Small, but Stunning
Trip Start Jan 30, 2010
50Trip End Sep 08, 2010
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Where I stayed
El Chalten is a village of 1,000 inhabitants existing just because of Fitz Roy National Park. Fitz Roy is stunning, with almost vertical stone spikes towering 400 meters(about 1200 feet) above the village and the surrounding snow covered mountains.
The town itself isn't very much, as I said before it only has 1,000 inhabitants, but the town seems to be built for 5-10,000 people. The roads have four lanes across and the buildings are way too large for the amount of people using them. It seems that Argentina is trying to make this town a large tourist destination, like Torres del Paine in Chile, another place we are visiting with similar stone spires.
On Friday we hiked out of the village into the National Park to Lago Torre,(Spire Lake) situated right in front of Cerro Torre, the most spectacular of the spires. To the left of Cerro Torre is Glacier Grande, which creates a lake and river of its own. The water from the ice of the glacier is a very different color, almost a turquoise. We also saw a good amount of wildlife, including the Andean Condor(even larger than the California Condor), hawks, a frog, and many smaller birds. When the Andean Condor flies, it is almost like a board, completely flat. It also has a bright white head.