Patagonia

I have had a fascination with Patagonia and Fireland – ‘Tierra del Fuego’ – for many years. My first encounter with South American culture was in Cuba, where I stayed for 6 months during my last semester of Architecture at University. I immediately fell in love with the culture as I never had experienced such human beauty…..and dance. I still recall this period as one of the best in my life.

Than back in Paris, I wrote my thesis about Art, Architecture and Geomancy and had choosen the Landscape Architect Gilles Clement (www.gillesclement.com/art-463-tit-The-PlanetaryGardenCached)  as one of my two tutors. He had travelled on his motor bike in ‘Tierra del Fuego’ earlier in his life and the name of this place had a magic effect on me. I had to wait another 20 years before I finally set foot onto this island, the southern tip of Patagonia. I arrived on my push bike…

I flew to Santiago de Chile, where I visited the 17th Biennale of Architecture: 8.8 Re-construction (http://www.bienaldearquitectura.cl/xvii/) ….after the earthquake which had hit Chile a few months earlier. Than I took a bus to Villarrica,an area famous for its beautiful lakes and vulcanoes and from there I continued on my bike, crossed over to Argentina and headed south via Bariloche. In Futaleufu I crossed back into Chile and cycled south on the Carretera Austral. At the end of it I crossed again into Argentina passed Fitz Roy, than the Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas and finally arrived in Tierra del Fuego and Uschuaia….el fin del Mundo. What an amazing trip it was…

This was my first bike trip, and now I am hooked on this simple way of travel. It is slow, but very rewarding and one got plenty of time to take in the immense beauty of the scenery. In a world where everything is getting faster by the minute it might soon be fashionable to travel slow….like slow foods.