A Palanquin for Patagonia? – The Honeybadger’s Upcoming Trip to South America and Beyond..

As I am sure you can imagine, as the temperature starts to drop in the fall, a Honeybadger’s mind turns to thinking about warmer climates and new opportunities for adventure.. 

In this case however,  my winter getaway has been in the works for quite a number of months.. because it is anchored or based around a trip to Antarctica.. so indeed I will be flying south, but I overshot a bit in terms of warmer weather, as Antarctica will be about 0 degrees centigrade when I am there.   The trip route will be a touch convoluted, as it mixes in both tropic and arctic conditions, so packing for a wide variety of conditions is required:

Mexico (Cancun & Cozumel for diving), Cuba, Uruguay, Argentina, Antarctica (the peninsula, plus South Georgia and the Falklands), Chile (including Patagonia for both Chile and Argentina), and finally Brazil (Rio for Carnival) before returning home..

The thing about the Patagonia section is that it is a hiker’s paradise, and the scenics are pretty spectacular.   However, while I have been known to hike up to the top of Volcanoes like Telica in Nicaragua, and mountains like Semuc Champey in Guatemala….  I am not really a hiker, I truly detest uphill climbs, and I am usually carrying quite a lot of camera gear, so that leaves little room for normal hiking gear. 

The Volcano’s Breath – Clouds of sulfur float out from the rim of Telica Volcano in Nicaragua. 

The trick at the rim is to keep one leg back behind you in order not to put too much weight on the very rim, as it has been known to collapse and people have fallen to their demise. If the molten lava doesn’t get you, you would asphyxiate in sort order – so the outcome is the same no matter what.

  Its quite a vertical hike up to the top of the lookout for Semuc Champey in Guatemala.

I was proud to make it, and was pleased by all the high fives I was getting from the twenty-something guys, until I realized they were only giving me high fives for making it without having a coronary!

Anyways, this winter will have more than its fair share of adventures for the Wandering Honeybadger.  I even thought I might borrow an idea from Asia and the east, namely a Palanquin.. whereby the person of high status gets carried on a covered platform.

“Emperor Aurangzeb Carried on a Palanquin“, India, Uttaranchal, Garhwal, circa 1775 – Image courtesy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

So far though, I am having zero luck in finding a Palanquin for Patagonia… Damn!

Patagonia is not without its challenges, even in the summer, it can provide you with weather from all four seasons when hiking, however one of the biggest hazards is getting blown off a rock by the excessive wind gusts..  actually it has a fairly sinister name “the white wind”  see this account of a hiking trip in Patagonia..   So yeah, I am going to be doing Patagonia in January as well, on my own.. that idea of a Palanquin is looking to be better and better..

In any event, I will be posting new images starting in early December, all along my route, subject to decent internet connectivity in the various locations of course.

The Wandering Honeybadger