Thursday, November 5, 2009

El Chalten - our initiation into the snow and the cold

Marie in El Chalten, as the snow was letting up

I think I last got in touch from El Calafate, over in Argentina?, - at the north end of Argentinian Patagonia. We spent nearly all the 1st day seeing the Perito Mereno glacier, which is huge, rather awe inspiring - as long as you don't mind if your glacier comes coated with touristos multos. It all took too long for our liking; a lot of effort/time. We had a huge rush when we got back to town to catch the late bus up to El Chalten, about 3.5 hours trip, through some magnificent country, into some even more majestic country, up in the mountains, one of which is El Chalten itself, or Fitzroy. We woke to light snow, which thickened up quite quickly, meaning that we had an enforced stay looking around a pretty little mountain village.  Then we got very lucky as the weather cleared enough for us to walk 1.5hrs up into the mountains, and get a mysterious and tantalising view of El Chalten and Cerro Torre. The Chilean firebush is flowering now, and is gorgeous!

The next day we were on a bus bound for Puerto Natales, and kayaking the Serrano River, starting at the southwest corner of the Torrest del Paine National Park, and carrying on down through the Bernard O'Higgins National Park.

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