Tineo Patagonia glacier 

On my last day at the farm I wanted to take it slow. I tented to hang out with people, sleep in, and relax while enjoying the day. So of course I ended up going on a three hour hike– most of it on hands and knees– up to a glacier. As much as the hike wasn’t very enjoyable, the lake more than made up for it. There’s no way for me to describe the beauty; just look at the pictures. 

I may be a little sassy….


Santiago (all I do is crossfit), Chile

Staying out of hostels has been one of my goals for this portion of my trip. I spent almost my whole trip in south east Asia in hostels, with other back packers. And while this is definitely an experience, it wasn’t the experience I wanted for South America. Before going to Santiago I had stayed in one hostel, one farm, a friend of a friend’s place, and one hospedaje (homes of locals that rent out some of the rooms). In Santiago I decided to find a place through Air BnB. I found a single room rented out by another woman and her two female roommates. Over our email communication I felt a connection with her because she was also a solo female traveler.  Booking a night with her has been one of the best decisions I’ve made on my trip. 

I arrived in Santiago in the morning of February 26 with 20 hours before I had to catch my next flight to Peru. I took a bus and then with the help of a very nice local gentleman, the metro. I got off the metro and walked about twenty minutes before arriving at the apartment.

That afternoon I met one of the roommates and we instantly hit it off. Somehow crossfit came up in the conversation and to my complete surprise she also did crossfit. Not only did she know of a box, she was going to one that afternoon, and I could come! We had a really good time talking about our lives and our different adventures. Her box was really great, and all the people welcomed me with open arms. I even got a free shirt and a free session at the box! 

We spent that night laughing and getting to know each other. I wish I would have had more time in Santiago. I guess that just means I’ll have to come back one day:). 

Puerto Montt, Chile

Before arriving in Puerto Montt multiple people warned me about the lack of security and  general safety in the city. (Of course I only hear all this the day or two before I get there) Therefor arriving into the train station, at eleven o’clock at night, without any idea of where I was going to stay or how to get there was not my idea of a good situation. 

Let me explain. I had planned to find a place to stay while in Chaiten. However, my “short” hike up a volcanoe and my rushed morning meant that I wasn’t able to actually find a place to stay in Puerto Montt. Then I orginally thought the boat I took out of Chaiten was going to Puerto Montt which meant I would arrive in the morning with plenty of time to find a place. Once I learned my boat was in fact going to Quellon and NOT Puerto Montt I logically assumed I would be able to find wifi in the town to quickly book a place. When I wasn’t able to find any wifi I started to mentally prepare myself for the worst possible situation (arriving into the train station of a not-so-safe town, at eleven o’clock at night, without any idea of where I was going to stay or how to get there). However I was still clinging to the hope of arriving with daylight left….until there wasn’t actually any day light left. 

Had something like this happened earlier on in my trip I would not have been able to handle it. Thankfully if travel is taught me anything, I have learned to take things in stride. As long as I keep my head, there is a way out of every situation. 

So once the bus pulled into the terminal, I got out and went to look for a map of the city. (While driving into the bus station I kept an eye out for hostels; worse case scenario I could walk to one of those) Thankfully, I didn’t have to do any of that. Upon entering the building and walking over to booth labeled “hostels” a woman approached me. She asked if I was looking for some information and a place to stay. She had her own hospedaje which, lucky me, had an open bed. So I got in her car and within the hour was laying in my clean and sleepy. 

The rest of my time in Puerto Montt was spent walking around downtown and getting caught up on my planning/communications/ blog. 

After two night it was off to Santiago! 

Chaiten, Chile 

I spent a total of one month and a day at Tineo Patagonia. I don’t have enough time, words, or patience to fully articulate how much I enjoyed my time there. The Monday of February 23rd I left my little home in Futaleufu to continue my travels. After sitting on the side of the road for over an hour and a half with A, I, and T, I discovered I had missed the bus. And by missed the bus I mean it drove past with out stopping. I had two choices: wait for another bus, hope it stops, and pray they have space for me, or I could hitch hike. I choose to hitch hike. M gave me a ride eight miles down the road where I sat for ten minutes until getting picked up. 

I got picked up by a nice gentleman who owned a fishing lodge about twenty minutes down the road. Turns out he knew my bosses! Such a small world. He dropped me off at Puerto Ramirez where I waited an hour before I was again picked up. 

This time I was picked up by three people who were also going to Chaiten. I was so lucky. Chaiten was still three hours away and as we drove I lost count of the number of hitch hikers looking for a ride. 

They dropped me off at the hospejade owned by a friend of my boss. Within five minutes of arriving, her friend walked in and after introductions were made, askes if I want to go with a group of people on a “small” hike up a volcano. Sure, I said. 

I didn’t realize this “little hike” would take over seven hours. Meaning I arrived back in Chaiten after dark and after learning that all the boats and buses were booked until Thursday. This was a problem because I had a fight early thursday morning from Puerto Montt– Chaiten is about thirteen hours by boat from Puerto Montt. 

I was very lucky yet again.  F’s friend fed me and gave me a private room, all for free. The next morning when I woke up and said hi to the owner he freaked out. He proceeded to rush me out the door saying something about needing to be on the boat that was leaving now, and something about talking to the captain — it was all in spanish, I only understood bits and pieces. Someone I met the night before drove me to the boat, talked to the captain, and forty minutes after I had woken up I was on a boat to….somewhere. 

Turns out I was on a boat to Quellon, Chile. From there I had to take a bus to Puerto Montt, the kind people on the ferry informed me. Thirteen hours later found me cold, dirty, tired, and in Pueto Montt at 11pm without a place to stay. 

La Vaca, Tineo Patagonia 

(the cow) 

There once was a cow. A lonely, thirsty cow, living in the waterless top pasture at Tineo Patagonia. New to the campo it had not yet established a name or true owner for itself; someone to attended to its water needs.  Thankfully this was all about to change, for on the horizon was a family from Canada set to rewrite this poor cows story. Seemly in adept to handle such a grave situation, no one expected these two teachers and their cat-obsessed twelve year to turn our campo upside down. 

The story truly begins on a brisk February morning in the year of 2015. The family having only just arrived two days prior were not yet accustom to the perpetual caos that is Tineo Patagonia. Whether it was their experience in a hectic classroom setting, or some other unknown factor, these two teachers (and their cat-obsessed twelve year old) had no trouble adapting to the constant flurry of misdirection. In fact, these Canadians were about to take the caos one step further. 

As the new “owners” and self labeled advocates, the Canadians had already become sympathic to our poor cows plight. Thus, when they were driving past the river and spotted a cow (on the other side of fence that is), it was only logical that this thrist driven cow, was indeed our thirst driven cow. 

“Our cow,” they shouted at once. 

“Our cow has escaped,” they proclaimed. 

“Well it only makes sense. For if a cow is thirsty, which our cow is, it’s going to find a way to water,” the mother reasons with a tint of righteousness in her voice. 

The Canadians quickly decide that the cow needs to be re-captured, re-enclosed in its desert like enclosure. It is our cow, and it belongs in its Aqua-free zone. 

So off they went, rope in one hand, determination in the other. Up the river, down the river, in the river with legs up in the air; they searched for the cow. 

Taking matters into his own hands the father ventured out on his own. (The mother may or may not have been changing her river drenched clothes, but we won’t mention that). Up the river he went. Further and further until he came to a pasture. 

A pasture strangely filled with hundreds of cow pies. One cow made all these cow pies in the short time he had escaped, the father was thinking when around the bend comes not only “our” cow, but a whole herd of them. And they continued to come until it dawned on the poor man.

 Perhaps they had jumped to conclusions. Perhaps they had spent the entire day searching for a cow that perhaps was still in its enclosure. 

Maybe, just maybe there was more than one cow in these Patagonian lands. 

Home, Tineo Patagonia

Have you ever met someone and felt like you’ve arrived home? When short conversations easily turn to long conversations. When a question about work turns into a twisting and winding adventure through the paths and stories that have shaped you into the person currently sitting on the porch? I found this rare unicorn (this ones for you izzy) in the shape of a Canadian family from Vancouver island. 

My second week at Tineo Patagonia found me hot, sweaty, desperately needing a shower (when was the last time I washed my clothes?) , and tired. Waking up to the brisk morning air I had become accustom too, I had to drag myself out of bed. The five minutes spent laying in my bed pretending I didn’t have to work meant I didn’t have time to eat breakfast. So out the door I ran, hoping I would make it to work on time. 

Twelve hours later, after my nanny shift, I had to go down and give the new volunteers a tour of sorts. Needless to say this was not something I wanted to do. This introduction meant my fantasies of laying in bed and eating nutella would have to wait. Dragging my feet, I went down to meet the “nerdy but nice”  (as described by M) family from Canada.

 I instantly liked them. They were kind and easy to talk too. They were willing to do anything and help out in any way; those of you who have worked with people know how valuable and rare it is to have people working for you who are willing. As much as I liked them in our first encounter, it took me a few days to really appreciate and realize how lucky I was to have met them. 

I is the daughter of A and S. She is smart, quick, funny, and has an amazing singing voice. In my final few days on the farm, when I was living with them, I gave her little sister lessons. Telling her all the intricacies of how to steal my clothes and eat all the Nutella. I is an amazing artist (I’m going to have to contest your claim protesting your cat obsession). We spent our time dancing to Luna tart, looking for chicken eggs, and laughing at potty jokes. 

S is the father to I and the husband to A. He has an unmatchable knowledge of all things green, growing, and greenhousy. He has this amazing talent for teaching people, and creating a safe space. His generosity blew me away multiple times, thank you S for helping me get through those long days, for doing such a wonderful job with the volunteers, and for the drawing you made me.

A is mother and wife. She is a combination of my mom and “second mom”; Crazy (in all the good ways), hilarious, raunchy, radical, and kind to her bones. In more than one occasion she would sit patiently on her porch bench and listen to me rant and rave. These seasons were accented by tea or wine, depending on the level of frustration. We made an awesome (or terrifying pair, some would say) causing chaos on the farm. 

I would not have survived my experience on Tineo Patagonia without them. Thank you I, S, A for accepting me in to your family. For caring for me both physically and emotionally. For all the laugher over inappropriate dinner conversations and for all the weight gained from your delicious cooking. Until next time. 

Iz, my response:

“If you were a football team, you’ve be my favorite”

These wonderful people also have their own blogs, check them out!