PTPI traveler, Martha Turner, participated in PTPI's Adult Travel Program, The Jewels of Patagonia, and wrote about her life-changing experiences to share with the PTPI network.
5 Minutes with Martha Turner
After experiencing 20 years of traveling with the P2P Student Ambassador program with students as a teacher leader and Area Director, I was excited to embark on a new phase of traveling…with adults!! After checking out several companies, I decided to check out PTPI Adult Programs as I had first traveled on one to China in 1995 as a Delegation of Teachers of Young Children. When I discovered that PTPI was offering an adult program called the Jewels of Patagonia, I was excited to check off one more place from my bucket list.
First hurdle was convincing my husband that this would be a life changing trip. We invited some good friends (Steve and Susan Barkley) to travel with us and started planning to make this trip a reality. Having traveled with P2P for so many years, I knew that the caliber of the trip would be excellent. Over the next 9 months, we all spent a lot of time exploring the itinerary and the places we would experience. I enjoyed working with ECEI travel, and they were always available to answer any questions pre-trip.
On March 10th
, we boarded our plane for the LONG flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. (The End of the World) The trip went beyond any expectations I may have had. Patagonia is one of the most beautiful places I have ever experienced. As an outdoor person, I was amazed at all of the activities that were provided for us. Our trip started off with a road excursion to several beautiful glacier lakes with an “asado” at a refuge in a native fuegian forest. Our guide was able to stop at a local elementary school (always a PTPI plus) to visit with the children and teachers to experience the rural life of Argentina.
We moved on to El Calafate, where we got to visit Glacier National Park with a hike to the beautiful Perito Moreno Glacier. In the park we also took a boat excursion across Lake Argentino, where we saw many icebergs and the Upsala Glacier. We spent the afternoon at Estancia Cristina, where we hiked to a beautiful overlook of the Upsala Glacier and spent sometime exploring and learning the history of the ranch. Our next stop was the hiking mecca of El Chalten. While not being an avid mountain hiker, we were able to explore the area around the famous Patagonia mountain peaks of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy. The area is filled with waterfalls, glacier lakes and beautiful forests.
No trip to Argentina is complete without at stop in Buenos Aires. We spent our final days exploring the city and being treated to an impromptu visit to the famous silversmith, Juan C. Pallarols. Senor Pallarols’ family dates back several centuries with many accomplishments including the making of Eva Peron’s death mask. We enjoyed an evening at the first Sommeliers school of Latin America where we enjoyed some of Argentina’s best wines. We spent time exploring the beautiful Cementerio de la Recoleta and concluded our trip with a Tango Lesson and dinner at the renowned steakhouse, Don Julio.
The Jewels of Patagonia trip exceeded all of my expectations. The accommodations and food were excellent. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and accommodating to all of the members of the group. PTPI travel programs are unique in that they are packed with meaningful experiences that impact its travelers for years to come. Traveling with adults is a whole new experience that I plan to continue for a long time. I love traveling with PTPI, as the activities are flexible and the trip guides always are looking for unique experiences to add to the incredible itinerary.
- Martha Turner