From the cold end of the world back to civilization
19.01.2010 - 29.01.2010
The tiny town of El Chalten - one street of hostels, restaurants and other trekking oriented shops - is a wierd gateway to some great trekking in the glaciers park.
We started with a short afternoon walk to a little waterfall, just one hour of calm walk from the hostel, and already loved the panoramic view of the mountains and snow from every direction.
The view from just outside the "town"
The second day started with some (heavy) rain, continued with more rain and ended with us believing that the rain is over and getting completely wet at the top of a hill on the way to a viewpoint not far from the hostel. It is a bit disappointing to get in the viewpoint, and not be able to view anything, due to the bad weather.
On the third day we decided to be brave and start trekking despite the strong winds.
Fitz Roy from the way to Cerro Torre
The way to Cerro Torre was beautiful, but the highlight was supposed to be a great view point in front of the mountain and the laguna Torre under it. Well.... It turned out that no-one has seen the mountain for months, due to clouds and the strong wind that welcomed us at the lagoon could make little (probably even not too little) children fly in the air (and unfortunately - little stones as well).
The waves at the small lagoon were as high as in an ocean, and the viewpoint was too dangerous to reach
The glacier under Cerro Torre. Imagine a tall and narrow tower-like mountain in the clouds on the right....
On the next day we trekked to Cerro Fitz-Roy, another major attraction of the park, surrounded by glaciers, lagoons and unfortunately clouds as well. We were optimistic about the weather, but by the time we finished the last steep ascend and faced the mountain we were freezing and snow actually started falling.
View at the top, freezing and watching some professional climbers from a distance
A woodpecker, one of a group of four we saw along the way
Did you know that 40% of all tourists that go to El Chalten are Israelis? That´s why we deserve special treatment (or in other words, we hope that the fact that you see Hebrew as a third language on this sign is not because we are the first to throw garbage around....)
Flamingos at El Calafate
After 11 months on the road we can clearly say that big cities is not "our thing" on this trip.
Outdoor mountain view will always be better than city parks and little towns with a small and friendly center will always be better than crowded shopping streets of big cities.
So we decided to take it easy with the touristic "must see" sites and enjoy what a big city has to offer - bars, cinemas, shows etc.
La Boca neighborhood. Well, you can´t miss all the tourist traps....
Tourist trap "light" - Tango show