Washington Park, Portland

Washington Park is the #1 TripAdvisor attraction in Portland.

It includes a zooforestry museumarboretumchildren’s museumrose gardenJapanese gardenamphitheatrememorialsarchery range, tennis courts, soccer field, picnic areas, playgrounds, public art and many acres of wild forest with miles of trails.

I walked from my hostel and then did about 10km of run / walk between some of the attractions.

The trails are excellent. No bikes allowed.

Early April blossoms are the highlight. There were plenty of cameras out.

The Oregon Holocaust Memorial was dedicated in 2004.

It’s very well maintained. Public picnic spaces superb.

Giant Sequoias.

Don’t miss this park if you get to Portland.


I’m now a GoPro guy


And I tested it skiing Sunshine. Works as advertised. Perfect for me, I think, as it’s quick, durable and simple.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Gorgeous day. Perfect, in fact. I do love Spring skiing.

In fact, this was only my second day skiing for years. I was also testing the new boots and skis I bought last year.

There was a full moon over the Rockies on the shuttle bus up from Calgary.

So far, I’m super happy it. Of course GoPro has a huge range of mounts and accessories. I’ve already bought the tripod and bike mounts.

For video it replaces the Canon Elf I lost on my last trip. For photos I’ll mostly use my iPhone X.

related – GoPro Hero 7 Black Review

With its new gimbal-like stabilisation and live-streaming powers, the GoPro Hero 7 Black is the best action camera we’ve seen so far…

farewell Patagonia

Having traveled Patagonia 3 times over the past 4 years, perhaps it’s time to give it a rest.

I’ll have to find somewhere else sunny 😎 to travel during Canadian winter 2020. Africa sounds good. Or perhaps New Zealand.

The attraction of Patagonia for me is wilderness so undeveloped. Similar to northern British Colombia and Alaska.

I do recommend it. But you need some basic tourist Spanish.

On the Dientes de Navarino trek, Patagonia, Chile. Overlooking the Beagle Channel.

visiting Ushuaia, Patagonia, Argentina

Earlier on my trip I’d laughed at people who told me they’d taken a bus to Ushuaia.

Those bus trips are LONG.

But when it turned out that neither ferry nor flights were available, I ended up catching the bus in Punta Arenas. 🙄

The day was 11 hours. But not nearly as bad as I had expected.

Long bus rides can be relaxing.

For the first time on this trip the border crossing Chile – Argentina was efficient. Security theatre for luggage was a fruit, vegetable, meat and drugs sniffing dog.

For some reason I’d never heard much about Ushuaia. But it’s an appealing and interesting tourist destination. Many arrive here by cruise ship.

Ushuaia  is the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur Province, Argentina. It is commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world.

… bounded on the north by the Martial mountain range, and on the south by the Beagle Channel.  …

Much of the early history of the city and its hinterland is described in Lucas Bridges’s book Uttermost Part of the Earth (1948). …

the major port of departure in the world for tourist and scientific expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula. …

The vibe in town is END OF THE WORLD. Very far from everywhere.

visiting Puerto Williams, Patagonia, Chile

FIRST you need get to the end of the world. Puerto Williams (pop. 2000) on the island of Navarino.

There are three ways:

– flight from Punta Arenas
– slow (30hrs) ferry from Punta Arenas
– fast boat from Ushuaia, Chile (45min)

BEST is the slow ferry, I’d say. I returned to Punta Arenas on it over 30 hours.

I arrived on the fast boat. About 45 minutes across the Beagle Channel. That can be a rough ride but it was calm as a lake when I crossed.

Your passport is checked. Then you load on a mini-bus for the 45min ride to Puerto Williams.

Ushuaia is a full service city with a population of about 50,000. Puerto Williams has only 2000 full-time residents, many of those associated with the Chilean Navy.

On a hill, you spend a lot of time climbing up and down these stairs.

It’s certainly a port. There are plenty of boats of all descriptions coming and going during the high season.

I met a guy there for 2 weeks sailing on his own boat.

They’ve made some attempts to decorate the town for tourists.

During the short summer a lot of construction / renovation is in progress.

But if your vehicle breaks down in Puerto Williams, there’s no auto wrecker. You leave it parked in front of your house and let the winter storms break it down.

Far fewer tourists come here than Ushuaia. Those that do want to get as far south as they can in the world. Navarino is the last official town. The next place south is Cape Horn. But you need your own private transport to get there. Or you might possibly find a tour that will take you there.

MANY come to Navarino to hike.

There are a number of developed trails including the famed Teeth of Navarino Circuit.

Another highlight for me was the museum. The southernmost museum in the world is extremely good. We watched a Spanish language film about the indigenous people there one evening.

For some odd reason everyone I talked to enjoyed visiting this very remote town. Sam from Calgary was planning to stay at least 2 weeks.

slow ferry Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas

Quitting on my 4 day hike on the Dientes Circuit, I rushed back to town to try to buy a last minute ticket on the slow boat. I made it by 2 hours.

It’s a WORKING vessel for local people — like the Alaska Marine Ferry — tourists like me use it as an inexpensive sightseeing trip through the Inside Passage in Patagonia.

It cost $167 one way in 2019. That includes 4 very basic meals over 30 hours. It’s run by Transbordadora Austral Broom, the biggest ferry company. The flight on a small plane would be slightly less expensive.

You sleep in a reclining chair. There’s no space to stretch out on a camping mattress on the floor as I’d originally planned.

Better is the Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams direction as it passes the biggest glaciers in daylight. It was dark as we passed them.

Still, it was a gorgeous trip, especially the first evening. Our small group of passengers must have taken tens of thousands of photos.

I posted this photos twice … because it’s my favourite.

Villa O’Higgins, Chile – END of the dictator’s highway

If you head south to the end of the Carretera Austral … then take a ferry … you’ll eventually get to Villa O’Higgins.

This last bit of gravel road was completed in 2000.

We arrived at last light in perfect weather.

Not easy to reach, every tourist here is happy. I had a big grin on my face as I enjoyed dinner and wine at famed El Mosco campground and hostel.

Wind was quite light for Patagonia, but I tied down my tent quite securely anyway.

Next day I did two of three hikes out of town.

Like everywhere else on the CA this village is gearing up for MORE tourism in future.

Before tourists started arriving it was an agricultural community. One shopkeep told me it got VERY cold during winter. It’s surrounded by glaciers.

One thing I appreciate about Patagonia. The frequent lenticular cloud formations.