I was asked the other day about the most remote places I have been. Unfortunately, this person was unaware of two of the three places I mentioned. The obvious one, the Great Barrier Reef, where we motored 65km off the coast of Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia. Other than Hawaii, it was probably the first time I was surrounded by water. In fact, I was IN the water!!! And there was no land in sight, in any direction!
But the other two were probably equally remote, and perhaps more interesting. One was Torres del Paine in Patagonia. Hopefully, you saw the special on Patagonia on CNN last week. It is a beautiful and unspoiled part of the world. Mr. Mike and I were driving around, lost in the total darkness. A good Samaritan came along and pointed us to a nice lodge, the Hotel Las Torres Patagonia.
After a big dinner, a much-needed night of rest, and a huge breakfast, we drove over to Torres del Paine, and took some photos. It was so cold, we could not do any hiking! Just about then, we realized we might not have survived the night in our rented truck! The lakes are so cold that they have their own icebergs. And you may also recall my story about changing the rear tire on the Patagonian highway.
While only an hour away from the town of Puerto Natales, it feels like it is 5 hours away. But we saw enough guanacos and alpacas to fill every zoo in the world, about twenty times!!! The real question is how did we get to Puerto Natales? A mere 12.5-hour bus ride form Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world.
The other place, which I have mentioned before, is Lake Baikal, in Siberia. Baikal is the oldest (25 million years), and deepest (1700 meters) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world’s fresh water supply. From the Trans-Siberian Railway stop in Irkutsk, it is about 90 minutes away, though it seemed like hundreds of kilometers once it started snowing. Yes, snow in late May, quite unusual. Making matters worse, my ATM card would not work!!!
Irkutsk and Baikal are only three days and seven hours away from Moscow by train, the Trans-Siberian. It is remote, rather desolate, but quite interesting. The highlight was the cruise on the nearly frozen lake and tasting their wonderful smoked omul.
Though I have been to both Capes (furthest south), and the Arctic Circle (furthest north), these three places stand out for me. The safaris in Africa never felt far away, since we stayed in the best lodges and tent camps. Likewise, the Amazon also felt strangely lose to civilization.
I would be curious about your most remote travel location? The desert, Antarctica, the Australian Outback, Amazonia, or ??