Wandering Wednesday: The Absurd Traveler’s Guide discovers Patagonia.

For our Wandering Wednesday guest posts we ask a fellow travel blogger to highlight one place (city or entire country) that has been one of the most memorable for them. It can be a fond type of memorable, or “my hair caught on fire, I contracted rabies, and my luggage was stolen”- type of memorable. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We’re taking it all.

For today’s Wandering Wednesday, we’re featuring Kris from The Absurd Traveler’s GuideKris is an Irish woman who left the UK six months ago to set off traveling indefinitely, with some skill, a lot of philosophy, a talent for people and very, very little money. She believes that travelling on a small budget (or sometimes none) makes you creative and forces you to interact with the people and places you are in more profoundly. Recently, she went to Argentina and hitchhiked across Patagonia alone. She also climbed an Ande, went skinny-dipping in a mountain lake, hung out in a slum and more.  It was the force of the written word from the pens of Camus, Kerouac, Miller and the music of Tom Waits which lead her to change her life and leap into adventure and fiscal uncertainty. She has gone from opera singing to writing travel literature which can be found on The Absurd Traveler’s Guide.

Where to find Kris from The Absurd Traveler’s Guide:

Website: http://absurdtraveler.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @AbsurdTraveler

Facebook: The Absurd Traveler of Facebook

First things first, Why do you travel?

When I was hitchhiking across Patagonia the man I got a lift with asked me the same thing. He asked if it was spiritual. I told him: I know who I am. It’s just that who I am and where I was didn’t mix. I grew up a bit wild in rural Ireland, consequently, regular life with it’s routines is a bit like being slowly strangled. So, instead of doing something silly, like becoming an anarchist, I took to the road.

What brought you to Patagonia?

I was in living in Brazil and needed to renew my visa. The cheapest flight I could find was to Argentina. I’d read In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin and decided to go find the desert.

What was your most memorable experience (good or bad) from your time in Patagonia?

The most memorable thing is the people. They were extraordinarily kind, generous, and interesting. From the puppy-rescuer I randomly stayed with in Puerto Madryn, to the ex-narcotics cop who took me across Patagonia from the Atlantic to the Andes, to the Gaucho in Lago Puelo. Mike or ‘The Puppy-rescuer’ told me that people there are nice to each other there because they have had it really tough, both in terms of living in an unforgiving landscape and political upheaval.

Any advice for travelers headed to Patagonia?

Get to know the locals, it will make your experience.

It’s well worth crossing Patagonia just for the beauty of the place. I started out from Trelew on the Atlantic coast and ended up in Lago Puelo in the Andes. (You don’t have to hitchhike there are buses)  Try to be spontaneous and see where you end up. I found Argentina to be very safe so it’s better to get lost there than say in Brazil.

Have a read of In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin.

How did your experiences in Patagonia change you as a person and how you feel about travel?

I realised how freeing travel is.When you travel you don’t belong to the place you’re in so it’s easier your own rules. All you need is imagination, some common sense and a little courage to have amazing adventures that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Okay, last question. Where are you headed next and why?

To Guyana. The plan was to meet with some friends in the British Virgin Islands in February (2012) and I was looking for the cheapest way to get there from Brazil. Crossing Guyana and getting a flight to Barbados from Georgetown was the best option. I started doing research and discovered what an amazing place Guyana is. 80% mostly pristine rainforest and constantly compared to Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness. So after more research I found a ranch (the most remote ranch in the world apparently) and will go and live there for a month or two herding cows and counting jaguars with Amerindians and an adventurer called Duane in exchange for food and a place to string a hammock.

 

Do you or someone you know have a memorable experience from your travels? Want to be featured on one of our Wandering Wednesday posts? Send an e-mail to captainandclark@gmail.com

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