El Chaltén, Patagonia, Argentina

If you have received this previously via email then this is the updated version. The first one was published accidently

If these photos don’t make you want to visit Patagonia, then there’s something wrong with you 😉.

We got told that the further South we went the better the scenery would get. Oh wow. I could look at this little village for hours. El Chaltén is nestled in the Parque National de Los Glaciars. It is surrounded by mountains of various colours. Fitzroy is like a cinnamon coloured rock that’s dusted with icing sugar. It stands majestically, taking pride of place in between the other Glaciers. Each have their own appeal and whichever you turn you can see a snow capped mountain.

Before we set off on these travels I had seen a photo of a road and at the end of it were snow capped mountains. I told my friend Carol, “I want to take that photo”. Well I managed to do it! 😁

We had arrived at 8am with no accommodation booked. It was time to knock on doors. The price of private rooms were more expensive than mixed dorms in the hostels. The prices ranged from £35 to £50 a night for a private room and £12 each for a mixed dorm. £35 doesn’t sound a lot but when travelling for 3 months, it soon adds up so we try to find something cheap but nice…..it doesn’t always work out that way for us though 😂.

We managed to get a private room for one night in a lovely Cabaña. Fitzroy stood proud behind our hostel below.

The first day we just did a couple of gentle treks to some great Miradors (look out points). The trek climbed gently as we meandered through trees and bushes.

One was called Los Condores as the Condor bird would usually fly high above the mountain. We had got there on a day that had blue skies so was pleased to get the photo below. This beautiful bird was soaring high above us.

The first Mirador didn’t dissapoint. It was sunny, but had an icy wind so we had to wear our down filled jackets. We sat at the top waiting for clouds to go so we could get some good shots. It was worth the 15 minute wait. You could see the mountains, the town below and the river.

We wandered back down the track and noticed another pathway so went off to see what views we could see from there….see the video below. 😮

On the way back I was desperate for the loo. It’s hard trekking in the middle of nowhere as they don’t have porta loos. I decided to sneak into a bush. I could hear noises of something coming towards me….haha. nosey cow! 😉 needs must and all that.

We saw more cows just roaming round on our way back down. They certainly have a great life here.

We went back to the hostel and made some soup with a wholemeal roll for lunch. Then off we went to see the waterfalls. “It’s only 3km to the Cascadas”, the tourist information told us….what he failed to tell us was we had to walk to the other end of town first. I was shattered. My knees were aching but the scenery through the town and on the way up, made up for it. Ruta 41 is is a famous Patagonia road.

You can see how windy it is here by my hair below! Haha.

We reached the waterfalls, and yes it was pretty but after seeing Iguazu Falls 4 years ago, it would take something special to beat that view.

There was no way that I could have walked back to town. We were both done in. We’d walked 11 miles and it had taken its toll on us. We’ve walked every day for the last 7 weeks. This is why we don’t call it a holiday. We travel. You need a holiday after our travels. Haha. Anyway, I digress. We started walking out of the car park and we could hear and car (not many pass by here). I told Kev to get to the car park entrance as quick as he could and stick his thumb out 🖒. It was the quickest lift yet. Took us about 10 seconds to hitch a ride back to town 😊.

First port of call when we got dropped off? A bar! We’d finally found a bar, and it was happy hour. 2 pints for £5.50. It was either pain killers or beer…hmm 🤔 “salud” (cheers).

We sat enjoying the ice cold beer whilst looking at the day’s photos and singing along to Bob Marley, and UB40 songs. They’re really into reggae music in Argentina. Perfect end to a good day.

Day 2 and we had to leave the Cabaña and move into a 6 bed dorm. Oh great. I’d done this before in Copenhagen and didn’t really like it but they didn’t have any other rooms. We couldn’t move in until after 2pm so we left our bags in reception and went off to walk down the only road into and out of town. We’d seen some fabulous mountains on our drive in, and also a blue glacial lake so we wanted to explore.

As we walked towards the lake we kept looking back..the views are amazing and each time the clouds move you see something different. We’ve taken loads of photos, and videos. Here are a few.

We sat and ate our lunch looking out over the lake and more mountains. You could see icebergs in the distance 😃.

We walked back to town marvelling at the sites we were seeing. Kev was actually being really nice and said “We’ve seen and done some amazing things and what could be better than seeing them with someone you love. I wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anyone else”. He leaned over and kissed me. 😊❤. I totally agree. We get on great together and laugh and banter with each other everyday. We really are lucky. 😋

We took a detour over a field on the way back. We’d seen some people take kayaks there so knew there would be a river around. Wow it was steep. They must have had to slide down the ravine before getting in the river!

As we reached town we could here music and talking over a microphone in the distance. It was echoing around the mountains. We had no idea what is was but it was loud.

We headed back to the hostel to check into our dorm. A quick coffee, and a chat and story swapping with a great French guy called Tomas (who’s kindly offered for us to go visit him in France) then we headed to our dorm. We were pleasantly surprised. It was clean and the bedding smelled great..and so far there was only us two in it 😁.

You can imagine after 7 weeks of walking every day that our shoes don’t smell that great. Kevs are horrendous! 😣😷. I pity the poor people we shared the Cabaña with last night cos he decided to wash his shoes and put them on the heater to dry, overnight, in the shared kitchen. I made lunch with leftover rice from dinner, boiled eggs and a tin of tuna. I’m sure you can imagine that the kitchen didn’t smell that fresh when we left. 😕

So, carrying on with the story, we went back out for a walk, in the hope of finding some foot/shoe spray. We could still hear this music and singing so Kev suggested we went go investigate. “How are we went going to find out where it is?” I enquired, as with the echo you couldn’t tell. “Let’s just follow the crowds” he said 🤔😂

Walking through the streets we passed a shop that was like an old fashioned chemist shop, and in it they sold foot spray and talc! Kev was buzzing, but not as much as his shoes were humming 😂😂. My mum would have loved the shop. (She worked in a pharmacy for over 40 years). The till was like something from a museum, but I remember the till being like this in the shop she worked in when I was a kid. 😊

We followed the sound of the music and found a field full of Gauchos, and they had a bronco style show going on.

We watched for a while but we didn’t like the way they have treated their horses so left them to it. They really treat them cruel. They tied them to a pole and covered their eyes so they couldn’t see, then someone on another horse would come and make his horse push the other round the pole. You could see the horses were getting stressed. Someone would then get on it, they’d untie the horse from the pole and the rider would whip the poor horse continually, whilst it bucked furiously trying to get the idiot off its back. 😠

Please forgive my outburst on the second video 😂

This video doesn’t exist

The local houses were all half finished. The obviously don’t have any skilled builders here. They were all bodge it jobs.

When we got back to the hostel I asked the guy, in Spanish, on the reception how many were in our room. Only us 2, his reply. “Perfecto” I said and blew him a kiss. Hopefully no one will come tomorrow either. 😉

On our second full day here, it was extremely windy. I didn’t have a woolly hat so improvised with a scarf. The wind whipped around your ears so it was very welcome. I really didn’t care what I looked like…as you can tell 😂

We decided to do a short 8km trek to the Mirador of Fitzroy. It was a steady uphill trek with some breathtaking vista points. You had to brave the wind though as it was hard to stand still, it was so strong.

It only took us around 2 hours to get to the top. The pathway was filled with dead trees in all kinds of weird and wonderful shapes.

When we reached the top you couldn’t see Fitzroy, it was covered in thick cloud. We were having to show people our photos of what the view should have looked like. The one thing we did see was the thick blue glacier.

Kev ventured off to take some photos and I sat waiting for him. It was bitterley cold and he’d been gone about 10 minutes. I shouted and whistled but he couldn’t hear because of the gale force winds. When he ventured back I was so cold that I threw a childish strop. 😄 “I’m not walking to the next vista point with you I’m going back!” I told him. “Oh well you go then, I’ll go on my own and then I’m going to see the lake” he retorted. I walked off in one direction and he went in the other. That’s the closest we’ve got to an argument in 7 weeks. As I wandered back I passed a tree and saw a family of woodpeckers. It was lovely to see them, banging their beaks against the trees.

Ha! Kev was missing out on the only wildlife we’d seen for a while. It was then that I realised that I wanted to share this moment with him. Oh well. I walked on to the lake, instead of going down. As I reached it, there sat my hubby 😍. “Long time no see” I said. We don’t hold grudges.

The views were impressive. The lake, the glacier and the snow. Perfect spot for a selfie 😉.

As we walked back down, my knees were swollen and painful. I was grouchy. Kev was in full sarcastic mode too, which didn’t help. “Come on old lass, with your manky knees. There’s always something wrong with you. You’ve spoilt the last 7 weeks for me, I wish I’d come on my own!” 😣😕

He’d gone from Mr nice guy yesterday, who wouldn’t have wanted to spend this adventure with anyone else, to good old sarcastic Kev. 😂

By this time we’d walked 12 miles and I’d had enough. I went back to the hostel and he did another 7 mile trek. Ugh. No thanks.

On returning to the hostel we found we had room mates. Marcel and Angelo. Marcel had some fantastic stories to tell and amazing photos. He sent me the photo of the iceberg. This was where he camped, behind Fitzroy.

He was a fellow traveller, and we exchanged stories of washing and dying laundry where we could. Kev was jealous cos this guy had a rope he used to tie to the bunks and dry his clothes! 😲

Tomorrow we move on to Calafate. Wait until you see the next lot of photos 😍

6 thoughts on “El Chaltén, Patagonia, Argentina

  1. I love reading your blogs, them poor horses I’m not surprised you couldn’t stay and watch that, can’t believe people can be so cruel. You’ll be like Mr and Mrs fit with all the walking you do, I’d never be able to walk that far and my knees are ok 😁. Can’t wait for more photos the views are stunning xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful country. If someone had said ‘you want to go there ‘ i would never in my wildest dresms thought it would be so stunning.
    I know its their culture to treat their horses that way, the UK is not the perfect country for barbaric blood sports. But i hope there’s a good few humans injured!
    (That was the censored version lol )
    Thanks for taking us
    there ….. looking forward the next blog 😎 xx

    Liked by 1 person

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