Images of Our Journeys

Torres Del Paine Images

It is not surprising that the environment is unforgiving in Torres del Paine National Park, regarded the Patagonian region’s crown jewel, that cuts across both Chile and Argentina. The dramatic landscapes could have only been shaped by the pervasive, powerful forces. When the weather throws a fit, it can be downright unjust. Cloud cover could descend to cover granite spires with thick, obstinate layers of mist, depriving eager visitors of the dramatic spectacle. Rain could fall incessantly for days, water-logging everything but the most determined spirits. When the weather does finally acquiesce, it does so in a fit of self-indulgent generosity. 

Mere mortals put up with these histrionics when in the presence of the remarkable. 

When the visitor is fortunate, Torres del Paine shuns all modesty and volatility, flaunting her qualities grandly like an overbearing goddess. Glaciated peaks, grand spires, electric blue glaciers, and lush valleys are among her best features, each individually noteworthy. Considered as integral components of the whole however, the park’s appeal is enhanced a ten-fold. 

This is Torres del Paine—extraordinarily striking but unmistakably temperamental.

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Tongariro Images

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is frequently described as New Zealand’s finest one-day trek. Covering 18 kilometers, this hike is a slog primarily through the barren wasteland that passes through Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, two of the three active volcanoes in Tongariro National Park. The ring of fire officially starts here. Hardly surprising at all that this was Peter Jackson’s choice for the and of Mordor in his visual epic The lord of the rings. Spectacular yet bleak and grim all at once, it was just the place a dark lord would settle in quite nicely. The arresting Mount Doom was depicted by the conical Mount Ngauruhoe (which resembles an enormous pointed mushroom with its lone leg severed from underneath it). 

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Iguazú Images

Iguazú Falls has Spanish and Portuguese names, Cataratas del Iguazú and Foz do Iguaçu respectively, because Argentina and Brazil co-own the waterfalls that straddle both countries. Iguazú comes from the Guarani term “great water.” Yet even “great” seems like a gross underestimation of Iguazú and does not even come close. Eleanor Roosevelt was reportedly overheard lamenting “Poor Niagara” upon laying eyes on the waterfalls. Niagara Falls, breathtaking and impressive in its own right, suddenly appeared second-rate and ordinary. It is no knock on the former; Iguazú Falls is just in a league of its own. 

Twice the height and four times as wide as Niagara, Iguazú Falls consist of over 275 cascading walls of water spanning a three-kilometre edge, the most prominent and dramatic of which is the horseshoe-shaped Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s throat) at the far-end of the stretch. The air is constantly perforated with resounding booms and columns of vapour and mist hover above the gorge from the impact of water, flowing at an average 1,746 m3/s, and plunging down 80 meters with inconceivable and unrestrained force.