Friday, March 8, 2013

Travel: Patagonia - A Gastronomical Trip Via Ruta Pan-Am Hwy

View of Torres del Paine from Puerto Natales, Chile
View of Torres Del Paine, pic by Irene K. Wong

After touring through the rolling vineyards of wine valleys and endless picturesque lakes in Chile; my next adventure starts on a flight to “the end of the world”, Last Hope Sound, where Magellanic penguin colonies thrive and then on to Puerto Natales; the home of breath taking, stunning national park. It is an experience like no other, that will get under your skin and never leave you.

Salto Grande, The Big Leap Waterfall
Salto Grande, pic by Irene K. Wong

With the help of Fransisco we had an excellent itinerary full of adventures with mountain treks, horseback riding across the Ultima Esperanza Province and lunch in between breaks that include
parrillada in Torres del Paine National Park.

Torres Del Paine, Chile
Glacier by Serrano River, pic by Irene K. Wong

Standing at the tip of the unspoiled frontier of South America, Patagonia stretches from the tip of South America to the ice capped mountains of the Andes. The experience affords one with breathtaking views of not only majestic fjords and brilliant azure lakes and channels of Patagonia, but also offers unique gastronomical treats like my favorite national dish of Chiloe, Chile, the curanto seafood stew during our stay.  And of course, there were endless snacks with variations of empanadas, all guzzled down with herb-infused pisco sours.

Fishing village of Chiloe, Chile
National Dish of Chiloe, La Curanto,  pic by Irene K. Wong

Here are some great places to stay (prices are approximate and the season):
- Weskar Lodge ~$250
- Aqua Terra ~$100
- Erractic Rock ~$40 - $90
- The Singular ~$400-$600
- Indigo ~$350

Great shopping spot:
- Origenses Artesanias- Chiloe

- Afrigonia
- Aldea Restaurant 

Reading list before and after your trip:
- In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin (Penguin Classics)
- Chilean Patagonia’s Peaks, Up Close (NYT)
- A Torres del Paine walking guidebook

Sweet Pine berries
Local Sweet Pine Berries are great for marmalades!