We left Buenos Aires on March 1st and flew down to southern Patagonia to start the next chapter of our South American adventure. We landed in El Calafate and jumped into a van for the three-hour ride north up to the little mountain village of El Chalten, Argentina’s trekking capital. Established in 1985 it exists solely for tourism. Rock climbers, hikers and adventurers come from all over the world to play on its incredible mountains, lakes and glaciers.
While we read that it’s windy in Patagonia we weren’t prepared for the intense gusts of wind that hit us from all sides. At times I felt like my teeth were rattling inside my head and although we laughed at the absurdity of its strength, I admit that deep down I was worried about blowing away.
We spent four days in El Chalten and went on some great hikes. Our friends from Boulder, Merry and David (whom we met in Buenos Aires), were also staying in the village and it was really fun to reconnect with them. We went on hikes together, ate some good meals and talked about our always changing where-should-we-go-next travel plans.
Our first morning in El Chalten we went with Merry and David for an eleven mile hike to the Cerro Torre glacier. Despite low hanging clouds the trek was incredible! It was fantastic being in the solitude of the mountains after spending six weeks in the big city of Buenos Aires. The landscape was diverse and we felt right at home in the wilderness.
When we reached the Torre glacier the wind kicked in, the clouds dropped and the rain started but nothing could dampen our spirits. The best part was that Harry never had an issue with his leg or foot! He started the trek thinking that he’d turn back when/if his walking became too difficult, but for some reason he never had any problems! In fact, he hiked the entire 11 miles with ease (something we truly cannot explain). Here is a picture of him feeling elated at the halfway point:
The weather cleared up on the hike back and we arrived home tired, hungry and very happy! We can’t wait to continue exploring Patagonia and all it has to offer.