We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from John, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. John lives in New Zealand, and submitted the following report about his road trip in Patagonia. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 2.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Spanish, English
Reasons to go to Patagonia
Just the mere mention of the phrase “solo drive/journey through Patagonia” sparked imagination for me when I was a child many eons ago. Over the past 30 years (I'm in my early 40s now) I never stopped dreaming about visiting such a mystical place, but only in the last 10 years did I realize I was destined to do it alone. In October 2014, I said to myself, I am going to do this alone next year. So from that point, I recalled all of the off-road driving experience I had as well as my global solo traveling experiences to date and my up-and-coming Patagonia road trip was suddenly larger than life.
The drive itself is not just a drive on sealed, poorly sealed, and/or miserably built mountainous gravel roads far from civilization or any towns. The solo drive is a journey to strange looking landscapes and most importantly it's a journey into your own imagination. When you are cruising at 120 km/hr on straight vast stretches of Ruta 40 Norte (North) and see nothing for what seems like an entire day, your imagination starts to wander into places you never would have thought. You might pick up some random out of this world hitchhikers in small output “petrol-station” based towns that give you even more a sense of the remoteness of Patagonia.
For me, this solo Patagonia driving trip was about being as far from other non-adventurous, non-global minded people as possible. Traveling solo in Patagonia opened up my mind in ways that I never expected. I am a better person for having completed this very difficult (both mentally and physically) trip solo. Besides the obvious magnificent scenic places like Torres del Paine NP, El Chalten, and the Patagonia Lakes District, I was equally if not more fascinated with the utterly vast expanses of endless nothing along areas east of the Andes Mountains along, for example, Ruta 40 in Argentina.
In the end, if you are the very adventurous solo type like myself, and want to ‘find yourself' or do some ‘soul searching,' traveling to Patagonia alone and driving the 5500 Kms (or more!) route as I did, will surely help you accomplish your goal. All the best and good luck on your solo journey…
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 2 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 3 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 3 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 2.5 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)