After so many years travelling across the Patagonia, the little girl who fell in love with those beautiful landscapes so long ago, will be hopefully celebrating her 50th birthday next year in her new home in Patagonia, just as she dreamed so long ago. Very soon, my husband and I will be starting our new life in a small town in the northwest of the province of Chubut: Lago Puelo - a place where Mother Nature is mistress of all and which , for my husband and me, will become our place in the world....