2020 Week 14 – Friday April 3rd
Photography by: David Mainville
Written by: Liberty
Featured image by: Ninja
In an unprecedented time of social distancing, the Pixel Dreams Team got together to witness a dynamic virtual presentation. A special Friducation via Zoom group call. The presenter was one of PD’s dearest friends, David Mainville of Navvia, who told us about his recent March Break vacation in the area of Patagonia – a sparsely populated region at the southern end of South America, shared by Chile and Argentina.
The adventure begins
David flew in with his partner and some friends to Santiago, Chile, which is the closest metropolis to Patagonia. It is a beautiful modern city with great food and architecture. But there are also signs of unrest, with damage, graffiti, and blocked-off areas. Some riots took place there in October, 2019, in response to a rise in public transit prices, and a huge wage gap. Now, police on horseback are a common sight, as are memorials for people that have gone missing. However, the sight of a group of nerds playing Dungeons & Dragons was enough to make David and the crew feel safe.
The great hike
After a brief stay in Santiago, it was on to the Patagonia region for an 8 night excursion covering 140 kms of hiking. Back home in Toronto, David practices rucking (which is hiking with a heavy backpack) in High Park. Patagonia is a different terrain, full of lakes, valleys, mountains, glaciers, grasslands, and rocky fields.
While trekking across this geological wonderland, hikers see wild condors with 6-foot wingspans and wild horses. Also, there are human sherpas carrying 60-pound rucksacks full of supplies for the few hostels in the area. The natural habitat is host to a diverse set of elements, sun, rain, fog, and wind. It is always windy in Patagonia.
There is a strict no smoking policy after forest fires devastated parts of the land; you can see graveyards of dead trees as a reminder of how delicate nature can be. The famous outdoor apparel brand Patagonia paid for a rope bridge to be installed over a deep valley; perhaps their way of paying back for utilizing the famous name?
This journey was a constant hike. The longest and hardest day actually covered the shortest amount of distance, but it was all straight up the mountain.
Enough summarizing. Behold some amazing images from the adventure:
Sunrise mountain tops
These stunning pictures were taken by David with an iPhone 11. The epic scenery resembles the landscapes in the videogame Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The most amazing pictures were of ‘The Towers’ at Torres del Paine. This highlight of the trip first involved a pre-dawn hike in the early dark hours to catch the morning sunrise at 5am. Luckily, the team got a rare sunny morning to view this epic scene.
The voyage home
When David and his compatriots came out of the wilderness 8 days later, the entire World had changed. Unbeknownst to them, the COVID-19 pandemic had spread into a global lockdown. This led to flight troubles; but after being re-routed to a sold-out flight, they landed safely in a near-empty airport in Toronto on March 16th. Next was a 2-week isolation period that all Canadians had to observe after international flights.
Having met so many new friends and interesting travellers along the way, David’s mission now is to reconnect with everyone to make sure they are doing well.
We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to David Mainville for sharing this amazing journey with us. It was a nice little escape for our team in isolation. It‘s been a long time since we all took a Friducation field trip together, but this was the next best thing. We got to experience a breath-taking adventure vicariously through a virtual presentation.
Aside from adventurer, David is also the CEO of Navvia, a company that we consider to be one of our most important clients ever. With the entire Pixel Dreams team on the call, Trevor, who was at the PD headquarters at the time, displayed some snazzy Navvia t-shirts we designed. A little gift to David from the PDT for sharing his big trip with us.