This is the latest in a series of travel photos inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter.
This week’s Photo Friday theme is BEST. That’s a pretty all-encompassing topic. I’ve decided to tweak it more than usual, and put up some pictures from some of the “best” natural scenery that I’ve seen this year: Patagonia, and the rainbows that seemed to be appear every day.
My first rainbow came as soon as we checked in to the Hotel Singular, a boutique hotel on the shores of Last Hope Sound. Despite that desolate name, the hotel boasts a top-notch spa, a dining room that has an extensive list of Chilean wines (not to mention local specialties such as rabbit and guanaco) and floor to ceiling windows with views like the one you see above. Similar to other eco-lodges in South America, the hotel has a staff of guides that lead excursions into Torres del Paine, the Rio Serrano glacier and nearby Andes.
One of those excursions was something that I always wanted to do: horseback riding in the Andes. My visit took place in April, which is fall in Patagonia. The temperatures were about what you’d find in Alaska during the shoulder season, punctuated by blasts of cold air swooping in from the mountains. The weather was about as temperamental as you’d find in the Pacific Northwest, cloudy with breaks of sunshine.
The hacienda that the Hotel Singular used for its rides was a little more sheltered than Torres del Paine. So that ride felt relatively comfortable, without the ferocious winds that I felt elsewhere in Patagonia.
My final rainbow came on a bird-watching excursion on Rio Serrano through the hotel’s catamaran. Besides the hawks swooping through the sky, we also saw wild flamingos, pink against the eerie landscape. I couldn’t stop taking photos. It’s the BEST natural scenery that I’ve seen so far, in a year that’s encompassed Japan, northern Canada and the Rocky Mountains.