El Calafate - El Chalten (23/24-Apr)

After Puerto Natales, we took an early bus to El Calafate, to go to see the famous glacier Perito Moreno.

After Puerto Natales, we took an early bus to El Calafate, to go to see the famous glacier Perito Moreno. El Calafate is supposedly heaven for bagpackers... though technically I guess it's more a heaven for the owners of hostels as the prices are kind of high here, compared to other places. As I did not have so much time and wanted to see El Chalten I decided to join an afternoon tour to the Perito Moreno. Regretfully - should I say again ? - if the weather was great in El Calafate, the closer we got from the Los Glacieres National Park, the more cloudy it was... and finally when we got there it was raining more and more heavily. Still the Perito Moreno - blue ice - was really impressive, and I guess the rain helped it break more often than usual as we could sometimes see but more often hear that some parts of the glacier were falling down into the water... Nice view even if I was completely soaked after this walk down to the glacier. Maybe it would have been better to see it with the sun, but maybe it was better with the rain as it enhanced the blue color of the glacier. Next morning we took another bus to El Chalten, kind of a little village within the moutains. Again if it was really sunny when leaving El Calafate, the bus seemed to have decided to head directly to the cloudy place far away.... and in the end when we arrived in El Chalten the weather was not so great, not raining but lots of wind and clouds. We could not see the famous Cerro Fitz Roy for one thing. We took a quick walk in the mountains in order to reach a view point to see this Fitz Roy but as it was raining more and more heavily we decided to go back downtown. El Chalten is definitely not a really nice place right now, very dusty (with the wind, it does not help to be welcoming), with many buildings under construction, everything was closed (not high season)... but I guess with the sun and in a few years when the buildings are finished it should be great. Finally we spent the evening with my friends from New Zealand who had decided to stay longer there before heading to Chile while on my side I had decided to take the 36 hours bus to Bariloche via the legendary Ruta 40. The Ruta 40 covers all south america from north to south and is something like 5000 km long.... some parts are covered with macadam but most is only stone. In the end the bus seldom reaches 40 km/h. So the 1200 km between El Chalten and Bariloche take a looooong time to cover. If you add to that the fact that the bus company - Taqsa - does not consider service or being on time as something important... it was not a great trip. Still it definitely was an experience to go through this road. The landscapes were not so great but stopping in the middle of nowhere because a tire is down or arriving in a ghost town and trying to look for a lunch there is something... In the bus I met a couple from french Alps, from the place I'm used to go skiing. They were there to prepare some trek later to Argentina.

Photos here Photos here Photos here

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