Pull the other one!!!!!

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Sep 06, 2012

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Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Yesterday I didn't do much. I just had a chill out day wandering around town and finding out where everything was.  The town itself isn’t that pretty, it’s the surrounding landscape that gives it that wow factor.  The Andes curve around the town like a horseshoe and hugs it.  The snow capped mountains and the Beagle channel in front of the town make it so special.  It’s so cold here as well.  It truly is the end of the world!

Today I hadn’t booked a trip so I decided to fill my day by hiking up to the Martial Glacier.  I feel that I haven’t done enough walking!!!!!  I got up and had some breakfast and packed my bag ready for the hike.  Just took some snacks with me as the hike isn’t that long.  Gabriel called me a taxi as it is quite a walk to the beginning of the trail and it saves you a lot of time and energy to get a taxi to the start, which is all up hill.  There was an option at the beginning of the trail to take the chair lift up to the Refugio, but it is really expensive and saves you about 20 minutes.  I decided to walk.  Well, there was only the option of walking as the chair lift was closed.

The start of the hike was up a gravel track where trucks and vans can get up to the Refugio for deliveries. It was quite a steep road so I took it quiet slowly.  The view from here was quite incredible.  What was it going to be like from the top?  Once you got to where the chair lift ends, the path begins to flatten out a bit.  There was a short point where you were walking through the forest, where all the trees were turning that gorgeous orange/red colour.  The wonders of the seasons. 

As it was quite early, there weren’t many people around.  There has also been a lot of snowfall so the track wasn’t very well marked out.  What I didn’t realise, as I was following a few people that were up in front of me, was that they were taking the wrong path and we were walking on the right side of the mountain, which doesn’t lead to the glacier.  Ooops!  I had to clamber down rocks, or what I thought were rocks as I couldn’t see anything under the snow, cross the river that was flowing down from the mountain and then get back onto the trail.  As you got further up the steep slope, you could then work out where the track was. I’ll make sure I stick to it on the way back down!!

It was a very steep climb up and very slippery.  Hmmm, this will be interesting coming back down.  It took me about 1 hour from start to finish to get near the top of the view point.  I could not go any further as it was extremely icy and covered in snow.  It would have been too dangerous to go any further.  I didn’t feel like rolling all the way back down the mountain.  The view up here was incredible.  You could look back down over the town and way out into the Beagle channel.  Whilst on my way up, I had beautiful sunshine and very strong winds.  When I got to the furthest point, I then had snow.  I loved it.  This climb wasn’t to see the glacier, as to be honest, it wasn’t anything like Perito Moreno, which I hiked the other day (even though it has it’s own beauty) and also it was covered in snow, so it just looked like a load of snow up on the side of the mountain.  The whole point of the climb was for the view.  I really am at the end of the world and it is truly amazing.

I stayed up there for about 10 minutes as I was starting to get cold and the snow was coming down quite heavily.  I had also forgotten to bring my scarf and gloves in the hurry to get out of the door, so I needed to keep moving.

I took a very steady and careful walk back down.  I could feel it getting very heavy on my knees as the descent was very steep. When I got to the start of the trail, I decided to walk back to the hostel as it was all downhill and I could take in the views of the town and the channel.  I think it took me an extra hour, so overall I had been walking for about 3 hours by the time I got in to town. Hmmm, I love this outdoors life and I certainly love the exercise and what it is doing to my figure!

One of the girls who works in the hostel had recommended an amazing chocolate shop in town and I thought I would treat myself as I had done so well.  The shop was closed when I got there so I went down by the port and sat there for a while until the shop opened at 2.30 pm.  Whilst I was waiting, I had noticed that my right leg was hurting. I think I must have done some damage whilst walking back down the hill with the pressure on my knees.  The thing is though, it is not my knee that is hurting, it is just below the knee on the right hand side of the calf and every time I try and walk down a slope, it really hurts like a sharp pain.  If I walk flat or uphill, it is fine.  Hopefully it will clear up tomorrow after I rest tonight. Come on, give me a break.  I had my back pain a few weeks ago, now I can’t walk properly.  What have I done to deserve this?  I’m trying to be healthy and all this exercise is bad for my health!!!!  Ah well, if it comes to it, I’ll have to chop my leg off.  At least I have another one!!!

Went to the shop and got my chocolate.  Oh my god, Emma was right, these chocolates are amazing.  They have loads of chocolate shops in town, but mostly they are touristy so not so good.  This one is amazing.  I spent about 4 on chocolate but they were worth it.

I didn’t do much for the rest of the afternoon as my leg was hurting and I was also knackered.  Shared some of my chocolate with Gabriel, the manager of the hostel and chatted to him for a while and the rest of the evening I read my book.  I cannot believe that I have got into books after all this time.  Becky gave a book to read and I can’t put it down.  Wow,this travelling has really changed me!!
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