! We thought we wouldn’t make the top because the book suggests it takes 3.5 hours to the top, but after 1.5 we were really quite close so pushed on. There was quite a lot of snow on top as we crossed to the final part on Cerro Cristal, although because of the route we didn’t have to walk too much. Enough for Kevin to get his feet wet and regret not putting on his hiking boots though! Unfortunately we didn’t make the top because it became so windy that I in particular didn’t feel safe walking up the rock and shale, especially as it became really steep. A bit wussy I know but we sat at our highest point for as long as we could handle eating a bit of lunch and taking in the view and then started walking down. As we got to the bottom of Cerro Cristal we passed a couple on their way up and to my delight the girl turned back before even getting as high as I did – I’m not such
a wuss!! The guy however went on to the top and although I felt a bit guilty that Kevin hadn’t gone on I actually think it was a bit dangerous for them to separate like that – in the wind they couldn’t have heard each other if something went wrong and if one of them were in trouble there would have been no one to help them. Maybe I’m a bit over cautious??
After this we drove back to El Calafate and as it was our last time in the car we decided on the gravel road route as we hadn’t had as much as expected on the Ruta 40. Once we had checked in and dumped all our stuff in the room (this took at least 4 journeys each…not sure where we’re going to put it all!) we said goodbye to our car after 15 days. It’s been great driving the 2848km that we clocked up in Patagonia and although we didn’t do as much as originally planned to some extent it’s been better as we had more time for side trips instead of having to rush as we would have done. Thanks thief (Kevin wrote that, I'm still not that happy about it)!
We were a little slow in the morning….nights not sleeping properly on the rubbish mats we bought are taking their toll…. and weren't sure if we would be able to do the walk we had planned on after all. However it was such a gorgeous day and we were right by the start of the walk that we decided to give it a go and turn round after 3 hours. The ultimate point of the walk was the top of Cerro Cristal, however in order to get there we walked across streams, through the grass, vertically up sand paths and in the trees. We walked through so many different types of terrain it made the walk interesting in itself, ignoring the walls of mountains we could see or the view over Glacier Moreno! At one point the climate seemed to change and instead of walking through lovely green trees with just a t-shirt on we came to winter-looking trees surrounded in the remains of winter snow and our jumpers went back on. Then my jacket went on. The wind picked up and the terrain changed to shale – it was like going through all the changes we did on the way up to Base Camp except in 2 hours