Jaillan Yehia

The Travel Tipping Point: Patagonia, Chile

Written by Jaillan Yehia

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I am a big believer that 3 is the magic number. The so-called rule of three exists because as humans we are constantly looking for patterns and 3 is the smallest number that can constitute a pattern to our brains.

It just so happens that 3 is the killer combination for many things – comedy writers know the third segment of the joke is where the real gag always lies – and from the 3 little pigs to famous quotes (I came, I saw, I conquered), look closely and you’ll find that 3 is always a powerful number.

So when a destination pops up three times in a row it triangulates on my travel radar and I find it hard not to go into trip planning mode. Right now Patagonia is on the third strike, motivating me to dig out these images from my trip there a decade ago.

Recently I was invited to a travel industry event by Chile Tourism. I was reminded of the delights of Chilean wine and Pisco Sours (a classic Chilean cocktail) as I talked to exhibitors about all the wondrous possibilities of Patagonia, a land of such barren and rugged landscapes that I hadn’t visited in so long.


Next I found myself in a discussion with some other bloggers about our first ever blog post. What motivated us to begin and what were we hoping to achieve? Some of the pictures here originally made it into what turned out to be my first ever blog post back when I was blogging on a random MS Office platform the name of which I don’t even remember.

Torres Del Paine national park has 118 bird species

Torres Del Paine national park has 118 bird species

What I do remember is wanting to share the raw beauty of my time exploring Patagonia’s glaciers, the granite pillars and endless hiking of Torres Del Paine national park and the penguin colonies of Magdalena Island, and in what seems almost a naive ambition back in those days when travel blogging wasn’t even a thing let alone a real profession, I honestly just wanted nothing more than to inspire people to travel.

Penguins in Patagonia

My first time seeing penguins in the wild, in Patagonia

Now I find myself on the third little sign that a return to Chile will figure in my foreseeable future, as I hit the 10 year anniversary of my trip to South America.

Torres Del Paine, Patagonia

At Torres Del Paine, Patagonia, Chile. 10 years on and I still have that coat.

While I’ve been back to Central America and certainly spent plenty of time in North America since then, I will never forget my first big trip away with friends to Argentina, Brazil and Chile – and while of course it won’t be the same I’m ready to experience Patagonia all over again – it will be interesting to see what my pictures will turn out like given that these were all taken on a small point and shoot camera before I owned a DSLR or an iPhone.

Wild horses in Patagonia

Wild horses in Patagonia

During my time in South America I flew with a number of airlines including the Argentinian national airline and LAN which also flies extensively within South America and is Chile’s national airline, based in Santiago.

At the time of my visit to Argentina it’s own national airline suddenly decided to strike leaving me stranded in the south of the country and it was only by finding alternative transport via LAN’s more reliable service that I was able to make my onward connection to Brazil, so I have always had rather a soft spot for Chile and LAN for saving the day for me.

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