Sunday, February 15, 2009

El Chalten

El Chalten was a town about 3.5 hours away by bus around the 2 big lakes of the El Calafate. I went there because Susan told me it was good, someone in BA told me it was a good place to stop by while I was in the area, and there was a dutch guy I met in my hostel in Calafate that was headed there anyway. His name is Ronald.

Ronald told me he was planning to go hiking up to the base camp of Mt. Fitz Roy, so when I heard that, I thought to myself, "why not?". I decided it would be fun to hike up with somebody else.

Ronald also helped me out with figuring out how to visit Perito Moreno glacier here in Calafate, so he was a nice person.

So 3 days ago we headed off in a bus. The round trip cost me $40. When we got there was weather was really bad. It was windy, rainy, and cold. The ladies at the ranger center told us that the weather might get better the next morning so we hoped that they were right. It´s weird how going up to the mountains there gets so bad all of a sudden. We hoped the weather would get better by the next morning but it didn´t, but we were determined to hike anyway, so we bought ourselves a sandwich from the local small market and headed off on the trail.

It was a tough hike but we made it ok. It was called Laguna de los Tres. At the top you can see 3 lagoons or small lakes from 1 spot. That´s probably where the name stems from. When we got to that point it was past the treeline and super windy. We literally went up there, took a couple pictures and came back down as quickly as possible so that we wouldn´t lose any fingers.

I don´t think Ronald actually wanted to go all the way up, but I think the fact that I kept going gave him the motivation to continue to the end. He was proud of himself at the end, which made me feel good about the morning.

After that hike, we heard the weather was going to get worse, so we decided to book our bus out of there. So yesterday we woke up to even worse crappy weather, got on the bus in the afternoon and now I´m back in Calafate until my flight to BA on the 17th. I chose the flight on the 17th because it was $100 cheaper than other flight this week for some reason.

There was a lady that had checked into my dorm room in Chalten after we got back from our hike. She was planning on hiking herself. I felt bad but I had to tell her the weather is supposed to be crappy all week. Hopefully she will get some good weather in.

The problem with staying in El Chalten when the weather is bad is that there´s really nothing to do and nothing to see either because it´s so bad it´s tough to go outside, and also there´s no real tv, no movies, and no internet. I guess you could read books but in our hostel there wasn´t any real comfortable location to read anything in.

I think if the weather is nice the view in El Chalten is amazing and there´s a lot of hiking to be done. Just like in Calafate, the sky, the mountains, and the rivers just look amazing. I wish it was nicer, I would have stayed there longer.


Blogger suslee said...

sorry the weather stunk - but it's been fun to read about your experiences there!

February 18, 2009 at 12:43 PM  

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