The girls are back in town!
Danielle and I have returned to Cusco and are so excited to kick off the new school year! We spent the last three weeks traveling through Brazil and Chile before arriving back home in Peru.
First Stop: Rio de Janeiro
We began our adventure in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, where we soaked up the sun and enjoyed the beautiful views atop the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf mountain. We took innumerable photos with the famous mosaic Selarón Steps or “Escaderia Selarón” and tried our hand (or feet) at samba by night. Most importantly, we celebrated Danielle’s birthday by eating our body weight in churrasco at Fogo de Chão!
Second Stop: Florianopolis
Although the island of Florianopolis may sound like an imaginary place, it is in fact very real! And very stunning! Florianopolis is located in the southern state of Santa Catarina and is a popular vacation spot for Brazilians and foreigners alike. Here we enjoyed the tranquil beaches and rested up for our upcoming trek in Patagonia!
Third Stop: Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia
We then made our way to Torres del Paine National Park, where we embarked on the W trek! Danielle and I completed the W in 4 days, although the itinerary can be stretched out to take up 5-7 days. We traveled from east to west, kicking off our journey by hiking up to the base of the towers or “torres,” from which the park gets its name. Over the next three days we walked along the brilliantly blue Lake Nordenskjöld, took in a breathtaking panoramic view at the Mirador Britanico, and were awed by the massive Grey Glacier. Although the W was the most physically challenging 4 days of our trip (and perhaps of our lives), it was certainly the most rewarding and a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Final Stop: Santiago de Chile
After completing the W, we headed to Santiago to tend to our blisters, bruises, and battered knees. When we were not sleeping or massaging our muscles, we explored the city’s many historic monuments and restaurants. I spent a summer in Santiago as part of a Health and Spanish Immersion Program before my junior year of college, and was excited to show Danielle all my old haunts. We even got to spend some time with my wonderful host parents, Nancy and Guillermo!
Now Danielle and I are back in Cusco and are gearing up for the new school year! We are looking forward to applying everything we learned last year to make this year of Chicas Dinámicas the best yet.