Some people will go to the ends of the earth to achieve their dream. I was lucky enough to go there a few years ago with my husband on a business/pleasure trip.
Where? That magical part of South America called Patagonia, which incorporates Argentina and Chile. It was more than just a holiday. It was one of the best experiences of my life that left me with unforgettable memories – and the inspiration to write the book: “To The Ends of the Earth”.
Although my book is set a century ago, nothing much has changed, except the slowly disappearing glaciers due to climate change and I’m so glad that I was there when they were still ice blue and beautiful. We stood on a platform, at a safe distance, and watched, breathlessly, great wedges of ice break off the main glaciers, crunching and groaning before plunging deep into the icy waters, then coming up again high into the air before joining the impressive icebergs.
The Perito Merino glacier is the most spectacular of all the glaciers and it was hard to come away from this incredible sight. But then, everything in Patagonia is breathtakingly beautiful. Such as the icebergs that form themselves into amazing shapes – one of which we named Hansel and Gretel’s house – not hard to see why. Then there are the incredibly alien Torres del Paine, towering fingers of rock pointing skywards. With every turn, we couldn’t prevent gasps of belief.
Between stops, we travelled by coach over miles of empty green plains where, if we were lucky, we would see the odd sheep or two and guanacos grazing. We drove past a farm where their nearest neighbours were a hundred miles away. The silence was only broken by the cries of the huge Condors as they soared over our heads.
The town that claims the title “The End of the Earth” is Ushuaia, where the houses are still built on logs, ready to be moved at a moment’s notice. When you walk through the town it feels as though you are travelling back in time. And then you have the vast expanse of water that is the Beagle Channel, historically famous strait in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southern tip of South America.
What writer of adventurous romance could possibly not be inspired to write a book set in such a magical place? I wrote “To the Ends of the Earth” and to this day it not only brings back wonderful memories, it is one of my own personal favourite stories. Here’s the blurb and I hope it inspires you to buy the book.
“Wild and beautiful, Gwyneth Johns is a Patagonian with a scandalous past that shocks the Victorian ladies of the small pioneering town in the Valdes Peninsula. She has sworn never to let any man get close, but her resolve is weakened by a handsome Spaniard, Miguel, who is not all he seems.
Then, new immigrants arrive from the north-east of England. Gentle giant Rob, his younger brother, Davy, and the hard-drinking, amoral Matt with his young wife. Gwyneth is called upon to teach them how to be gauchos. Reluctantly, she accepts the challenge.
Now, she risks losing her life and new-found love to the cold glaciers of the Andes…”