Tierra del Fuego.
Somehow all the geography classes failed to impress upon me the beauty of such a place. I knew where the Andes were. I knew where Argentina was. I even knew where Tierra del Fuego was. I had my preconceived notions of what was in store for me in that area.
Having lived in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada Range all of my life, I didn’t think any mountain range would be more spectacular. (I had certain loyalties which prevent the discussion of the Rockies)
Being in Tierra del Fuego and seeing the Andes at “The End of the World” changed that thought pattern. Stunning is too weak a word for the mountains that I saw that day.
The Andes were far more imposing, far more regal in appearance and bearing than any mountains I had ever seen.
Mount Olivia was close enough to touch from our hotel. That hotel (The Arakur) was set on the edge of the Cerro Alarken Nature Reserve. One of the perks was the marked trail that began right outside the back doors. Our first excursion was to discover the forests and mountains that surrounded us.
From Mount Alarken you can see the Bengal Channel and Mount Olivia.
While those views were outstanding, the surrounding forest was amazing. Southern beech trees, peat bogs, colors both subtle and shining, and a feeling that Ents still walk this earth.
The silence simply surrounded you. The trees seemed to close in on you. The smell of fresh earth and recent rains told of the forest’s age. The flowers smiled. The horses ignored everything but the food. Existence simplified.
Yes, I am sure that the Ents were there.