Change is good for everyone and even those who live on a paradise island wonder what life is like out there in the wider world. That’s why for a couple of weeks each year the team from The Island Experience head for the mountains of Patagonia, to dip their toes in something different to the gorgeous Brazilian sea water!
Martin and Adriana, respectively our Program Director and Nutritionist have already set off for their working vacation but before they went they had just enough time to give us the lowdown on what makes their latest project so special.
You’re about to head off to the breathtaking mountains of Southern Argentina for two weeks of The Island Experience in Patagonia. How do you feel?
Martin - I’m so excited about taking the program to my homeland! To share this wonderful place where I grew up with a group is a dream come true.
Adriana – And for me, it’s a nature and food heaven!
So tell us about the location…
M – This is a real hidden gem. We chose a lodge tucked away in a valley where two glacial rivers meet. It’s simply stunning and the perfect spot from which to explore the area on foot, by horseback or by mountain bike.
A – I love this lodge because it’s both beautiful and totally eco-friendly. They have taken ‘reuse, recycle and replace’ as far as possible with clever and subtly designed systems. These include one that brings brown water to the garden to irrigate the plants and fire heated showers, hot tub and sauna. And of course, the garden is organic and provides nearly all the ingredients for delicious meals.
And what sorts of adventures await you and the group in Patagonia?
M – We’re going to get high on nature! The plan is to enjoy working our bodies on various trails that take us through dramatic forests and alpine meadows, along and over crystal clear rivers and of course up those incredible mountains. For those who wish to, there will be the option of horseback riding and mountain biking too. It’s an action packed week…
A – Yes, Mr. Action-Man, but let’s not forget the relaxation! As always, we’ll offer two yoga classes each day to wake up and restore the body. And the lodge has a fantastic spa and many resting areas with stunning views to enjoy. Taking the time to turn our focus inward is also an important element of the program.
What are the highlights for you?
M – During the pilot last year I loved reconnecting with the good old Andes range. The feeling of getting to the summit of a mountain and enjoying the never ending view of peaks and valleys reaching through the Pacific Ocean is unique. You feel so small compared to these majestic giants. It is a very special place to reconnect with your inner self and reenergize your spirit. And of course, it brought back some good memories of the old days, when I would be there with my friends exploring the mountains, camping in the forest and playing guitar around the fire. A complete connection with nature.
A – What stands out for me is the power of the landscape there. The island jungle is green and constantly renewed which generates a certain kind of energy. In Patagonia the environment and altitude reflect a different kind of depth and its ancient forest has a real sense of wisdom.
And it’s such a pleasure to go to the garden each day to see which fruits and vegetables are in abundance and then create the program menu with them. It’s so special to cook with home grown produce ranging from all types of greens, to eggs and the whole grains that are ground to make extraordinary bread. And the taste is out of this world!
And what’s next on the adventure agenda?
M – We’ll be back on our favourite island from March 18, kicking off with two different yoga retreats followed by our regular program until December. Later in the year we’ll head back up to Costa Rica during September and October to complete the trilogy.
A – We are looking forward to an action packed 2012…and we hope to see you all there!
Join the fun in Patagonia between February 19 and March 3.
Visit www.theislandexperience.com for more details on all programs or email information@theislandexperience to make a reservation.