They say at the end of the world, adventure begins.
From the moment our van left the roadway entering a long and winding driveway with Torres Del Paine in the background, an excitement began growing inside me. I had wanted the places we were staying on this Nat Geo expedition trip to the far South land of Patagonia to be as much of a surprise to me as possible. I was hoping for adventure in the truest sense of the word and thought if sites and landscapes were unanticipated in my mind’s eye, it would be most exciting!
The structure ahead of us looked to be constructed of wood and was so low lying I could not fathom that it was indeed our hotel, Tierra Patagonia, Hotel of the Wind. As we approached the wild looking building, I became emotional with an overwhelming feeling of being completely blown away by what I was seeing.
As we stepped out of the van, we were greeted by the hotel manager and his assistant. They shook each of our hands, introduced themselves and welcomed us to the stunning National Geographic Unique Lodge. I had tears in my eyes entering the lobby of endless glass with windows to the magnificent panoramic vistas all around us. This was the spirit of the far south, and it was filling me with awe-striking wonder!
One afternoon I decided to take a walk to the lake in the backyard of the hotel. There it is an ecosystem called Patagonian Steppe. Flat treeless grasslands made up of pampa or low woody shrubs, herbs, and grasses. As I turned to look back at the hotel it was simply mesmerizing how it literally faded into the landscape. The architect designed the hotel based on fossils she found on the black sand beach by the lake on this property. Simplicity is evoked in the design, that is meant to make guests feel as though they are staying on a local ranch rather than an international hotel.
As I walked the beach and watch the waves roll into shore, I noticed a couple sitting on the other side of the beach by the water. It turned out to be a couple that I had become friendly with on the journey. They looked to be enjoying their time alone, so I did not disturb them. I did however seize the opportunity to capture an image of them sitting there together looking so small against the Paine Massif.
Eating breakfast in the hotel restaurant on the last morning of our stay, suddenly the clouds gave way enough for the sun to emerge in a radiant burst, so I ran outside to catch it with my camera! Right place, right time and what a fabulous way to remember this spectacular land and the harmonious ambiance of this stunning hotel. A fantastic place and designed space that blends the natural world with simply beautiful accommodations! Tierra Patagonia you live always in my heart!