El Calafate & El Chalten
Trip Start Apr 05, 2008
15Trip End Aug 07, 2008
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We arrived in Rio Gallegos at 8am and organised the next bus to El Calafate for 12pm. We finially made it to our destination at 4pm nearly 48 hours after we left Bariloche. After being offered a few different places to stay we decided on one and checked in booking the Perito Moreno glacier trip for the next day
The tour started at 9am, the national park was 80km from the hostel, there were estancias (small settlements where the locals stayed yeas ago when transporting woll to the Atlantic coast) in between so it took about an hour and a half to get to. When we reached the park we began by walking the trails to view the glacier from different angles. It was so hard to even believe the height and sheer size of it when it is in front of you. It is 5km wide, 160 metres high (60 above the water and 100 below) and 30km long. We took the boat to have a closer look, you could hear the thundering cracks of the ice then see large lumps break off and splash into the water. Every few years after the glacier has advanced and is touching the land it separates the lake into 2, the water then cuts a tunnel through the glacier over a number of years and causes a massive part of the glacier to colapse this is called the big break.
The next morning we left El Calafate to go to El Chalten at 8am. We arrived in El Chalten at 11.30 and checked into the hostel. Then we went in search of food by search we really mean search, we taught we were going to have to hunt for it. We finally found a small bakery and found a shop to get enough food for the following day for our trek.
We got up and prepared our lunch then set out on the trek to view Cerro Torre at 9.30am. After about an hour and a half of ups and downs we reached a view point so we sat down enjoyed the view and took some pictures. The next part of the trek was through the valley, we were surrounded by small trees which still had small drops of ice hanging from them from the rain the night before. It took about another hour and 20 minutes to reach Camp De Agostini where we had a beatiful view of the lake glacier and mountains. We ate our lunch infront of the view then made our way back to the hostel.Once we got back we waited for our bus back to El Calafate at 5. We made it back to El Calafate at 8.15 and stayed in the same hostel as before (because it had a hair dryer!).
The next day we took it easy and sorted out our flight back up north for the following day. Our flight to Buenos Aires was at 3.30pm and arrived at 7pm, we went straight to the bus station and were able to get a total cama bus to Mendoza that left at 8.30pm.