The (Long & Windy) Road to Coyhaique

The (Long & Windy) Road to Coyhaique

Patagonia’s a pretty stunning place. Not that I expected any less, but it still blew my mind with it’s unending mountains and plethora of waterfalls gushing from the most unsuspecting and cinematic of places. Patagonia is one of those places I really wanted to visit. It’s like the epitome of adventure destinations – hiking and climbing and kayaking and everything in between. While our trip wasn’t exactly filled with this type of adventure, we got a lovely glimpse of the culture and got to plant some trees in a Patagonian forest. That’s a pretty legit adventure in itself, right?

 

In Coyhaique, we met up with Mattias, who was our trusty guide (and protector of the trees) working with the folks at Patagonia Sur. He took us eight (long, bumpy, windy, semi-scary, and totally beautiful) hours further into the heart of Patagonia. Like every good roadtrip, it included some scary driving moments, epic views, and a bit of Johnny Cash.

Speaking of trees, the primary reason we headed to Patagonia was to start planting the Only Bloody Human forest… which I realize sounds kind of horrific if you group the words wrong, so let me explain. Essentially it’s a 1,000 tree-strong forest, which will completely carbon offset the Only Bloody Human film project over the next year. We’re also pretty passionate about the idea of leaving the places we travel better than we found them; so we made our mark on the local landscape, reforesting some Nire trees in Valle California! So, that’s pretty exciting.

It is coming into Winter in South America though, so most of the time the skies were overcast and rain was definitely present, resulting in a week of wet-feet and looking drenched in basically everything we filmed, but it was totally worth it.

We even got to plant a few of the trees ourselves, in front of our fancy new sign staking our forest’s ground. It’s pretty cool knowing that there is a tree in the middle of Patagonia that I planted with my own hands. I mean, how many people can say that??

While we didn’t get to do much adventuring in the way of hiking or climbing (because really, Patagonia is the ultimate adventure destination), it was actually really exciting to experience more of the local lifestyle. Not that they should be mutually exclusive, but I suppose it’s difficult to experience the culture if you’re in the middle of the wilderness climbing. And vice-versa. Natural beauty aside, the small town community and basically every single person we met was super welcoming and definitely beautiful in their own right. A unique experience, to say the least.

I seem to fall in love with little towns more than anywhere else these days. There’s something about the simplicity, I think. Slow Sunday-afternoons spent by fires in cafes. Gauchos and their horses, and herding dogs and their sheep. And wood-burning ovens and their constant supply of hot-water for tea-making.

  

Give me some wifi, a loyal dog, a belay partner, and a stash of Yorkshire tea, and I could totally get used to living somewhere like that.

Who knows, maybe that’ll be the next big adventure?

Ariel Body
ariel@livelaughdesign.com

A desert dwelling photographer, designer, adventurer, & climber of mountains.

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