21 April 2015

Patagonia Part 2: El Chalten

Without realizing how big Patagonia really was I had planned a quick wee trip for a couple of weeks to do some hiking.. turns out if we needed a bus, we also needed at least a day to complete the travel. Our trip to El Chalten was pretty funny really. A nice relaxing bus ride to Calafate, only to find out that cash is a necessity up there (I'd already spent all the cash because it was also a necessity in Chile) because lots of places credit card machines were broken or they didn't have them at all. Even the one ATM in the town wasn't playing ball. With Nicole to the rescue with her reason and better logic than my own we figured out a bus to El Chalten, sorted accommodation for when we returned to Calafate, and we were on our way.

The bus finally reached El Chalten at about 9pm and we began walking across town to start walking towards Laguna Capri which was half way to where we intended to camp. Reality had set in though when it was already dark as we reached the trailhead so we settled for the shortest option possible.

Tenting at Laguna Capri.

Waking up there was awesome. Because we had arrived in the dark, we had no idea where to camp or where we were allowed to camp so we just did what I wanted and took a place with a potential view. The spot worked out as a very scenic coffee spot indeed.

Walking towards Fitzroy was pretty cool. Always a spectacular view and the best bit is you could see where you wanted to be the whole time.

We set up camp at Poincenot that turned out to be base camp for 4 nights and then got a little bored so we did one of the side hikes that we had heard was pretty cool. Glaciar Piedras Blancas turned out to be really cool and there was no one else out there. Went for a swim in the freezing cold water because we could and then headed back to camp.

Navagating the boulder field to the lake. 

Glaciar Piedras Blancas.

The next day we woke up in the middle of the night ready to hike up to the base of Fitzroy for sunrise and it was trying to rain so we decided it wasn't worth it. Instead we went for a hike out to Glaciar Torre which was also meant to be good. It was good but it was also windy as!

Fitzroy Valley

Laguna Torre.

Lago Hija.

Finally the day came we were woke up and could see stars. Time to go for a walk!

Lago De Los Tres.

We got up there and made some coffee as the sun came up and lit Fitzroy perfectly. No wind, maybe 10 other people, that was refreshing after the raucous that takes place at the towers of Torres Del Paine.

Once everyone else left there were a couple of Culpeo Foxs that came to rummage around in the rocks.

Don't know what the were looking for but they just came trotting over then trotted off not really worried about us at all.

The view from our tent was pretty good for checking if the weather was clear enough for the sunrise or not.

Once we had seen the sunrise, we had seen everything we set out to and more. The next day we packed our things and walked to town for a lunch of waffles before the two day bus journey back to Punta Arenas. 

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