Beig absolutely spent by the time we got to Bariloche, our last stop on our Patagonia tour, we didnt take full advantage of the outdoorsiness on offer. However we did manage to do the Circuito Chico at one end of the lake. It was a nice little walk for a few hours, but we alsorealised how broken our bodies were, and when there was an option to go up a steep hill for a better view, we ummed and ahhed until some light rain came and pounced at the excuse to not do it 😋
But beautiful surroundings and worth another visit one day i reckon.
22 October 2016
we stayed at a couple of places for our 5 nights in bariloche. First in the 'hostel penthouse 1001' which was, as suggested, located in a penthouse apartment of an apartment building. It was a really cool hostel with plenty of space and nice shared kitchen, plus epic views of the town and lake.
After that we moved on to Alaska Hostel, which wasn't quite what we were expecting (bit more youth hostel like than it seemed on the listing) but nice nevertheless.
We mainly just chilled out in bariloche after a few epic and wnergy sapping weeks being all touristy and adventurey; so just didnt hav it in us to tackle the many hikes on offer (except one).
Although we did take a lot of public buses in bariloche, so thats something.
20 October 2016
TRANSIT - CHALTEN TO BARILOCCHE
Well we got our rest day in Chalten, ate a tasty but super expensive lamb dish (as we were advised to do in patagonia) then began our transit to Barilocche in Argentina. This involved a 3hr bus back to Calafate, a lunch and shopping (food) stop here to get our next bus at 3.30pm for an estimated 30hrs to Barilocche. The first 5 hrs took us directly east to a coastal town to pick up passengers and then we actually started heading in the right direction - so arguably it took an extra 10 hrs than it should have.
Arrived in Barilocche around 10pm following day to the Penthouse Hostel which delivered some incredibly scenic views of the lake the next morning. Just lovely.
18 October 2016
MOUNT FITZ ROY P6
Few snaps from the return journey which took us 3hrs. The hike that just kept giving.
But woweee we were buggered by the end, absolutely dead on our feet after 2 solid hikes in a row, and absolutely lapped up our rest day the next day.
MOUNT FITZ ROY P4, EL CHALTEN
And we got there - weren't expecting to find a frozen ice field of sorts at the top, which is in fact 'laguna los tres'. I presume it is often in fact a laguna, but geez we were stoked it wasn't when we arrived. Absolutely blown away by this view, and a incredibly rare lunch spot.
More photos to come. It was extremely hard trying to fit all the amazing scenery in a photo up here. Keep an eye out for ppl on/near the laguna which really gives scale to the whole thing. Woweee
MOUNT FITZ ROY P5
Bit out of order this post - part 4 is above. Here are more photos from the top. Definitely didnt wanna leave this place. You can see some zig zags in the snow up the hill to the right of Fitz Roy where we saw some keen people trekking up. They were tiny blips on the mountain from across the other side of the laguna.
MOUNT FITZ ROY P3, EL CHALTEN
Some snaps as we started getting higher, and the ground progressively started getting covered in snow. Ash couldnt help but est her fill.
It took us about 45mins to get up and was a solid incline but not too ridiculous. What greeted us at the top was ridiculous though.
MOUNT FITZ ROY P2, EL CHALTEN
The trek continued - along the way we got some incredible views of mount fitz roy from a laguna and a few other clearings, giving us a real taste of what was to come.
After about 2.5 hrs we arrived to the sign we'd be waiting for. 9kms done, 1km to go, with an estimated time up of 1hr and not for the faint of heart (literally, ppl in poor health advised to steer clear).
MOUNT FITZ ROY P1, EL CHALTEN
Day 2 in El Chalten was another belter weather wise, which was awesome considering we had the well known Mount Fitz Roy up next, which can be know to have the peak cloud covered often.
This trek was going to be a lot tougher, and more like a genuine 4 hrs each way with a gruelling 1 hr climb for the last km, or so we were told.
From the outset we knew the beautifully flat plains of yesterday were gone, and soon it was jumpers off despite the cold morning.
Early on we stumbled across a woodpecker going nuts on a log right next to the path, and it wasn't intimidated by us at all which was a treat for videos.
As per i was pretty obsessed with watching our km times as we passed the distance markers - going at about 15-20min a km early on.
17 October 2016
LAGUNA TORRE HIKE P2, EL CHALTEN
Some more pics from the laguna. Also here we bumped into our friend roberto (an energetic 60/70 yesr old) and met another guy Latauro from Buenos Aires. All in all a highly memorable 5 hr trek.
In one of the photos in the bottm left corneryou may be able to make out a guy standing on a rock shirtless with his girlfriend below taking snaps. A highly memorable and visually offensive moment of some long haired lethario-wannabe spoon taking suggestive pics on a rock topless with his easily persuaded girlfriend obliging his fetish. Strange. His silky looking matching blue pant shirt combo gave him away on the trail.
LAGUNA TORRE HIKE P1, EL CHALTEN
After arriving into El Chalten at around 11.30 after our 3 hr bus we hoofed it to our hostel 'Kaiken' (after the obligatory park ranger chat at the ranger station on the way into town.
Once we were settled in our hostel and having bumped into 2 girls from netherlands we'd met before we decided to take advantage or the phenomenal weather and knock over a trek that day. So we opted for the 18km Laguna Torre.
After a quick lunch we hit the road which was literally on our back doorstep (staying on the outskirts of town as we were).
The advice we got was that the trek would take 3-4hrs each way - which worried us after our torres time estimates. But we were very pleasantly surprised to find a 99% flat track and we were there in 2 hrs.
Incredible scenery with jagged mountains, snow caps and floating mini bergs.
EL CHALTEN, ARGENTINA PATAGONIA
After our glaciaring in calafate we had a delicious (but expensive) choripan night (argentina's answer to the hotdog) at the hostel and then we were on a short bus of only 3 hrs to the idyllic El Chalten.
We'd been told to expect an impressive bus ride in terms of scenery along the way and we were not disappointed. The first few photos are all from the bus window and the mountains look far less impressive than they did that day. Plus as we started to get real close to El Chalten, the famous Fitz Roy mountain peak became visible which was super impressive hanging over the mountains and the town as well.
After gross weather in Torres, the weather gods were starting to smile on us again.
16 October 2016
PERITO MORENO GLACIAR P3
Aaand a few more shots of glaciar time, including drinking some glaciar water and finishing with a scotch on the rocks, glaciar rocks. It's a shame neither of us really like scotch, i think ash threw half hers away 😋
PERITO MORENO GLACIAR P2
Next up on the tour was our glaciar walk! I was initially hesitant about signing up for this, partly cos we'd heard it was really expensive, and i didn't see the appeal of walking on the ice. Plus i didnt wanna fall in no crevice ay!
But Ash was really keen on it and it was infectious, so we signed up and it wasn't as expensive as we'd heard - around $180 for a couple hr tour on the glaciar. But it was really well run and our guide was great, plus the scenery of the glaciar was far better than i was expecting.
Also because there's no snowfall on this section it's not dangerous re crevices 😋 so we got our crampons on on smashed it out, and overall was definitely worth it. Although just the boardwalk was inpressive enough as well to justify just doing that part of the tour. More photos to come.
15 October 2016
PERITO MORENO GLACIAR P1
The main attraction of El Calafate is visiting the Perito Moreno Glaciar which is about an hour and a half away. We were finally blessed again with some awesome weather (as has been the general pattern of our trip in fairness).
The drive through the national park to the glaciar was again incredible and gave us a taste of things to come. First up for the day was a walk along the extensive boardwalk that takes you along the face of the glaciar. It doesn't look like it from photos but it's actually around 70m tall, and is one of the few glaciars in the world considered stable (as opposed to shrinking). Each DAY it advances 2 metres, and then eventually ruptures away at the front edge.
After the boardwalk we 'enjoyed' an overpriced coffee - i ordered a mocachino and get a vile coffee in polystyrene with too much whisky and no chocolate or milk. Barely touched it - waiter shanked that one big time!
Almost as good as the glaciar was the picturesque lake
14 October 2016
EL CALAFATE, ARGENTINA
After our tour of Torres del Paine we had one night of rest in Puerto Natales (the nearby town in Chile), which we wished was longer especially as we finally found a decent priced private room. Then we were on the 8am bus for 5hrs to El Calafate over the Argentinian border to continue the Patagonia adventure.
This town was really interesting - it had a very distinctive architecture to it which Ash said reminded her of European Alps towns, and i can see it (having never been there 😋). We were finally in a place with some reasonably priced accommodation - unfortunately that was all that was reasonably priced. Prices were on par with melbourbe if not more expensive for many things. Like a small nut mix was about $20, packet of chips that would be $2-3 in aus was $7. And eating in restaurants was ridiculous so we cooked all our meals, or had empanadas.
We also got a real glimpse into the Mate craze of argentina. It's like tea, but drunk all day like a religion😋