03.02.2007 - 07.02.2007 15 °C
In El Chaltén, I was welcomed by the good old Patagonian rain, lovely! But in the afternoon, as the sun came out, I enjoyed a little siesta next to my tiny little tent on free Campamento Madsen and even got burned in the face, yep, the Patagonian four seasons in one day! At night, I was confronted with my new perception of prices again . I went out for a pizza, although I finished it completely it was massive and definetely meant for two persons, a liter of beer, yes Quilmes comes in one-liter-bottles, and a café con leche. When the cuenta came, I found I had spent a lot of money, it was 28 pesos, a bit less than 8 euros. I will have a hard time getting used to European prices again. After dinner, I went for a few beers with Zoe, a lovely English girl I met in Derby who is a guide in El Chaltén now, and her Argentinian boyfriend Leo.
Next day, Zoe and Leo offered me a free guided tour to Cerro Fitzroy, star attraction numero uno in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. They were guiding a French-Germain couple in their sixties that day. When we made it to Campamento Poincenot for lunch, after a lovely walk with good views on Fitzroy, the couple decided to throw the towel into the ring and head back to Chaltén and thus Zoe and Leo had to go back too. I went on and started the steep, but oh so rewarding, climb up to Laguna de los Tres, at the foot of Fitzroy. It was a beautiful day and there were absolutely no clouds so the view on Fitzroy was just breathtaking.
Back in El Chaltén again, I went over to Leo's and Zoe's house, well, room and joined them for a wonderful dinner in their shared kitchen. There was about eight people and the Italian cook had made a very tasty sauce of butter, cream, anchoas and garlic (eight teeth a head!) where we could all dip vegetables and potatoes in. After diner, we went to a very nice pub to have some more beers, it was all very cozy.
Next day, I could get a lift of Zoe to get to the far entrance of the park, and I had put my alarm clock at 7am, but when I woke up, it was raining cats and dogs and so I decided to stay in my warm and comfortable sleeping bag, till the rain would stop, sorry for that again, Zoe! When it actually stopped raining, I got up, took my time to have breakfast and pack my tent and then head off for the path guiding to Cerro Torre, another attraction in the National Park. By the time I got to the path, it started pissing out of heavens again and I got soaking wet, but by the time I had reached Campamento De Agostini, it had stopped raining. After putting up my tent, I head off for Laguna Torre and walked to Mirador Maestri, where a beautiful view on Laguna Torre, the glacier just next to it and on Cerro Torre can be enjoyed. Unfortunately, the clouds did not want to reveal Cerro Terro that night, so I went back to the campamento and got into my sleeping bag, it was quite cold when one was not walking.
That night, it was snowing in the Nacional Park, so in the morning, again, I waited in my warm sleeping bag until all the snow had fallen from the trees onto my little tent. After breakfast, I walked to Mirador Maestri for the second time, and again, Cerro Torres was covered in clouds. I stayed up there quite a while because, although Torres could not be seen, it was still very beautiful up there. In the afternoon, I did the long walk from campamento De Agostini to Campamento Poincenot, put my tent up again, had lunch and dinner together and walked another hour to the Mirador Piedras Blancas and back. When I got back to the campsite, it started snowing again and the temperature had dropped very much so after coffee, I decided to get back into my sleeping bag and read a bit.
The last day in El Chaltén was really relaxed. I walked back to the village, passing by lovely laguna Capri, in two hours and than went to the campsite I was staying at before to get the stuff I had left there and to take a nice shower. After a few hours in a cyber-café and a nice café con leche, I was ready for the four-hour bus ride back to El Calafate. Around 7pm, we left Chaltén and from the bus, we had a last look on beautiful Fitzroy and as the sun set, the sky changed from one beautiful colour into another.