these photos are from the afternoon of the fifth day, and then all of the sixth. we do normal tourist stuff like get a hotel, exchange money, that sort of thing – and head north in Argentina to attempt to cross the border at Chile Chico.

the Andes, mostly in Chile here.

old signs in Bajo Caracoles. this used to be highway 40; now it is a barely recognizable dirt track, but still it got a new number.

here is Lago Buenos Aires, near the Chile border. on the other side, it’s called Lago General Carrera. here is approximately where we stop for the night, after we get to the border just a few minutes after it has closed.


a photo I took last night of our nearest celestial neighbor. I finally got my telescope-to-Nikon mount set up, so I experimented away!

the blue dot at the upper left is the star Spica, about 260 light years distant.

the fifth day consisted of the hike to the Mirador, then back down the hill, and on the road to El Calafate, Argentina.

The Mirador view!

Vegetation in infrared.

Flores del Paine.


and now, a brief interruption. some photos from this previous weekend.

The Bay Bridge has had lights attached to it. It’s tough to tell from here, but they actually move in patterns. Well worth seeing in person. The lights will stay for the next two years, and can only be seen from the San Francisco side.

That other bridge that San Francisco is famous for. This is the view from Marin County. Not too much traffic on the bridge around midnight.

No bridge to be seen here; this is the view north from the Marin Headlands viewpoint. Angel Island is on the right, and Tiburon and Richmond are in the background.

The first part of our hike – up the hill to the campground where we would stay the night.

Typical afternoon scenery. A narrow trail that climbs gradually.

The sort of trees we’d see much of.


these photos are from the morning of the fourth day, in which we drive – again! – the road from the west end of the park to the east end. then, we make a run for gasoline (all the way back to Natales!) and prepare for a hike.

The Salto Grande waterfall. Why is the photo slightly murky-looking? Because of all the mist flying around in the air. We walked down to an old bridge abutment, and climbed it to take photos directly into the wind for several minutes.

Reverse Martian look at the Cuernos in the morning.

A day of bright colors.

And here we have the Torres del Paine! This is about the clearest they got this day – usually they are shrouded in fog.


in which we are actually inside the Torres del Paine national park.

here, we drive the main road to the other end, and back. mainly we’re scouting for a place to sleep, to catch optimal sunrise, and also seeing how long the road would take, as we’re planning to do a hike starting at the other end the next day.

A rainbow, in one of the few flat parts of the park.

Highly variable weather this day.

Serious guanaco is serious.

This is the sort of thing we flew to South America for.

Quarter moon over the park.


this day is spent entirely in Chile. we head to Puerto Natales, and plan a run to Torres del Paine at our friend Roberto’s house. After getting some useful advice, we head north to the park.

The Catholic Church in downtown Natales, on a Tuesday morning.

The view from Casa Roberto. The light was a bit wonky (shooting into the sun!) so I took a bunch of infrared photos.

Southern caracara, in front of the famous Cuernos of the Torres del Paine area. We will see much more of these mountains in the next several days!

Lago Grey, with the Cuernos behind it.


Our first full day in Patagonia. Here, we make the dash down to Ushuaia, the furthest-south city on the South American road network.

An old bridge at sunrise. The deck is entirely missing; a helpful sign points out that the bridge is, indeed, deteriorated.

Fog in Garibaldi Pass, between Tolhuin and Ushuaia.

The kaiken, or upland goose. They are almost always seen in pairs. I took this photo in infrared, because that is the camera I happened to have in my hands at the time.

This is a guanaco. We will see much more over the course of our trip. They are most plentiful on Tierra del Fuego, due to the absence of their only predator: the puma. (aka mountain lion, aka cougar; they’re the same animal all over North and South America)

Between the plains and the mountains of Tierra del Fuego is this forest.


having landed successfully in Punta Arenas, Chile, we hit the road to Ushuaia, Argentina – the southernmost part of the continent accessible by road.

A brand-new section of road striping – and a cutout route marker. Chile uses cutouts everywhere.

Plenty of ships pass through the Straits of Magellan. Some don’t. This is the Amadeo, wrecked in 1932. Behind it is the Ambassador, which has been sitting there since 1899.

The eastern end of the Straits of Magellan. Here, a ferry crosses to Tierra del Fuego island.

Some iridescent clouds at sunset.


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