Hopelessly remote and oft-overlooked, Patagonia is a vast region of epic extremes that straddles two countries at the foot of the globe. It is cold, windy and desolate, yet easily the most beautiful place we have explored.
The third biggest ice field on the globe is fed by the Andes mountain range and brings much-needed moisture to the desert-like plains that lie to the west. Further south, penguins and sea lions outnumber humans 10-1. Little survives here and few people can call it home, but those willing to brave this hostile environment, often in the name of adventure, are rewarded with some of the most stunning and ancient scenery the globe has to offer. Perhaps it is the no fuss, back-to-basics nature of things that stops people from leaving. If you want to learn what you're made of, then Patagonia is the place for you.
Patagonia is also a land of surprises. You will doubtlessly come across young, agile Guanacos,(ancestors of the Llamas seen frequently further north) which survive against the odds through harsh winters and constant puma attacks. The wild horses are a sight to behold, especially when thundering across the plains in herds 400-500 strong.
The people that inhabit Patagonia are made of strong stuff; mining and sheep farming are some of the only ways to eek a living out of the barren earth here. You are also more likely to find gold in the rivers than an apple in a supermarket and prices are eye-wateringly high when compared with the rest of South America. But for its few shortcomings, Patagonia rewards any visitor with a certain simplicity that most people probably never knew they lacked in their everyday life.
In this video, we tried to capture the essence of Patagonia. It was filmed over several treks through various national parks in both Chile and Argentina. We travelled light, with just a camera, camping gear and a couple of weeks worth of food. We made timelapses of the stars from the entrance of our tent and pushed our bodies to the brink of exhaustion. We even flirted with real danger when Nicola took a tumble on a steep descent and smashed her right eye to bits, 6 hours walk from the nearest sign of civilisation.
This film is really just the beginning of a love affair with Patagonia - we will be back.