Trekking Patagonia, South America, in November 2013 and a photo safari in Kenya, Africa, February 2014. I travel in many ways. I prefer to travel independently with few, if any, reservations and free to stay or go as I please. Sometimes I travel solo, and at other times my wife or one of my solid “travel buddies” accompanies me. Occasionally, cost factors convince me to join a group. Travel in different ways invites contrast, and there are comparisons between trips as well. This is a tale of two…

Patagonia, end of the trip, but not the end of the trail. December 16, 2013 Prologue: “What’s a guy halfway through his 68th year doing hiking and camping with a bunch of young people in an area where in the summer time (which it is there right now) the wind can howl during heavy rain and sleet storms?” (posted on my blog December 3, 2013.) Epilogue: Answer: having a great time. Following an overnight flight to Buenos Aires, a beef-stuffing (see “Beef and Tango in Buenos Aires” posted…

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile. December 12, 2013. I love wind, rain and snow, so it was only natural to be on the trail to the lake at the foot of the famous “W” peaks of Los Torres at 4:15 on this Patagonian summer morning. In the dark, my headlamp made out the rocks and footholds on this steep and twisting mountain path. The Patagonian wind which roared through the beech trees above our camp and shook our tent throughout the night was even more fierce as we…

At the foot of Fitz Roy mountain, Patagonia, Argentina. December 8, 2013. I’ve come to view long hikes and treks like life. The real purpose is to enjoy the trail, not to hurry to the end which will come soon enough anyway. After a three hour flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate, we caught a three hour shuttlebus ride to El Calatan where we met our guide and porters. Once we’d redistributed our packed goods, storing those we wouldn’t be using at an accommodating hotel, we shouldered…