Well we are back in the ever so exciting one horse town of Rio Gallegos. (The one a couple of days ago we had the pleasure of trying to kill 4 hours). Well we are back in Rio Gallegos and again we have another 4 or so hours to kill before starting a journey of 17 hours up north to go whales spotting. The whales, much like our Cape Town whales, come into the shallow waters during Spring and as the southern hemphishere Spring has literally just arrived we are hoping to see the whales, penguins and maybe some killer whales. Well that's the plan at least....
Right, after doing our glacier thing we managed to get a bus ride 200kms or so up north from El Calafate (or Cala Fat B@st@rd as Tim calls it) to do a bit of hiking and hopefully see the Fitzroy Massiff. The Fitzroy are one of the largest mountain ranges in Patagonia and a spectular sight when ....in view. (The ever changing weather of Patagonia depicts whether or not you will have the priviledge of seeing this amazing snow capped range). The drive to El Chalten was interesting in the fact there is absolutley NOTHING to see. Everything is flat and completely barren encapsuled in raw biting Antartic winds. To our amazement people got on and off the bus on route thus meaning people actually live in this nothingness. How, we do not know?! Poor Tim got completly freeked out by thinking that one day I may drag him off to live in a place like this. Well fear, not people.......there is no way that even I would want to live in a place like this, as nice as it is to visit.
Onroute to El Chalten we had a tiny weeny accident in that one of us slipped down the icy stairs of the bus straight into the door.....and needed 6 stitches in the leg on arrival in El Chalten. Luckily for us, as deserted as this village is, maybe they did have a doctor and a little hospital. The bus driver even drove us to the hospital onroute to the bus station. Doc Massimo ordered Nicky to rest...so of course we went out and did a 3 hour hike!(she sure is a hard lassie:Tim) Anyhow stitched back together again we had a closer inspection, through the rain, clouds and mist, of our surroundings. The only way I can describe the little town is that it was something out of "Little house on the Prarie". Little log houses scattered here and there on these open plains, encased in mountains. Quite something else.
We spent the first afternoon attempting to hike to one of the lagoons, a couple of hours away. Somewhere along the line we must have taken a wrong route and missed it completely. But after deciding it was just another frozen lake after all...*yawn....hee hee*, we came across the vista point. The next day was a little brighter and we decided to hike to see the Torre Glacier and Laguna. As we reached the vista point the clouds opened up and we were able to see the moutain range we were hiking towards. The Torre (means tower) and we felt like we were hiking through "Lords of the Rings" country. The Torre lagoon and (was frozen over of course) but the glacier behind it was magnificent. Much like the Moreno Glacier it too is an advancing glacier (meaning it continues to grow and literally advance forward from the mountain base).
Unfortunately the Fitzroy Massiff was clouded over the entire time we were in El Chalten so we didnt get to see the main event but I bought a postcard!
Thats about it from us
Take care and lots of love
Nicky and Tim