(breakawaybackpacker – instagram)
This new series features dispatches from LGBTQ travel writers, bloggers, and photographers who are on the road in far-flung places. If you know somebody who should be featured here, send us an email at email@example.com.
“Breakaway Backpacker” Jaime Davila is currently trekking through Patagonia and taking some obscenely beautiful photos along the way. Davila, 29, publishes at Breakaway Backpacker and on his Instagram and is currently on his second trip around the world, with no return date, after quitting his job and cutting his ties with corporate America.
It’s basically what many of us dream of doing but just don’t for whatever reason. Says Davila: “Life is short…why not do what makes you happy and let others do what makes them happy too.” Sounds like a pretty good philosophy.
So Davila now finds himself in Patagonia. Patagonia sits at the southern tip of South America and is a region shared administratively by Chile and Argentina.
Writes Davila of the top photo:
“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeee PENGUINS!!! This was one of the things I was most excited to do when I arrived in Ushuaia. You can take a tour that takes you to an island full of penguins. It’s expensive ($107), but so worth it. This was my face when I arrived on the island. I couldn’t stop “EEEeeee-ing” in my head jajajajaja. Can’t wait to share photos of these cute little creatures. PS took this with my P&S but wanted to share my excitement before so shared it here lol.”
Davila is backpacking in Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Davila on Instagram: “2 of the 4 King Penguins on the island. King Penguins don’t normally visit Martillo Island, but for some reason 4 of them have showed up and have been there a few weeks. I never thought I’d see King Penguins in the wild unless I went to Antarctica but nope there they were. I got lucky. They’re so fucking beautiful and stunning. Also a lot bigger than the Magellanic Penguins that are normally the only ones on the island”
Check out some more of Davila’s stunning photographs, AFTER THE JUMP…
Caption: “I finally made it to my camp site 8 hours later. Yeah that’s how long it took me to walk 25km (15.5miles) through lots of up and down terrain. The views were stunning as you can see from my previous photos. I was exhausted had dinner and before going to sleep wanted to see the lake & just sit down and enjoy the view. That didn’t happen though cus a storm was coming in and the wind was crazy. So yeah just went to sleep cus I had been up since 3am and the next day I had another 25km (15.5miles) walk to my next camp. Oh day 3 was my worst day. It broke me & well will share more with photos tomorrow. PS the color of the water is just a stunning shade of blue. Can’t get over it.”
This is the view of Perito Moreno Glacier from the start of the look out decks that run kilometers long along the coast. Yes the glacier is literally huge it goes for as far as the eye can see. “It is 250 km2 (97 sq mi) ice formation, and 30 km (19 mi) in length, is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field located in the Andes system shared with Chile. This ice field is the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water.” This is honestly one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen in my life. Makes you feel so small and insignificant. #peritomoreno #calafate #argentina #glacier #backpacking #travel #lonelyplanet #nature #patagonia #nofilter
You have many options when you are trekking through Torres Del Paine. If you’re doing the W (that’s what I did) you can bring all the camping gear and use paid camp sites and free camp sites as well. You can also rent a dorm room bed or private room but is crazy expensive and you can also just pay to rent a tent, sleeping bag and platform at each camp & that’s what I did. Because I was going to be doing the W by myself I didn’t want to have to carry everything for 5 days including a tent and sleeping so rented it at each of the 4 paying camp sites. It worked out great and what I loved most was when I arrived at the campsite I just checked in and the tent was already made. I would crawl in from exhaustion and pass out. This was my first tent. #torresdelpaine #Patagonia #puertonatales #camping #hiking #trekking #travel #lonelyplanet #backpacking #elchileno
A photo posted by Jaime Davila (@breakawaybackpacker) on Feb 15, 2015 at 3:56pm PST
So I started walking back down but turn around one last time to get a last look at the towers & when I did the sun started shinning on the tip & I started smiling and walked back fast and just watched the sun rays hit the towers. I couldn’t believe it & was left in awe at what I was witnessing. It reminded me that sometimes you have to have some patience and even when it’s not what you want be sure you realize how amazing it is what you’ve done and seen anyways. Sometimes life on the road spoils us and we have moments that make us realize just exactly what we are doing and enjoy every moment. After this I hurried back to my camp had a quick breakfast and hit the road because after doing 8km before 7am I still had 17km left to get to my next camp. Oh day 2 was one of the best & this was only the start of the day. #torresdelpaine #puertonatales #Patagonia #travel #lonelyplanet #sunrise #hiking #camping #trekking #elchileno #chile
I had made it to the top after 2hrs of hiking up 6km (3.75miles) & was exhausted. The view was stunning and I honestly didn’t want to leave. One cus I was tired but also because the views were just stunning no photo can do them justice so am not gonna even bother instead here I am midway to the top with a portion of the 360 view. When you reach the top you are literally in the center of the park and surrounded by the backside of all the iconic mountains in the park. It was such an amazing feeling when I finally made it to the top. #torresdelpaine #patagonia #chile #backpacking #trekking #hiking #camping #travel #lonelyplanet
A photo posted by Jaime Davila (@breakawaybackpacker) on Feb 19, 2015 at 7:07am PST
After 3.5hours of walking I finally made it to the Camp Grey & I literally checked in to my tent and took a nap. I was exhausted. I still wasn’t done. Yeah I made it to the camp but still had another 15min walk to get to the glacier & yeah I didn’t wanna see it just yet. I finally woke up after a two hour nap and made the walk with a group of friends I had made. That was it. I couldn’t believe it. The W was done well of what I had to see. I still had to walk back 11km the next day to catch my boat to the bus. It was a great feeling of fuck made it here finally my last stop & my last night. That night I ended up passing out at 9pm from just sheer exhaustion of the last 4 days. #torresdelpaine #Patagonia #chile #hiking #camping #trekking #travel #lonelyplanet #mashpics #matadorN
The famous Arboles Bandera (Flag Trees). Many of the trees in this region grow side ways because of the harsh winds that constantly come through here. When you’re in Ushuaia you will notice how strong the wind is and how it’s just constant. The trees obviously grow and naturally are shaped like flags by the pressure of the wind. It’s pretty interesting to see. #Ushuaia #patagonia #argentina #flagtree #tree #travel #lonelyplanet #natgeo #nature #piratour
A photo posted by Jaime Davila (@breakawaybackpacker) on Feb 22, 2015 at 5:05am PST
Literally THE END OF THE WORLD!!! This is where the road ends. This is the end of Ruta 3 that connects Ushuaia to Buenos Aires. This point is 3079km (1925miles) from Buenos Aires & 17,848km (11,155miles) from Alaska. This is the furthest south you can go by road and I have ever been in my life and will probably ever be until I make it to Antarctica one day. Oh & I’m 9747km (6,092miles) from Houston, TX (home)!!! #ushuaia #tierradelfuego #patagonia #findelmundo #endoftheworld #travel #mashpics #travelstoke #matadorN #ruta3 #alaska #houston #htown
A photo posted by Jaime Davila (@breakawaybackpacker) on Feb 23, 2015 at 8:00am PST