El Calafate to El Chalten


After listening to a folk band in the campsite bar, and sampling (yet more) litres of Quilmes, our trusty pedal-powered hero woke fairly late and drank several cups of coffee and ate lots of toast and alfajor (yummy chocolate/ducle leche things). He then spent what seemed like an eternity trying to reorganise his panniers to be a) more convienient for commonly used items and b) with more weight at the front of the bike (who shall henceforth be known as Foxy Lady). Neither of these objectives were achieved and so the mission was abandoned in favour of cycling.
Weather was nice but reasonably windy. Lunch was ducle de leche and bananas on crackers and some turron.

Soon after Lago Argentina had slid behind a hill I came across a house in the middle of knowhere with "Bar" written on it. I headed in chased my barking dogs and it turned out to be a campsite too. So I gave in and ordered some food. On asking what he had on offer I was offered some piddling sandwiches and cakes, and then he offered a plate of beef steak. My eyes lit up and no more communication was required. Then dead cow was served with grated carrot and tomato and washed down by a black beer called Antares.

The next day was the sunniest and least windy day I have had yet so much so that my jacket stayed off all day and my arms got a touch of sunburn. I put in 120km to reach El Chalten just as it was getting dark. The whole day I was heading closer and closer to the mind boggling peaks of Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. I installed myself at the campsite and got a pizza. Disappointment ensued as I was unable to manage the entire pizza. The first time such a fate has befallen me. I think my stomach is getting smaller. Either that or it is the enormous quantity of cheese they use here.

Today the weather is much the same: balmy. I walked up to the Laguna Torre which is an excellent viewpoint for Cerro Torre, a crazily steep and magestic tower. I wore shorts (but long sleeves because of sun burned arms) and carried a very light pack with water, biscuits and not much else. Quite a relaxing walk through delightful countryside. I may have to stay here some time as my timing for the ferry to Villa O´Higgins is a little muddled. In fact I still can´t work out if it goes on Fridays or Saturdays such is the quality of the infomation. Well, tomorrow I plan to hike to the Mount Fitz Roy viewpoint and then we´ll see. If I miss the Friday/Saturday ferry there is one on Tuesday (or maybe its Wednesday). All a little confusing.

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