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Journal #36: Patagonia! Pt. 1

This journal was written on May 3 in Florianópolis, Brazil.

Ok, so this is a follow-up to my last journal on the plane.

Patagonia was a dream.

First of all, our Airbnb pivot could not have turned out better. After landing at the Puerto Natales Airport (one of the smallest I've ever flown into), we grabbed our rental car and headed to the dome to meet our hosts.

The man is wearing a cowboy hat in their Airbnb profile picture, so I assumed they were Americans who decided to move down to Chile.

It turns out they're from Australia! They came here in early 2020, and when the pandemic hit, they just stayed!

They found this fantastic piece of land on one of the only hills in town and decided to start building off-grid domes by hand themselves.

They have one dome finished and the frame of the second one built. They plan to develop eight domes and put a restaurant on the property. Pretty impressive, I know. Brett and I were wondering how we might be able to invest in this Patagonia dome Airbnb business.

On top of this awesomeness, the dome has 180-degree views of the mountains, valley, and fjords. Our hosts fully stocked the fridge with breakfast and cold-cut sandwich fixings. And they even delivered us fresh pastries from a local bakery every day. Like, what? These are the best hosts I've ever had.

So, yeah, this was a top-three Airbnb experience, and if you ever make your way down to Puerto Natales or Torres del Paine National Park, you have to stay with David and Natasha.

Ok, now on to Torres del Paine National Park.

The park sits north of Puerto Natales, but it takes 1.5-2 hours to get to the must-see spots.

We only had two full days to explore the park, so we got up before sunrise each morning. I made us sandos and packed up the baked goods, while Brett learned how to make the perfect cup of pour-over based on David's instructions, along with a bit of help from a guy on Youtube.

The first day was glacier day! I booked us a boat tour (USD 80 each) from the Lago Grey hotel to get up close and personal with the GIANT glacier we had seen from the airplane.

Brett was also supposed to work part of that morning, so this was a great option to stop and get some Wi-Fi at the hotel before continuing with the day. However, he accidentally left his computer charger in Santiago.

This was a best-case scenario for me because I had taken the day off, and now Brett was forced to. Yay!

Our tour was at noon, but we wanted to squeeze in a stop at the Mirador Salto Grande waterfall before. We left at 8:30 am, made it to the waterfall by 11:00, got out of the car (Dronie in hand), and sprinted to the falls.

In record time, I whipped Dronie out and up into the sky and got some incredible shots of the waterfall and the mountains in the background. The water was unbelievably turquoise, and it was breathtaking.

But we had to go. Lago Grey was a good 40 minutes away, and we didn't want to miss our tour.

We made it to Hotel Lago Grey right at noon, where we learned that check-in is just at noon, but the boat doesn't leave until 1:00 pm. We checked in, walked out on this long stretch of sand, and boarded the ship.

We sat next to this woman from Michigan and chatted with her family while drinking Pisco Sours made with glacier ice as we passed electric blue icebergs.

The glacier itself was magnificent to look at the in-person—fun fact: it's 18,000 years old and used to cover the entire park.

After our glacier adventure, we drove back through the park, made a few stops along the way to take in the scenery, and got back to Puerto Natales just in time to get a big pizza dinner to prep for our hike the next day.

We didn't make it to the giant sloth cave, but I did get a picture with a giant sloth statue in downtown Puerto Natales.

To be continued...

Here are a few pro tips if you are visiting the park:

  1. Park Tickets: Buy your park ticket online before going to the park. Make sure you screenshot the QR code to have it handy when you arrive at the Welcome Center. We didn't do this, so we had to go inside the Welcome Center to use the wifi and buy them on the spot. Not a huge deal, but since we were in a rush, it was a little stressful.

  2. Download Maps: There is NO SIGNAL inside the park. So, I'd recommend downloading the whole park map onto your Google Maps app so at least you can see where you are. It's also good to plug in your destinations for the day before you leave and keep the directions going after you lose signal.

  3. Weird Phone Times: I don't know why this happened, but our phone clocks were one hour behind local time. So, if our phones said it was 7:30 am, it was 8:30 in Puerto Natales/Torres del Paine. Double-check your times against the local time so you're not moving an hour behind schedule.



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

My boyfriend and I started our digital nomad journey in December 2021. We're just starting out and want to share all the ups and downs with you!

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