El Chalten

I decided that I was fully recovered from my previous trekking experience and felt ready to hit the trails again. For this, I headed 3 hours down the road to the tiny town of El Chalten. On arrival I immediately regretted my decision. I arrived late at night and the wind made it virtually impossible to walk in a straight line. I quickly found my way to the hostel and enjoyed being back in the warm.
It seemed the only reason anyone visits El Chalten is to go walking in the Los Glacieres national park and this was telling as I walked into my hostel as everyone was wearing walking gear. I ended up chatting to a few people and talk quickly turned to the weather. The forecast for tomorrow was high winds and possibly rain, not quite what I was looking for.
I woke early on Saturday to the sound of the wind howling. Undeterred, after a quick trip to the bakery for our lunch I headed out on a 6hr walk with an equally determined German girl called Monika. Once outside of the town the weather improved and the sun even came out, however this was only a brief improvement as the weather slowly declined as the walk continued until we were walking in the snow. We were rewarded with a stunning view of the lake Torre and the glacier that runs into it. Despite the cold we managed to enjoy ourselves and definitely appreciated returning to the hostel afterwards for a cup of tea!
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On the Sunday the weather couldn’t have been more different, we woke up to glorious sunshine and for the first time I could really appreciate the beautiful surroundings to the town. I headed out early on a longer 8hr walk which would take me up to the base of the Fitzroy mountain range. This stunning mountain range (supposed to be technically one of the hardest to climb) has various peaks which were all named after the first climbers to summit them. It seems the French were very good at this as all of the names are French!
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After about an hour of walking I bumped into a Brazilian girl from my hostel called Camila and we walked the rest of the time together. This turned out to be a great turn of luck as the we had an hour of near vertical climbing to do and it was made much nicer having someone to do it with! The views we had were stunning. The mountain range itself, the lakes, glaciers and surrounding areas were very impressive and it was very clear why the park is such a popular walking destination.
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I decided that I was ready to start heading north, up to a town called Bariloche in the Argentinian lakes and hopefully some sunshine and heat. I booked onto a bus (30hrs!) for the next day. For once, both of the girls I had met were heading the same way as me so I have some friendly faces when I arrive. We have plans for a road trip..

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2 thoughts on “El Chalten

  1. Hi Hester! Looks like you’re having a great time!

    Can’t be too long until you’re back?? Be good to catch up when you are…although I have a lot of catch-up reading to do first I think!

    Hope all is good and look forward to hearing from you.

    Steve

    1. Its all going pretty well thanks! Only 6 weeks left which is scary. Not sure how Waitrose is going to live up to this! Definitely up for a catch up in the new year when im back in London and the real world! Hope all is well with you

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