Ray and Laurie Hamilton

Custom Patagonia Road Trip

January/February ~ 2012


I discovered Justin Witt by simply searching for guides in Patagonia on the internet.  When I read his information about his company, called Patagonia Unlimited at that time, and explored his web site, I had good feelings about what his organization could provide.  A few phone calls and I was ready to send the deposit. Justin takes his position seriously but he is a fun and easy going person. We developed friendships that have lasted for several years.



I asked Justin to put together a two week excursion within Patagonia equally split between Argentina and Chile that would be mostly an eco-tour that my wife would enjoy.  I agreed to limit my fishing to four days since my wife does not fish.  I knew that would not be enough to satisfy my burning fishing desires but I understood that I could always return another year to just fish. Maybe I’ll even follow him to either Baja, The Bahamas, Peru or Russia.


We explained to Justin that we were vegans and were not shoppers but we loved to experience new places.  We did not need and did not wish to pay for fancy places to stay so they found clean and comfortable places along our route.  Some were by water and some were in homes but most were in simple yet very nice lodges.


Justin and his wife met us at the airport in their four-door pickup and we were off on one of the best trips of our lives.  The truck was loaded with coolers containing food and drink and camping gear for use when needed as well as water, fuel, some fishing gear and of course our luggage.  Most of what we would need was purchased each day or two as we traveled through each country. Just experiencing the stores, gasoline stations, and such was really fun.


In planning this trip, they had driven, called, or written to places found all over the area we would visit requesting information about each and had set up the 14 day agenda to allow my wife and me to really experience the culture and daily lives of the people living where we would visit.  They planned for our request to not eat meat when they talked to restaurant owners or purchased food for the cooler. And he always had a cold beer when needed.


The first week was in Argentina, Justin loaded a raft and fishing equipment into the truck because we were in the area of Rio Pico where they lived and he did not plan to take the raft on the entire trip. Justin guided me on a river where I fished for rainbows and browns in heavy water using streamers which he had tied.  Fish were caught and released. He was strong and so capable of controlling the raft and all-in-all we had a very wonderful and safe day.



During the time that I was fishing, Laurie was being taken to places where she would meet local people and enjoy learning about the local activities and history of the area.   On the days when fishing was not on the agenda we visited places like the Cave of Hands, an afternoon visit with an estancia (ranch)  gaucho (cowboy), a hops garden,  a very windy lago,  or a drive to view giant condors while we relocated to a new region of Patagonia.  Crossing the border from Argentina into Chile was an experience of its own and a drive that took us absolutely to the end of the road.


Our trip took place the last week of January and the first week of February which is during their summer.  However, we did see fresh snow on the mountains more than one morning.  We had fantastic meals either by a stream or at our B&B or at a local place they had located.  We had enjoyable mornings every place that we stayed along with many beautiful Patagonian sunsets to end some days.  Yes, it did rain a few times.  But, water is an essential component of life.


We had been properly instructed on what to bring and even though we each only took one carry-on size bag and a backpack we were never cold or wet.  I took my fishing rod but it was unnecessary since I believe that Justin could provide everything a person needs for fishing.


I have read Justin’s blog posts, emails, and of course the FaceBook page he maintains.  His business interests are seriously global.  I always try to imagine what it would have been like to have traveled with him through the years on his journeys.  An amazing life story is brewing that will fascinate future readers as they enjoy learning of his adventures.


Eco-tourism, fishing, scenery, food, fun, and fellowship.  What more could one ask?


So many stories that could be told about this trip and just not enough time to find the words.


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