Traveling South

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We have experienced so much of South America, it is hard to keep straight where we have been, where we are and where we are going. We won’t bore you with too many details, but we had a few places that are too cool not to share with you.

After leaving Bariloche, Argentina (northern part of Patagonia) we hopped on a 30 hour bus to Calafate, Argentina. The main attraction in Calafate is a HUGE glacier that you can get quite close to.

Now, growing up in Wisconsin, I am no novice to snow and ice but I must admit that seeing this glacier was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. It is constantly moving so large parts are continually falling from the edges and crashing into the water. We sat for a few hours and watched the glacier. Sounds weird to sit and watch ice, but it was quite interesting.

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From Calafate, we jumped another bus to a small mountain town, El Chalten. El Chalten is located within a national park and had some great hiking. We enjoyed a very strenuous hike up to the base of Mt Fitz Roy.

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It was a magnificent ascent and the girls received a spontaneous applause at the top by other hikers. (We all enjoyed a huge tub of ice cream at the end of our 17 mile hike that day.).

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> After leaving El Chalten, we continued our journey to Torres del Paine for a backpacking/camping trip. You can read a previous blog (Mission Patagonia: Accomplished) for pictures and details.
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> We then headed even MORE south to Punta Arenas which is labeled “Chilean Antarica”. It was in the southernmost tip of Chile and felt like ANTARTICA with ferocious winds, sleet and snow. We had the chance to see some penguins and enjoyed feeling a bit of winter (for just a day!).

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In each location we had the chance to meet other travelers, talk of our journey, hear traveling tips and just enjoy the beauty of creation.

Unplugged…

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With great beauty comes very little wifi (at least that is our experience in Patagonia).  We had the chance to write blogs, but had no way to send them out.  Over the next few days you will get the blogs from the past month of our trip…Image

Argentina (March 2014)

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One of our stops through Argentina has been visiting a great family that has a unique ministry.

First of all, their family invited us into their home without ever meeting us and knowing very little of why we were visiting. (What a sign that they have the gift of hospitality!) We had a blast getting to know their family, seeing the sights of northern Patagonia, and eating delicious food.

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Their love of the outdoors (hiking, biking, climbing, kayaking, etc) and their love of Jesus is combined to have a hospitality house that reaches backpackers and travelers from all around the world.

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The hospitality house is free to stay at and is run by donations from the travelers. During the day the travelers are invited to go climbing, hiking, kayaking or some other activity and each night the volunteers at the hospitality house serve dinner for the guests.

The message of God’s great love for us and the plan of salvation is shared with the guests as they experience authentic Christian community.

We had the chance to experience dinner at the hospitality house, climbing with other travelers, and saw firsthand how the gospel is going out to the world through the travelers who are coming thru.

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We are grateful for the hospitality of our new friends and look forward to sharing the story of how God is at work in Argentina.

Mission Patagonia accomplished

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Our family has just concluded a 85km (56 mile) backcountry trek through Torres del Paine in Patagonia. It was an amazing experience for our family to do together, to meet other Trekkers, to see God’s BEAUTIFUL creation and to conclude a trail that was vigorous.

We trekked through wind, flower filled valleys, glaciers, rain, wind, mountains, snow, sun, wind, and more wind for the past 4 days.  (The wind was almost constant and would gust to 70mph, which is hurricane force winds.).

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The girls did an amazing job of hiking and entertaining us on the trail. They also were the youngest Trekkers anyone could remember seeing on the “W” circuit in Patagonia, so were constantly supplied with treats (Snickers, cookies, chocolate) and even had their pictures taken with a few “fans” from our journey.
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Isaiah was quick to explore ahead for us, carry most of the weight in his pack and make new friends as he waited for the rest of us to catch up. He also enjoyed the fame of his sisters and partook in their gifts.

There was a camaraderie amongst other Trekkers and we enjoyed getting to know new friends from Ireland, London, Spain, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Chile and many more places. There is no better recipe for adventure than some great hiking, really cool new people, God’s creation and a family to share all of that with. Feeling blessed.

We are looking forward to a bed (after 4 nights in a tent), a hot shower and a few days on a bus to rest our legs….

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