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Published: April 2nd 2009
Well after hanging around for a few more days on Puerto Natales we made the move to start our trek back to BA and beyond. In El Calafate we had some decisions to make and the four of us (Eamo and Wendy as well ) decided that we´d spend a day at the Periot Moreno Glacier and then head to El Chalten to do at least a day´s walking to see Cerro Fotz Roy and Cerro Torres.
Porito Moren Glacier is probably the most famous of all the Patgonian Glaciers, mainly because its the one everyone sees on the Discovery Channel....you know the one with the big pieces of ice calving and crashing into the lake.....yes the glacier actualy does do this, though you have to be patient. We perched ourselves in a reasonable spot, choosing an area which looked as though it was ready to crack. We then waited, and waited and waited and waited.......lunchtime drew near and Eamo, Ann and Wendy suggested lunch......I suggested that if they wanted to get me a Jamo and Queso sarnie I´d take the pics when the chunck finally collapsed. Right about that moment there was a HUGE crack and the chunck we
had been watching collapsed......words are difficult to describe so I´ll let the pics tell the story. Chuffed we headed for lunch and then back to El Calafate for our eveing bus to El Chalten.
Eamo, Ann and I had been in El Chalten previously (a couple of blog entries back, post Ruta 40/Viedma Glacier), but we hadn´t really done any walking there. Fresh from our Torre Del Paine expedition the four of us were really to tackle the supposedly easier trails which El Chalten offered. Ann was dead keen to see Cerro Fitz Roy, named after the captain of the Beagle, the ship on which Darwin conceived his theory of evolution! After breakfast and buying lunch (empanadas, what else!) we headed out of town onto the chosen trail. Eamo and I had let Ann and Wendy choose the route, mainly because after Torres del Paine we really didn´t care too much (and my blisters weren´t much better). The chosen trail was reasonably easy and there were a couple of steep ups but none of the crappy trail conditions that was Torres. It helped that the sun was shining too and we made really good time to the first Mirador
where unsurprisngly both Cerro Torres and Cerro Fitz Roy were shrouded by clouds.......worse, the weather in the valley was definitely not a sun shiny day! We cracked on, but 30 mins the later the weather turned bad. We held a conference and Eamo and I pushed for a turn back to the hostel to chill out. A reluctant Ann and Wendy agreed.
We spent the rest of the day jus chilling out. Met an Aussie couple at the hostel and chatted to them for a while. They were on the last stage of a 12 month trip and were preparing to head back to work in 2 weeks (kind of scary). That night was also the separation night, with Wendy staying on in El Chalten whilst Eamo, Ann and I headed back towards BA via Puerto Madryn. We hade a few bottles of Argie wine to celebrate.
The next day was basically a travel day........we got on a bus at 8am to get back to El Calafate. The we got a connecting bus to Rio Gallegos at 12:30, and finally another bus at half 8 to Puerto Madryn. We finally arrived at our destination, Puerto Madryn the next
day at around 2pm. I guess it gives an appeciation for just how big Argentina! Puerto Madryn is about 17 hours drive from BA and the town closest to the Valdez Peninsula. This peninsula is famous for anoth Discovery Channel/National Geopgraphic favourite......Orca´s hunting Sea Lion Pups by beaching themselves. Its one of only 2 places in the entire world where this happens, the other being on an island in the Indian Ocean about 2 or 3 k´s from Madagascar......hardly on the backpacker circuit! Unfortunately our luck wasn´t in as we didn´t see any Orca´s, but it was a great day none the less.
From Puerto Madryn we caught another overnight bus to BA. It was strange being back in BA almost 2 months since we had first arrived there. We stayed in a more central hostel this time and the emphasis really was on chilling out, having a good time as well as seeing a few things we hadn´t managed to see on our first trip like the Boca Juniors football stadium and the areas around La Boca and San Telmo. We also managed to celebrate St.Paddy´s day in BA!
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