Friday, January 29, 2010

El Calafate

After 5 days in El Chalten (NO or SLOW internet) and 2 nights on the road we are back in a larger town, El Chalten. We like this town, many people on the streets and very lively also clean and rustic looking. We arrived 11:00AM Friday and leave Monday late afternoon for Bariloche by plane. For Saturday and Sunday we have full day excursion by boat and bus scheduled to visit the lakes and glaciers.
The 5 days in El Chalten were cold and rainy no perfect day but we managed to hike and walk an average of 9 miles a day.
1-23 Rio Mayo to Perito Moreno with Chalten Travel Bus on Route 40 (Gravel Highway) 4.5 hours.
1-24 Perito Moreno in morning to Cave de los Manos, a sidetrip 3 hrs in van on gravel, 2 hrs at the caves then at 1:00PM met the Chalten Travel bus to continue to El Chalten 10 hrs on gravel highway, arriving at midnight in El Chalten and our Hotel (Yes Hotel and a very nice one). 670 km long is the trip Perito Moreno to El Chalten. It was a great ereat experience to see the 9,000 year old cave paintings.
Route 40 is a special route that is open in the summer to travel North and South during winer it is closed. Slowly the road is being rebult with asphalt.
Run into Karen (Hamburg, Germany) in El Chalten met her on the Penguin side trip in P Madryn. Also a few Germans are traveling around here but not as many as the French and Suisse - they are all over! Of course there are always a few Americans and British that are here for the long trip 5 - 10 month all over South America. 
Route 40 WEB Link  
1-25 rainy and windy
1-26 sunny with clouds and very windy, cold went hikeng trails.
1-27 windy some sun hiking trails
1-28 very windy some sun and rain hiking trails

1-29 bus to El Calafate beautiful view of the mountains when we are leaving, some tops we did not see while we were there.
Notes from the WEB Site of HostelTrail
Arguably the most impressive and active glacier in the world, the Moreno Glacier, 80km from the town of El Calafate is a towering 60 metres of craggy rock and ice and is certainly one of Argentina's top sights. With huge chunks of ice splintering off and and dramatically crashing into the crystal waters at regular intervals, this is truly an unmissable sight!
Perched on the southern banks of Lago Argentino, the town of El Calafate has few sites to offer the visitor. It does however, provide a gateway to the Los Glaciares National Park five hours out of town and El Perito Moreno Glacier two hours outside.

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