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The Splendor & Magic of Patagonia
Article Written by James Tyberonn
Patagonia is mythical, a place of exquisite dream-scape that seems to exist more in the exotic fantasy of imagination than in reality. And that aspect alone makes a trip there feel momentous. One view of the incredible surreal landscape there explains it all, even if you have to pinch yourself. This is the sort of place that seems to come right out of a sci-fi movie. Mountains of incredible jagged peaks, surrounded by a base matrix of wheaten pampas, blue-crystal lakes, and amazing flora and fauna, the type not seen anywhere else on this planet.
In a globally reduced world, where your neighbor visits Nepal, and a friend has just returned from Tahiti, Patagonia still rises above the rarest of expectation, and literally so. Patagonia has somehow retained the mystique of the frontier. The name alone conjures images of a fabled landscape of spiky peaks veiled in clouds, glaciers that extend to the horizon tumbling into electric-vibrant lakes, endless flowing steppes unpopulated for hundreds of miles save for the herds of llama and wandering puma. And it puts you in a mood of wonder and amazement that is vibrantly luminous in the sheer & vast enormity of physical space. Patagonia covers about 260,000 square miles in size, about the same as Texas, spanning a significant portion of lower South America.
And while few places, including Patagonia are no longer uncharted territory, Los Torres del Paine and the surrounding Andes are as close as one comes in the new millennia, to being truly pristine areas of open untouched majesty. For years Patagonia has been on the map of hardy international trekkers, who have found there some of the world's best unspoiled scenery, and found solace in the solitary existence of some of nature's finest artistry.
I first saw the sheer granite towers of Chile's Torres del Paine National Park in National Geographic 2 decades ago. Literally stunned at the incredible jagged landscape, I promised myself I would go there one day. I kept that promise in May 2002. I made another promise when I left...and that was to return one day. That time has come.
Torres del Paine National Park is an amazing array of lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and jagged peaks at the bottom tip of South America. Its massive 1,000 square mile, 500,000-acre expanse runs from just north of Tierra del Fuego and curls around the Sound of Last Hope in southern Patagonia, Chile. The crowning jewel and namesake of the park are three incredible 9,000-foot violet-pink granite monoliths.
Those looking for dramatic alpine landscapes, glacial fields, astonishing, jagged mountainscapes and a chance to get a look at the stunning spires of pink granite that make the famous towers of Paine are drawn from all over the globe to experience firsthand the wonders of the Torres del Paine circuit in Chile's Patagonia mountains. It is no surprise, to those that have been there, including this writer, that Torres del Paine has been names one of the 'Nat-Geo Top Ten' places to visit in your lifetime by National Geographic. It is also, thankfully, a UNESCO biosphere protected reserve, specifically because of the extraordinarily uniqueness of place: the mountain vistas, pristine valleys, rolling pampas, crystal glacial lakes and its unique wildlife.
A Place Not of this World
I have been fortunate to circumnavigate the world many times over the past 3 decades. I am often asked what place is my favorite. It's a difficult question, and in many ways, one I truly cannot answer. It unfair to the numerous amazing places, that all stand out in their own merits, for vastly differing reasons. But within the prodigious expanse of Patagonia, Los Torres del Paine is utterly unique, beautiful beyond imagination. And perhaps it is the immensity of it's limitlessness, the subtle impression of infinity that embellishes the sense of the mystical within Los Torres del Paine. Truly it looks & feels different, a place of sublime clarity, not of this world.
It does not require knowledge of geology for the visitor here to readily recognize the differentiating, incomparable features of this remote and vast area. It is unlike any other place on earth, in geological matrix as well as singularly uncommon life-form expressions of flora & fauna.Precisely because of its remoteness and inaccessibility, Patagonia has always been like Shangri-la, a place of myths and legends. But unlike utopian places of myth, anyone with the desire and means to come here...can.
In contrast to other 'special spaces' on the planet, you truly are not just mental miles away from the mundane, indeed you are physically far far away. And there is something tangible about that comprehension of great space & distance that amplifies the sense of the Divine Spirit of Place in Patagonia. I am indeed a mystic, but one need not be a metaphysician to sense and feel the absolute unmitigated sense of magical presence that abounds in Patagonia's Los Torres el Paine National Park. For this writer it was a gate to not only exquisite exteriors, but a springboard into portals of inner worlds.
The park is part of the Paine Massif, which lies east of the high Andean spine. The massifs are a relatively short 17-mile column of mountains emerging suddenly from the plains of the Patagonian steppes. Composed of granite, capped by a purple-blue quartzitic sedimentary rock, the Paine range is an upthrusted batholith, a giant bubble of once molten granite that rose from deep in the Earth, cooled and was later iced over with massive glaciers. As the glaciers retreated, they cut deep gashes and left uproar of mystical jagged peaks. Deep pits spooned from the surrounding earth were filled with melting ice, creating a poignant daisy chain of colorful lakes around the fortress-like mountains.
The Paine uplift is almost completely encircled by the Rio Paine. The river begins at Lago Dickson, then crosses through the Paine, Nordenskjold and Pehoe lakes and then empties into the Lago del Toro. The intense upper chakra colors of the park's lakes and river waters are caused by pulverized silt created from the melting glaciers' grinding retreat. The accumulation of this sediment in the river basins leading from lake to lake causes the amazing colors of blue and green. I have experienced similar colors only in waters in the Canadian Rockies, Lake Powell and the European Alps.
Tyb's Journal: Punta Arenas
I flew from Santiago to Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas is the southernmost city on Earth, overlooking the Straits of Magellan. Situated astride one of the world's historic trade routes, its prosperity has risen and fallen with that trade. Punta Arenas enjoyed its first great boom during the California Gold Rush, when it served as a haven for great clipper ships. Although the port's importance diminished after the opening of the Panama Canal, the city reached even greater prosperity early in the 20th century as the center of Chile's international wool trade.
It is a city of striking blends. It reflects much of the cobble & tile charm typical of the picturesque Andean cities and villages, but mixed with the Swiss-German gabled homes and buildings, stuccoes in the Germanic-English half timber. The heavier walled homes a necessity in the colder climate of the area. The mixture of culture reflected in the city's structures is a vivid and utterly fascinating testament to the Chile's rich history. In this area of Southernmost South America, the colonization effect in the melding of various heritages was readily apparent. The streets and lovely shops are teeming with European blondes, Andean Indians, and Spanish Castilian. Truly a beautiful grouping with variations of the centuries blends. Because the latter two demographics are more typical of South America, it was the seeming Germanic Swiss influence both in people and buildings that differentiated Punta Arenas. Although having lived 9 years in South America, I had never spent time in the colder climate tip of Tierra del Fuego and surroundings, and the requisite heavier construct of homes for insulation against the cold winters was very interesting to observe. Each home seemed to have 2 or 3 stone chimneys for fireplaces, something you don't see in other parts of South America. Not surprisingly with the snow and mountains, ski resorts abound in the surrounding areas.
Punta Arenas is in fact, the hub, the starting point for excursions to Antarctica & some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. The best spot to gain an introduction to Punta Arenas is the Cerro La Cruz promontory, which provides breathtaking views of the city's orderly streets, colorful tin & tile roofs, and the strait beyond. Among the city's most interesting attractions are the Museo Salesiano de Mayonino Borgatello, started by an order of Italian missionaries, and the Centro Cultural Braun-Menendèz, housed in the mansion of one of the city's most prosperous families. The museum provides visitors with an extraordinary and eclectic introduction to virtually every aspect of the region. Its collection, accumulated by the missionaries during their extensive travels in the area, is composed of artifacts of all sorts-from ceramics to rare animal species The Centro Cultural is equally engaging, offering an intimate glimpse of the life of a prosperous Punta Arenas trading. Furnished with fine European antiques, Italian marble floors, and grand ceiling frescos, this grand mansion gives a good indication of the economic stature of Punta Arenas before the Panama Canal was completed.
From Punta Arenas, it is an easy day trip to the pinguineros, the nearby penguin settlements and the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, which provides the perfect introduction to Chilean Patagonia.
I spent 2 days in Punta Arenas, and found it to be delightfully pleasant, cobbled streets, shops with enormous hand-carved carved wooden doors, hanging a variety of bright wares for locals and tourist alike. I found quite a relaxing atmosphere in walking the open market section. There was a sense of tranquility, well-being and safety. A sense of prosperity and order pervaded. There were not the stark markings of poverty that seem to be in other touristic parts of South America, like Peru and Bolivia. And like Peru and Bolivia, the artesian shops were lovely, offering bright Andean cloths, heavy alpaca ponchos, hats, leather goods, artesian wood and bone carvings and European style lace tablecloths & artfully embroidered clothing. In the open market, wonderful vibrant fruits and vegetables adorned plaza shops tables and high hanging displays.
The bus four-hour drive from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales passed quickly. The bus was very comfortable, and I spent my time sitting in the overstuffed seats between observing the passing countryside and taking delicious naps. I had purchased two tickets in order to have the added leg space of two seats. The omnibus coach rolled easily along a well paved highway passing beautiful verdant expanses of mountain backed pampas with peaks of spiraling high snow capped mountains, reaching as high as 24,000 feet. Open tundra fields of knee-high golden pampas waved in the wind like velvet chartreuse.
Puerto Natales is the capital of both the commune of Natales and the province of Última Esperanza, (Spanish for "Last Hope"), one of the four provinces that make up the Magallanes and Antartica Chilena Region in the southernmost part of Chile. The city is located 247 km northwest of Punta Arenas and is the final passenger port of call for the Navimag ferry sailing from Puerto Montt into the Señoret Channel as well as the primary transit point for travelers to Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.
The city was originally settled by European immigrants: The largest groups were Germans, British, Italians and Spaniards. Later settlement came with Chilean people, a substantial number coming from the nearby Island of Chiloé. Nowadays, one of the most important activities is tourism although cattle production and the fishery industries are also significant.Touting a population of 20,000 residents, Puerto Natales is a picturesque cluster of low-rise adobe structures with red-tile roofs extending upward from the edge of the llano to the sloped sides of the spectacular Patagonian mountains.
Along the stunning plaza of the city centre, alpaca shawled Andino women were selling fruit and freshly grilled lamb & fish. The aroma of the sizzling coal fires cooking the meats filled the air, and tempted me to try some of the skewered delicacies, but I waited for a 'sit-down' meal in one of the many open air restaurants. As I strolled along, I viewed artisans offering delightful handicrafts of every description. The restaurants and shops were neatly arranged in a quaint, clean quadrangled plaza enclave. The exteriors were strung neatly with multi colored lights, creating a warm festive ambiance. I chose an open air eatery with octagonal tiles clay roofing, and savored an exquisite meal of lemon-butter garnished grilled Chilean sea bass, black beans, roasted yucca and fresh apple juice.
I found a small hotel with a reasonable bed and private shower, and slept with the window open. The fresh cool breeze from the Andes gently filled my sleep.I woke early and went for a breakfast of fruit and sweet bread. I began to contemplate Los Torres del Paine as I sipped a small cup of aromatic café andino. Wonders lay in store.
Tyb's Journal: Arrival
As we entered the Park of the Towers, every direction offered panoramic views of snowcapped mountains, green flowered fields, rolling hills of wheat-hued pampas and beautiful waters. The beauty was almost too perfect; it was so overwhelming that it made me melancholy. Amazing beauty is fleeting, and the fruitless attempt to keep it is a metaphor of the inability to capture time. Change is the nature of temporal life. And indeed, temporal change comes quickly in Patagonia, as I soon learned. A single day can, and would, display all four seasons. (I had arrived in May, the rainy season). Bright mornings rarely remain bright for long in Patagonia. The autumn & winter-season days (April-November) are quickly transformed as irate winds whip up into an angry gray pitch. Rain can suddenly lash down, stinging hands and face. Thick gray fog rolls in with no warning ... and suddenly the picturesque world has disappeared. On low ground it is bad enough, but it is downright scary if you are up at the base of the towers. The weather is raw, and crystal rivers can swell to raging dark torrents in minutes.
Now, despite the villainy of this description, this is an amazingly tranquil, inviting place. It is a spiritual cornucopia of magic and well being. All life abounds. Torres del Paine teems with fauna - huge furry rabbits, sleek pumas, enormous condors, hawks, eagles, emu and fuzzy guanacos, the Chilean cousin to llamas. But it is the Paine Mountains, the incredible jagged spire towers and horns that generate the brow and crown energy and dominate the character of this utopia. The incredible indigo towers are the magnet that pulled me to southern Patagonia. I could not wait to see them ... but that would prove harder to be than I thought in May of 2002. The dry season is December through March, and that is the optimal time to visit. It is the high-season. I had come in May, late autumn, the rainy season.
Day Two: Journey to Los Cuernos
My journey to the Paine Horns was on horseback ... not as big Clydesdales but quite similar in chiseled muscular frame. The horses were beautiful, spirited and healthy. The one chosen for me had a wonderful presence, very steady. I developed a tremendous respect for this mighty animal, who literally carried my life on his back, as we returned through thigh-high, rain-swollen rivers.
I was the lone guest rider this day. My guides -Claudia, a blonde hearty Patagonian girl of 24, and Gato, an olive skinned Castilian, very athletic gaucho who had a mastery of riding - decided we could go despite the forecast of thunderstorms. Both guides were wonderful young souls, very endearing and capable Earth- Keepers. Gato exuded an air of confident competence and well being. His energy was totally ingrained to the land, and the horses all responded to his guardianship in eager loyalty and affection.
The journey to the Horns passed along glacier moraines and steppes painted with browns and reds. After a few miles, we reached the blue-green Pehoe Lake and rode along steep trails hampered by huge granite boulder outcrops along the sloping sides. The lake waters were reminiscent of Banff; identical to Canada's amazing Lake Louise is hue. The view was incredible. As we entered the crevice of Valle Francais, the beauty and feelings intensified. The horses crunched through gravel-bedded streams with clear flowing waters and through magical steppes of flowing pampas.
Overhead, wispy mists swirled above darker cirrus clouds, giving way to UFO-like lenticular clouds that always seem to nest atop magnetic mountains, such as Mount Shasta. Although the lenticulars here dipped a bit below the peaks, and fitted atop the summits like a sombrero....which is not surprisingly, how the locals referred to these stunning lenticular clouds.
There were trees with gnarled, serpentine roots and outreaching limbs, twisted & curled in the helixial telltale fashion of vortex energies. We rode onward through iridescent fields, with rocks covered in burgundy and orange lichen that seemed to glow .The sense of the Devic kingdom, of faeries, elves and gnomes lurking behind knobbed and corkscrewed tree trunks, was tangible. Flowers abounded everywhere, like nothing I had seen before - amazing colors that occur only in very wet climates. So many shades of green! Small evergreens were decorated like Christmas trees with yellow clusters of miniature mistletoe so bright that they seemed to glow. A rare lacy green moss called Grandpa's Beard was draped symmetrically from the limbs of hardwoods. Although hardy, these grow in only the purest air.
The area was primarily volcanic, and the energy of place had a 'zingy' electrical feel - perfectly balanced by the female telluric expressions of soothing lakes and majestic inland fjords.
Experience of the Horns
When we finally reached the base of the 'Los Cuernos' the spectacular Bull Horns formation, the drizzle had become steady rain. We found shelter in the refugio and drank warm Andean tea heated on a wood-fed cast-iron stove, and sweetened with local honey. I got warm and toasty very quickly.
The rain passed in slightly less an hour, and, as suddenly as they had come; the gray clouds were swept away. It is simply impossible to describe the contrast of how the scenery would shift from a foggy, dreary gray to a sparkling wonderment of polished light. When the rain clouds lifted their veil, the glory of the Paine Horns was simply overwhelming, beyond words.
The vast horizon burst into color in the yellow-gold bright sunshine, revealing sparking hues that seem to emanate vibrancy. Before me was such a contrasting vista, that one would scarcely have believed that this was the same place of an hour ago. Lichen covered boulders, moss covered trees and the sloping hills seemed to have awakened in response to the golden sunshine, and presented to the eye their ever-varying shades of deep rich green , burgandy and gold. Scarce a leaf had fallen, in the hardy wind of the hour past, the flora was hearty and proud , as every color of the painted horizon mingled in a Monet-esque pallet with the vibrant hues of the fading southern Andean summer.
The sky was cloudless, the sun shone out bright and warm; and felt delicious on my face and being. Suddenly as if on an orchestrated queue, the songs of birds, and hum of myriads of insects, filled the air as if toning the Om-wave. The valley before me came alive in the increased visibility exhibiting a panorama crowded with flowers of every rich and beautiful tint, sparkled, in the remaining dew, like beds of glittering diamonds. Everything in the valley bore the stamp of vitality, and all of these beautiful colors seemed to stretch and dance in utter unbridled joy.
About every 100 meters, lovely brooks flowed down from the mountains, enriched by the rain waters. The clear-flowing streams glistened with the reflection of the bright sun shining on their fluid surfaces, bouncing off in ever direction like a beautiful crystal. The bright powder-blue sky reigned above the valley below with no clouds to be seen. We could now vividly see the wheaten pampas melodically grass swaying from side to side on the distant rolling hills, being lightly pushed by a warm gentle breeze.
The imagery contrast was so stark in the transition from heavy rain to luminous sunshine that it gave me contemplative pause. The switch was so immediate and so differentiating that I sensed something more had occurred. The sun seemed to have elevated the entire locality into a higher dimension. The light given seemed to have a most unusual effect. Just an hour earlier, during the rain, visibility was limited to about 100 meters, and the spectacular mountains disappeared in the gray mist. Was this the same place?
As we left the refugio, the curtain of clouds was pulled back to reveal the smooth walls of the Cuernos. The vertical rise of the Paine Horns is incredible - almost 7,500 feet. The mountains are a batholith of blue granite, with shaded strata of Purple-indigo shale along the crown. They curve into an impressive crescent shape, hence the 'Blue Horns' name, although the Indian word can also be translated as 'crown.' An amazing energy was projected as if the blue rock pulsed & projected an electrical field.
An Eternal Moment
The guides decided to stop for a moment to adjust the saddles on the horses and allow them to graze for a few moments in the sunshine. This was perfect. As we dismounted, they led the 3 horses into the grass, and I walked the opposite way and found the perfect spot on a granite table outcropping, overlooking the electric blue lake, for quiet meditation. I nestled in, and within moments of my mediation, connected deeply into the spirit presence of the Twin Horns.
Immediately I became overwhelmed with deep emotion. It was as if I felt overcome by the exquisite beauty and perfection of this place and moment. I felt gratitude of being given this exqusite polished view and yet sad at knowing I had but fleeting time to be in this sublime moment of surreal beauty.Everything sparkled ! The energy embraced me in a purple wave, a violet crystalline flame. Energy radiated from the land and elements, from the Spirit of Place, through by body, my full being. It felt like more than a re-charging, it was a download, and incredible activation that took on prolific meaning for me.
Geometric Energy Projections
Interestingly, in the midst of my activation, I received a strong visual of sacred geometry patterns being projected from the Paine Towers and Paine Horns. It was as if the 17-mile massif ridge had an auric grid projection along its length that projected certain Platonic Solids at key apex points. I sensed multi-octahedron shapes at the towers and a singular dodecahedron sphere at the Horns. I knew this 17-mile corridor is a singular living presence and is quite a unique
Crystalline expression of Gaia.
My meditation was deep and cleansing. It had a unique clarity and it seemed that I was floating above the lands , eyes closed, but aware of all below and above me. This lasted for what seemed a very long time. It was timeless. I was brought 'back to earth' by Gato's call. It had began raining again, and was time to head out. At the call to leave, my meditation ewas complete.
But when I attempted to stand up from the the flat granite table, I had been sitting on, I felt a bit dizzy, and had to sit back down quickly to avoid falling. In that instant I had the very strange sensation of being enormous. For a few fleeting seconds I felt 60 meters tall, still inside my body but in a huge titan form looking down at all of this splendor. That was a bizarre sensation, yet I have had it on rare occasions during vision quests and after deep meditations in powerful spots. I am not certain what occurs, but perhaps a greater part of my being is flooded into the expanse of my Mer-Ka-Na field. And in that instant I see through 12 chakras, crystalline chakras, and feel as though my etheric body is gigantic.
Day Three: The Indigo Towers
The next morning, I began my trek to the Towers themselves. It was an incredible refreshing experience. As we rode horseback to the refugio of the Towers, it rained most of the way. I hunched inside my poncho, as the dreary rain fell steadily around me. As we reached the refugio, the rain increased to a furious downpour. The guides explained to me in Spanish that the weather I was experiencing was typical for the rainy season (April-November).
It is rare for a day to come and go without at least some rain, but the rain rarely lasts all day. At the refugio of the Towers, we were required to go on foot for another two hours on a steep trail, switch-backed up the moraine slake. Unfortunately,the trail became an eddied stream of rainwater, and the park rangers closed the trail for the day.
I was however, allowed to advance laterally to a rocky hilltop offering a closer view of the Pink-Indigo Towers but was separated from them by a massive ravine and emerald green lake. It would bring me within the visual and energetic field of the Towers, but would not put me at their base. It was not what I had wanted but turned out to be all that I would need.
For a fleeting half-hour, the curtain of gray opened to allow me a full view of the granite Gods. In the green filtered light of the paused storm, the Towers took on a pink-violet hue. Like mood stones, the enormous monoliths would shift from pearl-gray to indigo-blue to red-orange, depending on the lighting, as if the frequency of their energetic output was changing with the colors - a shifting light activation similar to those I had experienced at Mount Shasta, and the Canadian Rockies.
I harvested years of anticipation within a 30-minute view of the sacred towers. I tingled with energy and connected to the presence. I lived every second with the timeless joy of fulfilling a dream. I had a love and recognition of the towers
the moment I'd seen them a decade earlier. I communed with them and left a piece of myself within their space.
We had to depart before the swelling Rio Paine rose too high to cross, but even before Gato called me for departure, I knew it was time to leave. I was ready, but I felt sad. I was saying goodbye to a presence I would likely not see again for many years. I promised to return....in the dry season one day.
During the horseback ride back down, the skies again cleared, and for another precious moment I saw the sacred towers standing like the Three Wise Men of the East. The pale blue backdrop became a framed tableau in sharp contrast to the pearl gray of the towers. I shifted in the saddle, unable to resist frequent looks over my shoulder. But all too soon, the 'wise men' became draped in misty robes and faded from sight.
As we reached the slopes of majestic Lago Pehoé, the wind kicked up, and rain lashed us. As if replacing the towers, three Andean condors came into view, tracing figure eight infinity patterned spirals across the opalesque sky. A potent omen. As the condors disappeared into leaden clouds, I stretched a grin across my wind-burnt face. I understood then that in this visit, in order to step through the magic looking-glass into this mountain paradise, I was required to face the rain, wind and weather. One has to enter the labyrinth. But when the dues are paid, the magical gift that is Torres del Paine is fully revealed in the twinkle of an eye ... and then they are gone.
Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine literally translates to 'indigo towers.' The word Paine is a Tehuelche Indian word meaning violet-blue, describing the hue of the mountains at sunset. Torres is, of course, Spanish for 'towers.'
While Torres del Paine National Park is becoming the primary eco-tourist attraction in the southern Patagonia region of both Chile and Argentina, it is still rather sparsely frequented in terms of its enormity. Only two full-fledged hotels and half a dozen hostels are allowed in the park, which was created in 1959 and declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978. There was divine intervention in that act as, at the time, powerful Japanese, European & American corporate lumber and mining interests were attempting to buy massive tracts of land from the Estancia cattle barons for 'industrial development.' The exploitation was halted by an amazing synchronicity of events that led to the land being privately purchased and then donated to the government for use as a National Park and Global Treasure.
Haven of Serenity
The park is truly a haven. It remains pristine and resplendent, and it serves as a balancing reservoir to Mother Earth. The Torres are being activated as a potent crystal grid portal along with several other significant areas in Chile, including Volcan Osorno in central Chile and Canjo Maipo in northern Chile. All are connected in the Southern Hemisphere to Chile's Easter Island.
The serenity is especially balancing. I found a deep peace, remarkable clarity and cleansing energy in the land. I sensed incredible energy pouring inward to the Cuernos and outward from the Torres. Ley energy abounds as do spiraling fountains of crysto-electrical vortexes. I did experience the primary energy to be magnetic in the perimeter flow; with the Torres themselves as exploding cannons of crystalline crown energy.
It is interesting to note that Chile contains the world's largest deposits of lapis lazuli and is among the largest producers. This precious gem carries a divine frequency, and the energetic vortex created by the massive deposits of lapis in Chile is being anchored by many special angelic souls in spiritual communities. (Afghanistan also contains massive deposits of lapis, but this energy has been greatly disrupted by the old energy of negativity and violence.) Lapis deposits, as well as jade, gold and silver, are abundant along the Andean spine of Chile.
Twin Giants of the Horns
The mountains of Torres del Paine held significance for the region's native inhabitants. The Tehuelche Indians were an extremely hearty race, who for centuries adapted physically, being able to live robustly in the snow-laden winters and
wet summers of Patagonia. The tribe rarely experienced illness and had an unusually long lifespan compared to other indigenous peoples. According to Tehuelche legend, the longevity and fortitude of the people came from the protection of the mountain guardians of the Twin Horns and Towers. Their myths tell of an evil flying serpent called Cai Cai, who eons ago caused a massive flood to devastate most of the warrior tribe that lived in Torres del Paine. When the floodwaters receded, the surviving people were weak and dying. Two powerful Tehuelche warriors prayed to the Mountain Spirit for protection and strength from future floods and for the ability to live long, fruitful lives in the severe climate. Spirit granted the wish, and the two warriors were transformed into stone giants, becoming the twin horns that crown the mountaintop of Cuernos del Paine. They protect the area for time eternal as guardians of the land. The Gods then immortalized the condor, puma and guanaco as the Three Towers, offering wisdom, strength and sustenance for the guardians and tribe.
When I read the story of the two warrior giants on my flight back to the States, I immediately connected it to my experience of feeling like a 200-foot giant when I meditated at the base of the Twin Horns. I had a moment of clarity and smiled at the validation.
Patagonia is extraordinary. Its crowning jewel is Los Torres del Paine. A place so remote and so vast that it redefined what I thought of as the frontiers of wilderness. It is nature at her finest. It is an energy place holder for the New Earth. Within its untouched pristine clarity & presence the 12th dimension is felt and seen. It is a polished diamond, a blue-violet diamond of exquisite light. It is a nature-scape portal truly unique, truly different from any I have expereinced. It is an expereince I savor and hope to have again....but next time in the dry season.