Posted by: kellylyneddy | June 12, 2013

The Warmth of Patagonia

The further south we travel the cooler the temperature becomes.  So far we have not hit any snow, be we know there will a beautiful blanket of white waiting for us in Ushuaia.  All of the people we have met here are excited by our travels and very interested in helping us along our journey.  People have offered us lodging, tea and cake, their personal cell numbers should we run into any difficulty, and even the names and numbers of family and people they know who would be happy to help us.  Tyler thinks it is his dashing smile and beginner Spanish, I think it is our children.

Patagonia is an area in southern Argentina and Chile.  It is an expansive area about the size of Alberta.  Like Alberta is has a wide range of landscapes. The Andes give way to the steppes, a barren landscape full of low brush, wind, wind, and more wind. There are a few welcoming river valleys in the steppes, indicated by a small but lush line of trees surrounding the small veins of water that run through it.

I think you have to be tough to live in Patagonia, but only on the outside.  Tyler and I feel like we have developed a “windshield” already. We are likening it to a tan, however it is more like a layer of skin built to keep the wind from sandblasting your face off everyday. The Gauchos that run sheep on the steppes have a lifetime of windshield that has etched the wrinkles on their faces to the perfect depth and their smile lines are crevassed and bright despite the harsh environment.

2013-06-05 16.43.29

We have been in the Trelew area for just over two weeks now, two more to go. It has proved to be quite a nice spot for a rest stop, despite what travel books say.  I’ll admit that the idea of staying in Trelew was a little daunting:

“Trelew isn’t a postcard city” – Lonely Planet

“Trelew is industrial  and certainly not as charming as it’s neighbor Puerto Madryn. Crime is also a concern here.” – Frommer’s

“The downside is the lack of particularly appealing accommodations” – Rough Guide

“Trelew is a place void of beauty.” – Argentina Resident

In addition, tripadvisor.ca has forums and ratings that say there is not much to see here.  We have not found this to be true, you just need to know where to look. Here is just one story of many that we will come home with from Patagonia.

The boys and I meet Tyler at Museo Egidio Feruglio – MEF (www.mef.org.ar) at the end of each day. Just in front of MEF is a charming local museum, Museo Pueblo Regional de Luis.  It is a small museum housed in the former railway station, which was the first building in Trelew.  One day on our way home we noticed some women weaving on large looms, so we went in to get a closer look.  They were spinning wool, setting up looms, weaving and twirling two pieces of wool together of different colours.  The patterns were traditional and intricate.  It all looked beautifully confusing.  I would not consider weaving a relaxing afternoon activity after watching these women work.

A museum guide offered answers to our many questions and listened patiently to our rudimentary Spanish.  I asked if there was a local shop where I could buy wool made in Argentina – She immediately responded – ” I have been knitting since I was four.  You buy some wool you like and I will make you something.” For real? I thought…

We said our goodbyes, we are getting used to kissing a lot of people, and I thought about her offer.  Once the boys and Tyler were safely tucked in bed, I strolled the streets looking for some wool.  I finally found a small shop.  I entered.  I made a fool of myself.  I think I asked if the man behind the counter was made in Argentina, whatever he said in response, made me blush and the shop security guard laugh.  I tried again and successfully walked away with 2 skeins of wool made in Argentina.

The following day I dropped it off and left a note, as our guide was not there, and tried to have faith that it was not all lost in translation.

A week later, she intercepted us as the boys and I made our way to meet Tyler.  She handed me a small bag. Inside was a beautiful scarf – made with the love and warmth of Patagonia.

The Warmth of Patagonia

The Warmth of Patagonia

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Responses

  1. I am enjoying reading about your travels … could use the scarf here today.

  2. The beautiful memories of a lifetime!!

  3. That is so lovely. What a nice way to remember the people you’ve been meeting on your adventure.


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