Robin's Adventures

South America
A Journey of Diverse Discoveries

Across the Andes

We got up very early to begin our trek across the Andes from Calafate, Argentina to Puerto Natales, Chile. The driver began by explaining how experienced he was at driving in snow and ice and telling us we should not be concerned by the road conditions. Now we were concerned...

The trip took 5 1/2 hours through an amazing winter wonderland of breathtaking scenery. The road was icy and very remote. Along the way we saw guanaco, rhea (large ostrich-like birds), and an occasional farmhouse. We stopped at a border control station in the middle of nowhere to get our passports stamped as we entered Chile. Finally, we arrived at our destination.

On the Road: Over the Andes

Remota Lodge

It was the dead of winter and there were few travelers willing to brave Patagonia this time of year. We stayed at the Remota Lodge for 5 days and most of the time, we had the place to ourselves. It was peaceful and relaxing, the staff pampered us, and the scenery was amazing.


Caracara is a bird of prey in the falcon family. Even though the name means "carrion eater" in Spanish, these birds will also eat live prey that they have hunted. They have long legs and sometimes run very quicky as they chase down their prey.

Fence Posts Filled with Birds

As we were driving down the road, we noticed a small grouping of birds just hanging out on fence posts by the side of the road. Shown here are a couple of rufous-tailed hawks, a black-chested buzzard-eagle, and some upland geese. Various caracara were also hanging out here.

Milodon Cave

Bones and skin of a prehistoric Mylodon or ground sloth were discovered in this cave in 1895. The discovery was made by a German emigrant named Herman Eberhard. His descendants still live in the area.

Hiking around Outside the Cave

There are many gorgeous views from outside the cave. We especially enjoyed one tree which had little icicles hanging off its branches.

The Condor Experience

One of the treks we took in Patagonia was to see a huge cliff face that was a condor roost. We had to hike through the snow to get there. Since it was in winter, the normal trail head was not accessible, so we had to begin our trek by going over a large fence.

Treking to the Condor Cliffs

Once we were on the trail, we trekked through the snow for quite a ways until we reached the base of the cliffs. We were rewarded not only by the beautiful scenery, but also by having the opportunity to observe quite a few condors both in flight and along the cliffs.

Along the Trail

Paw prints in the snow provided evidence that we were not the only ones who had headed along the trail. Although we never saw the animal that left the prints, we did find an austral thrush along the way.