Setting up transportation around Patagonia deserves its own circle in hell. Bus companies often fail to respond to emails, websites are often not working, and when you can get a response, it’s usually not the information you asked for. Compound that with a poor grasp on Spanish and the man on our flight who made it past airport security with 4 liters of engine oil and an ignition-among other car parts-and Dante would be sure to sympathize. That said, the hassle is 100%, absolutely worth the pay off (and thousands of dollars cheaper than hiring some company to book it all for you). Patagonia was the single most incredible and beautiful place I have ever visited and I hope do this trip again sometime in the future. We were even sent off from Buenos Aires with a great sunrise!
Our first destination was El Chalten to give us easy access to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and see Mt Fitz Roy. El Chalten itself has about 100 residents and 10 times that many people decked out in hiking and climbing gear. Of all the towns we visited during this trip, El Chalten takes the cake. Great scenery, great food and the wine comes by the penguino. The place escapes words and must be experienced.
While the town was great, the hiking was phenomenal. And we had great outstanding weather to boot. We arrived late, but had time to squeeze in a 3 mile hike to Chorrillo del Salto waterfall.
On our first full day, what began as a plan to see Mt Fitz Roy and Lago de Los Tres, turned out to be a near marathon excursion with the addition of Lago Madre, Lago Hija and Lago Torres-about 22 miles on our first major hike of the trip. We had one of the rare warm, sunny days and couldn’t take the chance of possibly missing some views if we postponed any of it a day later. Plus, we hiked with some good people we met in the airport, which made the day fly by.
As it turns out, 22 miles out of the gate isn’t so good for flatlander knees. Both Kim and I paid for this hike the rest of the trip. In fact, I’m still paying for that hike at the time of posting this.
Our knees were not sore enough to prevent the consumption of wine via penguino though!
And here are some mandatory Swedish jumping pictures. They’re a mrs slowdog favorite.
Next on our stop: Perito Moreno Glacier and El Calafate.