Chance encounters in Patagonia

I’m working in a world that is so different from what I understood ‘business’ to mean when I started my career. Two recent experiences have confirmed in my mind that every chance encounter with someone new is an opportunity, but each requires a very genuine, open and human interaction, and the outcomes are typically unexpected.

First, our trip started on a difficult note when I arrived at Punta Arenas airport, and my luggage didn’t. Two fellow passengers who were travelling lighter than expected turned out to be a journalist-photographer husband-wife team.  We got chatting, and to my surprise and delight Swoop was featured in one of Belgium’s top newspapers/blogs a week later:

The same day the newspaper article came out Charlotte and I were meeting with the hoteliers and adventure travel operators of Puerto Natales when we came across Alejandro, a true local who runs Hostal Dos Lagunas. This hostel is not necessarily somewhere our clients would normally stay, but he invited is for ‘real italian coffee’ (one of the hostel’s USPs) and we accepted. He turned out be a font of knowledge for the area and he also introduced us to a mountaineer and climber called Cristian, who turned out to be Swoop’s missing link in Puerto Natales. Probably the most important new operator we’ve identified since September, providing more extreme itineraries and new routes in the Torres del Paine area.

One of the great things about travelling is that you meet so many interesting and different people along the way – for Swoop every one of these conversations gives us that little bit more insight that will help us to ensure that our clients find the very best adventure in Patagonia. One of the many reasons why we’ll continue to visit at least twice a year.

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Luke Errington

Founder and MD

Luke fell in love with Patagonia when he first trekked through the Andes some 15 years ago. In 2010 he founded Swoop Patagonia and since then has trekked, ridden and paddled thousands of miles throughout the region.

At home in Bristol he's a dad of three, and a keen trail runner and adventure racer.