15 November 2015

Chalten - Gordito Styles

If you talk to anyone who has been to El Chalten in Argentina, they will all say the same thing.. Fuck yea! You have to go!

El Chalten (the volcano) is the town at the foot of Mt Fitzroy which is one of the coolest mountains I've ever laid eyes on. Chalten is also dubbed the trekking capital of Argentina. The hiking trails lead you straight from town into the hills where you can either choose to camp or just do all the major trips as a day walk from town. 

This time around it was Los Tres Gordos (the three Fatties) and we had a different agenda...

One of the many rad photo ops on the drive in to town. 

This time rather than being stuck on a bus until we reached town we could stop and take a few photos etc. Mt Fitzroy comes in to view pretty early on with a great view of glaciers and mountains and lakes. Pretty much a paradise! 

Heading around the backside of Fitzroy. More glaciers, mountains, lakes, rivers, etc..

Rather than staying in town or even hiking in to camp somewhere, we decided to drive to a sweet campsite that was around the north side of the mountain called Estancia Ricanor. The camping was pretty sweet with great BBQ's and hot showers and views of the mountains..

 First order of business - fire!

 Only so we could eat again!

The following day we stuck with the plan which was to go for a hike. We didn't get much time to do a lot of hiking on the way down because A) there was a tonne of driving to get done and B) we were enjoying the Asado and vino much too much. Not a bad thing at all.

The hike for the day left straight from where we were camped and was up to a place called Lago Diablo (the devil lake) and was definitely some much needed exercise to try and make use of the previous nights meat and wine. The hike was super cool and followed a river up to a lake that was fed at the far end by a very cool glacier or three. On the way up we were also getting some really good views across the valley of Fitzroy.

 A well deserved water stop.

The valley at the top where it changed from a river valley to a glaciated valley.

 The view of the lake etc

 On the way back down the views were just as good.

Cool trees

 And then surprise surprise, another BBQ.

The other day and a half was spent just enjoying being in a really nice place by drinking scenic beers, scenic wines and having scenic BBQ's. Then it was on the road again to cross back into Chile.

The quaint town of El Chalten.

On the way out of town we came across a few Condors and Eagles soaring right next to the road.

And here is a little Asado action..

11 November 2015

The coolest fail yet - The road past Mount Zeballos

We left Bariloche with a belly full of meat and a load of clean laundry after staying with Loli and Mariano. It was time to continue south and to find the coolest roads that we could to take the heavily loaded Hilux on. From Bariloche we took the 40 before jumping on route 71 through Los Alerces National Park which was full of big and beautiful lakes and mountains, camping at Lago Rosario and then linking back up with the 40. We then drove and drove and drove to another pretty small town by the name of Los Antiguos before getting on a road that took us right along the boarder of Chile and Argentina that would take us past Mount Zeballos... If we could pass.

Driving through the park of Los Alerces

Pablo is the happiest chappy with a beer and some wood for the BBQ at Lago Rosario

From Lago Rosario it was more scenic gravel to Los Antiguos where we stayed the night in some quiet Cabanos.

From Los Antiguos we embarked on our little adventure on this road that we weren't really sure if it was navigable because it wasn't really shown as a road on some maps and it was still pretty early in the season. We chose not to ask any one if it was good or not, we decided to just go and see for ourselves...

Firs Armadillo of the trip/day. We ended up seeing 3 that day and no more on the trip.

The state of the moonscape we encountered. Turns out we were probably the first vehicle up there since last summer.

 This is the point that we reached where we found lots of snow drifts across the road and wash outs underneath those snow drifts. We had made it past many but it all became to much as we were super isolated and didn't want to A) get the truck stuck or B) break the truck.

Driving back the way we came with our tails between our legs. Pretty nice view though.

Intransitable - I guess they were right and that orange netting was meant to be across the bridge. Didn't pay any attention to that on the way in.

 Our first really good chunk of "La Pampa". The Longest, Straightest roads of my life!

After driving the 40 for a while we had a break and sleep at G'dor Gregores. From there we made our way to Chalten. We had a bunch of hikes planned for this area. El Chalten claims to be the hiking capital of Argentina and because I was the only one out of the three of us who had been there before I had some pretty good plans...

The road to our Camp at Estancia Ricanor out the back of Chalten.