Posted by: Jeff | February 12, 2009

Patagonia Update

Finally I have internet again!  The internet throughout all of Patagonia is extremely limited, so I finally have the chance to update my trip.

El Calafate

I got to El Calafate to see the Glacier national park for the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier, which was nothing short of amazing.  I’ve seen glaciers before in Alaska, but the Perito Moreno Glacier is 5 km wide and growing.  It moves about three meters per day, and while that doesn’t sound like a lot, for a glacial pace, it’s blistering.  Moving so fast results in it being on of the most dynamic glaciers in the world.  While I was there, a ~20 ft. wide slab of glacier fell into the lake…no picture though.  Perito Moreno is also one of three growing glaciers left in the world, brought to you by global warming.

Perito Moreno

Perito Moreno

El Chaltén

After Perito Moreno and El Calafate, I headed four hours north to El Chaltén, which is a small mountain town put together in 1985 by Argentina to claim territory from Chile.  The town only has about 600 permanent residents, but it is set to double in size in only 1-2 years.  The town does not have much to see, but if you enjoy hiking, then El Chaltén is your paradise.  I went on one eight hour hike and two other two hour hikes.  While normally I will say that I don’t particularly enjoy hiking, the views here were amazing.  Mount Fitz Roy is only visible after a two hour hike, and if you want a good view, it takes about six hours.  Also, the water that runs though the mountains here is 100 percent drinkable (and absolutely delicious).  When you put it in you water bottle, it’s a perfect temperature, completely natural and unpolluted.  Speaking of water bottles: www.tribecabottles.com.  Unfortunately, when I was filling my water bottle once, I dropped my camera into the stream; highly unfortunate but thankfully it is working perfectly now.  After El Chaltén, I headed further north along the historic Ruta 40, which is the biggest stretch of nothing I’ve have ever seen.  Part of it’s awe-inspiring and part of it is mind-numbingly boring.  Also, since it is gravel the entire way, a 550 km (~340 mi) trip took about 13 hours.

Mt. Fitz Roy

Mt. Fitz Roy

Los Antiguos

This sleepy town is about one hour west of the city Perito Moreno (not to be confused with the glacier…both named after the same person).  I only stayed here one night before I took a 22 hour bus ride to Bariloche, famed Nazi hangout.  (To be fair, it is no longer home to former Nazis but many still many still know San Carlos de Bariloche as that.)  Los Antiguos is small but definitely worth a visit.  It’s on Lake Buenos Aires and has great views of the local volcano over it.  Also, since it’s in the middle of Argentina’s agricultural area, it is home to some of the best fresh fruits and vegetables I’ve had down here.  They are best known for the “cerezas,” or cherries…absolutely delicious.  After arriving to Bariloche I met two guys from South Africa and Germany and we’re planning to check out Bariloche today.

More to come!

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