Posted by: Talie Morrison | February 12, 2010

El Chalten & Bariloche

On the trail again - this time with Therese

I’ve been a little slack on keeping up with my blog over the last few weeks – so now it is “catch up” time….

I ended up in El Calafate about a week earlier than I should have.   I was heading up to El Calafate to meet my Canadian friend, Therese, who is traveling with me for 3 weeks.    There was an issue in Ushuaia about flying to El Calafate and lots of the flights were full – so instead of extending my stay in Ushuaia (which I should have done), I booked an earlier flight which had space.   After 24 hours in El Calafate, I was asking myself “What are you going to do for a week here while you wait for Therese?”    So I looked around and found a great little campground

This is my "homemade" tent for camping - So far it has held up in the Patagonian winds!

 at Lago Roca, booked one bus to take me out there and a different bus to bring me back (the buses don’t go every day – and different busses go on different days… It’s a little confusing, but just takes a little finaggling to make things work!).    The campground out there was “Muy Tranquille”  and so I had 5 days of vacationing from my vacation.   The lakes out that way are beautiful, and it gets enough rain to have some trees.   There was also a summit which I could climb right from the campground (so I ended up climbing it on Wednesday and then again on Friday for the exercise!)  

On top of Cerro de los Crystales (that's Perito Moreno Glacier behind me)

 I got back to El Calafate on Saturday and Therese arrived on Sunday.   El Calafate is very interesting in that it is basically high desert all around (the Argentinian Steppe) but there are these huge lakes.   What facinates me is that even where there is water, around the lakes and rivers, there is not any green bushes, grass, trees, etc.   So it is a very interesting landscape.

So once Therese had gotten over her 26 hour traveling lag, we packed up and took a bus up to El Chelten.   El Chelten definitely reminded me of Crested Butte about 20 years ago.   It is growing fast, but still rather small.   El Chelten is the jumping off place for the hikes 

The view of Fitz Roy from the streets of El Chalten

 and climbs around Mt. Fitz Roy.    We planned a 3 night 4 day trip in the area, seeing Fitz Roy from several different vantage points.   We were really lucky on day 2 and 3 to have clear skys and beautiful days.   The nights were a bit cool, but with the clear days it was beautiful.   We did have to pack our tents up in the rain one morning – oh, well.   But the afternoon when we hiked from the campground up to the lake at the base of Fitz Roy, it was awesome!   And the next morning from the campground, we were blessed to see the sunrise hitting Fitz Roy.   That was worth the whole trip!  

Sunrise from our campsite! Awesome!

 We spent the last night in a refugio, and instead of camping we paid for a room (and a lovely hot shower too!).   That turned out to be a rather wise decision, as it was raining in the morning – so at least we didn’t have to pack up wet tents to hike the last day out.     

Being back in El Calafate, we looked at our options on how to get North to the Bariloche area… it was either a 30 hour bus ride, on a dirt road, or a 2 hour plane flight…. hum…. the $220 for the plane trip was well worth it!   🙂  Bariloche is a rather large town for me – at least I have gotten used to much smaller towns – but it is in a beautiful setting!   Right on a lake with mountains all around!   The weather for the first part of the week didn’t look promising, so we planned our hiking for later in the week, and decided to do a driving trip for a couple of days.   There is a beautiful drive up to San Martin de los Andes which goes by 7 lakes (Ruta de los Siete Lagos).   So we rented a car – yikes this is the first driving I have done in almost 3 months!   But it was way fun!  

On the Ruta de los Siete Lagos

  Beautiful snowcapped mountains, lakes, rivers.   We camped out for the night (had frost on our tents in the morning!) so it was a bit cool!    But it was awesome having our own car and not having to rely on public transportation for once.   

So now we are back in Bariloche and getting ready to do the Curcuito Chico around Catedral Mountain starting tomorrow.   We head up to the ski area – take a chair lift to the top, and then start hiking from there.     Life is still good here in Argentina!  Today was a wonderful warm and sunny day – we are hoping for the same tomorrow! 

Bariloche on a warm and sunny day!

Flamingos in El Calafate

I just love these little orchids (on Cerro de los Crystales)

Camping in the woods - a bit of a wet night

At the base of Fitz Roy!

A welcome refugio in the mountains!

This could be a photo from Colorado - but it is outside of Bariloche

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Responses

  1. Oh my gosh! Fitz Roy at sunrise–absolutely gorgeous!

  2. GO, TALIE!! What a thrill to hear about your adventures. Gald i can be a voyuer on your voyage.

    Thanks for including me in on all of your trips.

    Love sent, Lee

  3. WOW it all looks stunning! And so nice to see the two of you together. ENJOY!
    Nijole
    PS to Therese – has Talie convinced you to quit your job yet???

  4. …hey I just realized we’re under the same constellations – you in Argentina and R & I in the South Pacific. I’ll say hello to you tonight by way of the Southern Cross!
    nk

  5. Try El Bolson too. We hiked and stayed at refugios every week for a month. And if you head further south towards Esquel write me because i have several recommendations for hikes, hostels and a GREAT inexpensive, english speaking, adventursome guide.

  6. I’d even get up early to see the beautiful sunrise.

  7. Hi Talie!
    oh my gosh! what an amazing time you are having!
    i LOVE your posts!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!
    ♥ Melissa & Emmitt


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