Latin America 2012-2013: Back To The Lake Districts of Chile & Argentina, then Northern Argentina and a bit of Central Chile

In North America's 2012-2013 I find myself returning yet again to the South American summer. Like last year, I surprisingly don't find myself trying to escape the cold of winter per se. This is logical: Living in a ski bum town in the Cascades is rather attractive, even if you're not much of a skier (I'm not). Nevertheless, there is a mass of accumulated frequent flyer miles from building a house to attend to, and extending the trip to use 50,000 miles instead of the usual 60,000 required (by making my travel dates outside of high season on both ends) is even MORE attractive. I'm exceedingly ready to take a break from house-building for a few months, even if only for the pause in THINKING about the task (not to mention having to DO IT) every day. Thankfully, it's also almost done this time around, with only a handful of projects like staircase railings and a kitchen counter left - things that I likely would make a complete mess of and should best leave to someone more skilled to complete in the first place.

So here I go again, again with hopes of perhaps filling in some of those "Andean gaps" missed over the years. The big question, however, is whether I'll actually move beyond the appealing Lakes Districts of Chile and Argentina - where I'll start things with trekking for a while. Soon enough I'll find that that's not to be in the grand sense: Although I harbor a feeling for a while that I'll see the beaches of Northern Chile, Southern Perú, or even Eastern Uruguay, come the end of February and most of March it'll be the case that I won't get much beyond the north/central Argentine Andes/Sierras and Central Chile. So it goes, but at least this time I'm a bit more prepared for all events: I'm sporting a tent, a sleeping bag, an air mattress... plus a stack of about FIFTEEN books accompanied by a few bags of quality coffee. To the (rather large) hills of South America I shall wander!

Santiago, Chile (4 nights)
night (death!) bus to Pucón, Chile (1 night)
Pucón and P.N. Huerquehue, Chile (7 nights)
Puerto Fuy, Chile - San Martin, Argentina Via Paso Hua Hum (3 nights)
Villa La Angostura, Argentina (12 nights)
Bariloche and P.N. Nahuel Huapi, Argentina (3(B) + 5(NH) + 5(B) + 6(NH) + 9(B) = 28 nights)
Night (death!) Bus To Córdoba, Argentina (1 night)
Córdoba, Argentina and its Sierras (11 nights)
night (death!) bus to Salta (1 night)
Salta, Argentina and the nearby Valles Calchaquies and Puna regions (17 nights)
night (death!) bus to Córdoba, Argentina (1 night)
Córdoba, Argentina Redux (6 nights)
night (death!) bus to Mendoza (1 night)
Mendoza, Argentina (4 nights)
Valparaiso, Chile (10 nights)
Santiago, Chile Redux (4 nights)
a final overnight in Lima, Perú, thanks to Alaska's Frequent Flyer program (1 night)

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