The Trotter journey began where most dreams do. Travelling.
With a backpack strapped to our backs we trudged over rocks weathered over time by howling winds. The rare shaft of sunlight was happily received by the rugged mountains, the swept plains and the weary travellers.
With the buzz of travellers meeting for the first time and in high anticipation of the adventures to come pulsating through the air, we were ready.
Patagonia. You've never seen anything like it.
We looked at each other, smiling, weighed down with our snow suits and backpacks but light with giddy excitement. We were on our way to the Perito Moreno, a glacier so vast that it is the third largest reserve of fresh water in the world. And we were going to trek it.
We were half way through our Argentinian adventures, having come down through Iguazu, to the dreamy Buenos Aires, to El Calafate and El Chalten to explore the Patagonian ranges, and then back up to Mendoza for some sun and of course Malbec, before we crossed the Andes into Chile. The stuff dreams are made of. The adventures you tell your friends, your family, your colleagues, that guy at the party who you just met who showed an inkling of interest in your travels and now can't leave because you're half way through an hour long monologue.
We had to hike up through some mountains alongside the glacier before we were far up enough to safely climb on to the glacier and avoid the dramatic jagged slivers of ice that lined the terminus of the Perito Moreno, every now and then breaking off with a gunshot so loud that it resonated through the plains. And what was even more terrifying? The glacier was advancing. Unlike other glaciers, the Perito Moreno is coming at you for some unknown reason.
After what seemed like an eternity of hiking, safety instructions, smiles and thumbs up, and photos for the 'Gram, we were ready. And, just like that, we were on the grand glacier.
No words can describe the beauty and terror of the vastness which stretched for eternity in front of our eyes. Or the calmness and fear of the solitude, broken only by the crunch of our snow boots and the now faint sounds of gunshots rippling through the air as another chunk of ice broke and fell 74 metres into the water below.
After trekking for an hour, exploring caves and crevices, and marvelling at everything we saw, we stopped for lunch. I think this is the moment I remember the most vividly when I think back to our time on the glacier.
The stunned silence as we all sat on the ice, staring in awe at the landscape in front of us, munching on some jamon sandwiches washed down with orange juice. The starkness of our comfortable lunch with the brutality of what was around us did not go unnoticed. In a different time, being this far out on a glacier would have meant certain doom (why you would be this far out on a glacier is beyond me, but you get the idea). But now, in the relative safety of the snow suits, a packed lunch and tour guides, a thought which would have brought fear into the hearts of the most rugged explorers was an experience which the most amateur hiker could have. But imagine if you were left alone on this sheet of ice...
Snapping out of those thoughts, we all quickly finished lunch and filled our water bottles courtesy of a glacier stream coursing through the ice. Fresher water I have never drank.
On our journey back to the 'mainland' we were all given a glass of scotch, on the rocks of course, with ice from the glacier we had just 'conquered'. And it was here, when we overheard a bunch of travellers comparing tips for Buenos Aires, fretting about not having a pen to write down the recommendations, trying to get each others' numbers and names to be added as Facebook friends so they could be contacted in case they forgot the name of that secret bar, that we realised that even now, travellers do not have a platform which reflects the way we travel in real life.
In real life we meet new people, we make friends, we share tips with friends, family, strangers who know us or trust us because we are like-minded, we share stories and we ask questions. In real life we go where people we know tell us to go. In real life we are inspired to plan our next adventure. But online this process is a drag, it is time consuming, it is boring, it is fragmented. In short, there was nothing built by travellers for travellers. It was time for change.
And Trotter wants to be that change. And we hope, once we launch, that you can see and feel our passion, our dreams, our love for travel and our eternal quest for that next travel moment. And we hope that when you use Trotter, you never miss a travel moment ever again.