Are you enjoying our trip?
You saw on the last post that we drove more 425 km until Él Chalten. Certainly, to me, is the best and magic place in Patagonia! And you can feel this with the pictures, but to understand, you should go there once!
El Chaltén - Argentina
Route 23: the most incredible straight of Patagonia
We left Chile to return to El Calafate on the morning of the fifth day to pick up our luggage at Folk Hostel and drive to El Chaltén, a small incredible village. We also gave a ride for two guys from Buenos Aires on the last part of the route. It is very common to see people around the road waiting for this, and they made an illustration so cool on a card with a smile! It looked nice. We’ve traveled more than 500 km with an unbelievable scenario and a beautiful sunny day. In the car, we had a lot of time singing, play curiosities games, and chatting a lot, for sure! When we arrived on Route 23, in the province of Santa Cruz, connecting Route 40 to the city of El Chaltén, it was unimaginable perspective! We stopped for over an hour to take pictures of this road. It was one day that I had breakfast for lunch, had an improvised tuna sandwich with cream cheese on the road and I was happy with my life! Sometimes you forget you need food. We became paralyzed all the time with nature.
The mountains bring a cinematographic feeling: it’s surreal and stunning. You should listen to the "El Chaltén" music when you arrive. You can find this searching on youtube by “Rubem Patagonia”. This song makes you immerse on this. We arrived in the city around 9 pm. We went directly to "Happy Hour" Bar. It's a good place to eat good food, drink good beer and interact. The blue of the sky becomes dark in many shades, it is beautiful. The dark night happens around eleven o'clock at night. I took a shower in the bathroom sink and felt invigorated. I really needed to do this! I believe in exchanging experiences as a secret way to our evolution. This place makes me different. I arrived over there with 32 years-old and left when I was turning 33. I will never forget these days!
Young magical Village: El Chaltén
I can not explain in words what this place stands for! I have sometimes felt that fate works hard to change things inside of us. They were the most intense days, of greater physical, emotional effort, greater logistics among mountains, food, and sleep. Sometimes Netflix is real life. It is you, there, with your dramas, with a beautiful past, overcoming your limits, organizing your thoughts, feeling the course of things, discovering the best of people, realizing the good side of life and performing simple things with priceless values.
It is a village that is only 33 years, quiet and charming. On the streets, there are backpackers of all ages, all languages, crowded hostels, and bars in the post-mountain. It's like being in a classic movie, in a town that has its own soundtrack, own way of life.
In this first night, we left the bar around eleven o'clock and headed for a trail of a waterfall! I've never done this before. Can you imagine it, go on a waterfall at night? The sky was brightening with stars, you could see the water falling from the top of the stone, you could feel the energy and the silence with which everyone was coming together. We just could not see anything! It was an unimaginable arrival…
When we get up there, we feel small in the face of such perfection and grandeur. It was the place that makes me powerful, I hope to come back soon.
The reward of the effort: Mount Fitz Roy and Laguna Sucia
I am not a methodical and planned person, sometimes it is gratifying because life brings gifts in the form of days, people, places. Cramps, heat, rises, downs, forests, bridges... In the 10 km to Fitz Roy, nature showed all its diversity and my body experienced all the boundaries of effort.
To get there, I needed strength, concentration and an angel like a Barbie Trekking, who took my backpack up the final climb of stones, which I could hardly wait to finish because I felt powerless! They were tall steps and very sunny.
People, all the time, say to you on way encouraging to keep yourself strong, it will be worth it! It's a difficult trek if you do not have experience. It could not be a more unimaginable mountain, the most relevant date, to glimpse with such grandiose eyes. It's the most powerful place I've ever been. It is the certainty that it is only with consistency, support, and determination that we climb the greatest difficulties of life. And on the mountain, all this is represented in form and infinite and captivity. I could not even accomplish too much in that place. I did not have time.
I felt my heart squeeze, my head wander and I did not know how to decipher what I saw when we arrived at the base of the Fitz Roy and, a few meters away, we saw one of the most incredible lakes I could imagine, the Laguna Sucia. A strong blue blur amidst imposing and shining stones. It was magical and extremely real. Fitz Roy is one of the most feared mountains in the world, also due to the weather conditions. We made our trail on a rare sunny day and clear skies. We climbed the mountains on the way back and forth to remember, in the face of so many uncertainties, that living is to risk every day more. Happiness is the unforgettable moments that we live.
After that day I realized that we have no idea of the power we really have to do what we want. We had natural light until 10 p.m to came back from the mountain. I have seen strong, delicate and different people of all ages and places surpassing each other during the trekking. We admire to be healthy and have mobility when visit places place like this. It was more than ten-hour walking. When we started to move down, we danced to forget the tiredness. Some foreigners stopped to film our animation dancing. On the way, we heard that our group was the most colorful group on the whole trail. In El Chaltén we found one of the most crowded trails of Patagonia. All the time you can see people and say: “Hola”.
It Was the first amazing and hard trekking that I had did in my life.
Holding an iceberg: Laguna Cerro Torre
It was the most fun trail and it felt like paradise. In the beginning, we met a group of local students making a trail as school activity! They danced with us. The trekking is long but not hard, that’s why we meet an older person. On the way, the landscapes having changed like wallpaper papers on a computer. Do you know? A lot of different scenes.
When we arrived at Laguna Tower, there were many clouds entwined the Cerro Torre, which is common there. We also found a fox and always important to remember that we should not feed it. Native animals have their hunting power, and when tourists are giving accustomed food, the animals stop eating and may even starve to death waiting for food.
People always ask us why do we climb mountains? In our case, the first thing we did was sit down, take some beers to chill on the lake and start our snack, because we arrived hungrily. It was the first time that I held a block of an iceberg in my hands. It’s an indescribable feeling to see nature in its most primitive way. Usually, we did not spend a lot of time on the lakes because is very cold over there. But this time we had time to have a conversation.
It was a magical day. We finish eating good food and having a great beer at Happy Hour Bar again. Over there I did a great friend, The Papita dog.
The trails are enthralling! We spent only two days in this amazing city. The next day we drove again to will leave the cars in El Calafate and travel by bus to Ushuaia! It will be a long journey of more than 20 hours and many borders. You want to go with us?
Trail: Fitz Roy and Laguna de Los Tres // Course: 22km // Total Time: 9h / 10h
Level: moderate / difficulty
Trail: Laguna Cerro Torre | Course: 22km // Total time: 8h // Level: Moderate
Hostel: were on Rancho Grande Hostel.