After another late night meal (this time in Gobernador Gregores) and we were ready to start off for El Chalten around 8:00 am. Argentinian cuts of meat are a bit different than our North American cuts (Argentines claim to have 23 different cuts, to North America's 16), which probably explains why Bob received a half slab of meat when he ordered a piece of veal!
A 3.5 hour ride (with 70 Kms on bad roads again) later, we arrived in El Chalten. It is always amazing to see something in person that you have always seen in just pictures - the giant rocks of Mount Fitrzroy tower over the town, as glaciers empty into lakes, rivers and nowhere in particular. The setting is classic Patagonia (it is even featured on the Patagonia clothing brand's logo), and, for me, was my one "wow" moment of the trip so far.
There was no settlement in this location until the mid 1980's, when people began to realize this was one of the best locations for climbing and hiking in the world. As a result, the area is now home to a large outdoor based sport industry, with lots of young people from all over the world experiencing the great wild.
We checked into our hotel, and then made our way downtown to check in with my guiding company and rent the last of the gear I didn't bring.
I meet with the guide tonight to discuss our plan - basically, we will take three days to get to the Marconi glacier, on one of the largest icefields in the world. I hope to spend one day exploring the icefields, and then return back to El Chalten on Sunday evening. I hope to post some great pictures on my return.
There will be no more blog posts for the next three days as I will be out in one of the most desolate parts of the world, but I will try and check back in on Sunday night to let everyone know how it goes... Have a great weekend!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
- Mark Twain