Sunday, January 25, 2015

Laguna Torre, Patagonia

I'm eeking out these Argentina posts pretty slowly, but I find that Blogger seems to choke on larger posts, and these small ones are easier to get together and probably the bite-sized chunks are easier to digest as well.

In El Chaltén, we first experienced the direct effects of the Patagonian winds. It wasn't that cold (maybe around freezing), but when the sun went down and the wind picked up, we realized that we hadn't brought enough clothes to do anything but curl up in our hostel and drink wine and beer.

El Chaltén, Patagonia.

While we had plenty of sun in town, the mountains were cloudy, so we didn't see much of Fitz Roy or Cerro Torre, but the hiking was still pretty spectacular:

In the magical forest on the way to Laguna Torre.

Terminal moraine that dams up Laguna Torre, El Chaltén, Patagonia.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

El Chaltén, Patagonia

El Chaltén is a dedicated hiking/climbing town. There are something like 30 hostels in town (and a couple of fancier hotels). We stayed at Kospi Hostel, right in the center of this photograph. There are several trails right outside of town that head up into the mountains.

El Chaltén, Patagonia

Río de las Vueltas, El Chaltén, Patagonia

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Going to Patagonia

We had already planned to visit our daughters in Buenos Aires for Christmas. But when your daughter sends you an email to ask if you want to hiking in Patagonia for a week, you say yes.

I flew to  Buenos Aires, where I met Libby and Annie and took a quick afternoon tour to change some money and visit the Google office for a snack. Later, we had a great asado (meat fest) with Libby's host family.

The next morning, we hopped on another plane for the three-hour flight to El Calafate, in Santa Cruz province.

Lago Argentino, El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina.

Aerolíneas Argentinas had the nicest plane I've ever flown on: clean, bright, with leather seats. They also serve you little ham and cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

Then, a three-hour bus ride up Route 40 (Argentina's loneliest highway, though it's mostly paved now and less lonely than it used to be, but still pretty windy) to El Chaltén, a town that exists as a basecamp for trekkers and climbers around the Patagonian icefields.

View from Argentina Route 40. Reminds me of U.S. Route 50 in Utah and Nevada.