March 21, 2014

Chronicles of Adventure: Patagonia

There was a silence, a complete tranquility when I stepped outside of the airport doors. The opposite of what usually happens when you walk outside the confines of such a place. We drove for a while, then a while more. The approach to our destination led us off the paved road. 25 km of roads so rocky it would make your teeth chatter. A major highway by Argentine terms.

Adventure hats were on, Cubans were lit. We drove down the dusty road to the Estancia where we would be staying. Little did we know there was a lot to learn.

Being on the river always gives you a lot of time to think but you also encounter amazing people. For instance, as we drove back to the lodge in the dark one night, we heard our guide Marcello's story. 'I studied aquaculture but I never worked. I always guided.' Proof's in the pudding. Do what you love and you will be happy. Aside from the amazing time spent on the river and soaking up the lands of Patagonia this was my main takeaway. It doesn't ever feel like work when you spend your days doing what you love and the people we staying with at Estancia Arroyo Verde embodied just that.

We felt like family, not just guests. We spoke about WWII era Cuba and how the Matriarch of the Estancia, Meme, had traveled all the way to within 20 minutes of where I grew up in Maine just to see the lake that the salmon were brought to Patagonia from back in the early 1900s. Not only a lesson in hospitality was taught but also one in friendship. And finally, a few bad days fishing surely always beat the best days at work...