Nov 26 8:00 Tourism Zaahj bus to Calafate
The Tourism Zaahj bus is very comfortable, clean and new. It costs 11,000 Chilean pesos and is filled with people who are much more mature than I am. On the trail and in the youth hostels I am surrounded by people like me: mostly young, travelling through South America or the world with giant backpacks (oh my gosh I just saw five bunny rabbits hopping around on the side of the road!!). On this bus, everyone has suitcases. When I get older I think I will still go backpacking, but I will probably pay more attention to the weight of my gear and pack. Alright, it’s time to enjoy some scenery and maybe a nap. Adios Chile!
11:58 el Calafate hostel I Keu Ken
Just got back from a local brewery where I had some beers with a friend who I met in Buenos Aires and just today randomly met again here at the hostel in el Calafate. Pretty funny. Today I spent the entire day looking for shoes. I went to every single shoe store and tried on a lot of shoes. Unfortunately all of the cheap pairs were not available in my size. I almost bought a ‘cheap’ pair for 100 usd, but I pulled on the laces and one of the lace holder things broke off. I took that as a sign that I was not meant to buy them. What a saga. Tomorrow I will suprise my girl friend because she flies into el Calafate and she thinks we will meet in el Chalten but I am still in el Calafate and I bought the bus ticket sitting next to her. Hopefully we will ride up to el Calafate together if everything works out.
Nov 27 11:13 el Calafate bus terminal
Currently I am sitting in the bus terminal waiting for my novia to arrive. We had a bit of a scare yesterday because I accidently bought her a ticket only to Ushuaia without the connection to el Calafate. I almost bought her a new ticket from Ushuaia to here, but then my brain started working again and I tried to change the ticket online. It wouldn’t let me change it online because it actually ended up costing less. I had to call them on the phone and the lady put me on hold for 20 minutes and then finally told me that she could do it but I wouldn’t get the money refunded. It was better than paying 120 us for another ticket so I was happy. The plane is supposed to arrive at 11 and our bus leaves at 1. Hopefully the flight is on time and everything works out.
Dec 1st 9:14 Rancho Grande Hostel el Chalten
Everything worked out with the plane, the bus, and the adventure. I met my girlfriend at the bus station with some sparkling apple cider and we had a sunny bus ride to el Chalten. We also had a lot of good luck backpacking for three days in the park around el Chalten. The first day was perfect and we had a clear view of Fitz Roy from the Poincenot campground. The second day we climbed up to Laguna de los Tres at the base of the mountain and on the way down it started raining. I learned from my mistakes at the Torres del Paine, so instead of walking through the rain we waited it out in the tent. The third day the rain stopped so we were able to dry everything before heading out to Laguna Torre and camp Agostini. The walk was really amazing and we passed by three or four lakes that were all different shades of blue and green. We setup camp and attempted to walk out to the glacier but the wind was way too strong. It came down the mountain, over the glacier and lake, and it contained little pieces of ice and snow. That night the wind got really crazy. It sounded like jets were circling ten meters above the tent. Fortunatly the wind was mostly above us durring the night. In the morning however it got lower and started blowing the tent around really bad. It looked like a nasty storm was blowing in as well, so we packed everything quick and headed back to the town. That turned out to be a really good decision because it was very windy and durring the night it snowed. I was really happy to be back inside for the storm and we celebrated our return with a slice of chocolate cake, apple cake, coconut cake, and apple ice cream waffles. We skipped breakfast to beat the storm so we were really hungry. Overall I really enjoyed the treking here. The natural diversity is really great. There are different kinds of forests, marshes, lakes, stones, mountains, and meadows. We saw a lot of birds including a woodpecker, some sort of hawk looking thing, geese, and a little bird with a long curved beak. Most of the sights are no more than three or four hours from town and the trails are mostly easy. A lot of people just do day trips from the town into the park, so it’s a little different from Torres del Paine where almost everyone is backpacking. Right now the weather is looking a little questionable. The sun is kind of out but there are still a lot of clouds and wind. Hopefully it will clear up so we can do one last day hike and meet a friend here in town. Let’s see how our luck is today…