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Published: April 2nd 2013
After having a rest day yesterday, we are wanting to do another trek today. Mojo has worked on my calves with some tiger balm and pointy fingers, and it seems to have released the tension in my knees, so we decide to first walk out to the Corrillo Del Salto (a waterfall 4km out of town), and then tackle the climb up to Laguna Capri which is supposed to have great views to Fitz Roy range.
The walk out to the waterfall is on a dirt/gravel road and the wind is blowing hard today. It seems that a lot of the Argentines here in El Chatlen for easter have decided to drive out to the waterfall as well. This means that every time a car drives past, great swirls of dust are created, covering us and causing us to have cloths over our faces to keep it out. It's not pleasant, and there are a lot of cars.
Arriving at the waterfall, we look at each other and realise that it was a waste of time and effort getting out here, as although pretty, the waterfall is nothing special, and it is crowded with lots of families and kids,
not really our scene. We make a quick pace back into town so that we can do the Laguna Capri walk, which is a 15km round trip with an ascent of 350 metres.
Straight away the walk goes up, with the first 45 minutes involving an uncountable number of stairs as we ascend around 200 metres. Then the walk flattens out a little bit as we weave our way around the side of the mountain. There are nice views over the valley which we had walked in the morning to get to the waterfall. As the track gets higher, the colour of the trees change from green to yellow to deep red. Soon we reach the lookout to the Fitz Roy range and the views are majestic. We back track a bit and make our way to the Laguna Capri, which is nice but not as spectacular as the previous lookout. I think we have been spoiled with some of the views we have seen in Patagonia over the last month, as really it is still a magnificent view.
There a dark clouds rolling in from the west, so we decide to head back down before we get
Rio de las Vueltas
looking back towards El Chalten
caught in a weather change.First though, we sit and watch as Mt Fitz Roy seems to create its own clouds, like a kettle letting of steam, there are whispy clouds forming of the peak of the mountain and spiralling upwards. Soon the peak is shrouded in clouds, and we trundle back down the path.
About halfway down we see a group of walkers in front of us stopped on the track peering into the forest. We abruptly stop and then we hear the sound we have been wanting to here for 4 weeks, tap tap tap. Its a woodpecker! We creep up to the other group, and are surprised to see the woodpecker only a couple of metres away smashing away at a tree. He is big too, around 30-40cm in length with a head that closely resembles a sex pistols fan from the late seventies, it is a bright red mowhawk. We watch on in fascination for the next 20 minutes as he hammers his beak into the tree like a carpenter with a chisel and hammer. It is surprising how much force he used to smash into the tree, and soon there is a sizeable hole in
the trunk and he skilfully starts manoeuvring his beak deep inside and pulls out various grubs and insects.
Although we could watch for much longer, there is a good sized crowd of onlookers, with more people coming down the path, so we push on and finally get back into town late in the afternoon. We shower, and go out for a very disappointing and somewhat expensive meal. Although we did have the chance to talk to two nice middle aged German guys that we were seated next to, who we thought were a couple, but turned out to actually just on a holiday escaping from their families back home...
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