Throwback Thursday: Van life in Patagonia
Three years ago on this day I headed off on a night bus through the quite literal Pampa in Argentina. A friend was in Argentina, too and he had just bought an old T2 VW van. So we figured that we could meet up and cruise down the Atlantic Coast for a couple of days. How could I say no to that? And thus began a week of wild camping and van life on beaches in northern Patagonia
We met in the no-one’s-ever-heard-of-that seaside town of Las Grutas. I just checked, and Google Maps actually makes it look like it’s a sort of town now. Three years ago, Google Maps didn’t have any streets marked for Las Grutas, just an unmarked road leading to it from the main Highway 3.
We didn’t really have any plans except driving down Highway 3 and finding penguins, elephant seals and, hopefully, whales. We camped on empty beaches that lay at the end of a 30 minute drive along rough gravel roads, in ear-shot of seals and penguins and on stony beaches just outside towns. I wouldn’t say I had a lot of camping experience at the start of the week but very soon I loved van life and sitting underneath the milky way at night.
I think what I loved about this version of camping, is that you always take your “home” with you. You don’t sleep completely open to the elements but always in the same spot in your van. The wind is still shaking you up and you hear everything that goes on outside, including a gang of howling seals. But inside, you’re safe from rain and the worst of the cold. Then, in the morning, you climb out through the back and you’re standing in the most amazing places. Places, which you might not even have seen the night before, because it was dark.
Right, before I start rambling on forever, here’s a little (blurry) picture of me with a penguin.
Have you lived a bit of van life before? Would you do it again? Tell me about it in the comments below.