After a few days of recovery in Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas (plus a visit to the Sena Otway penguin reserve), Morgan and I headed to Argentina! We crossed into Rio Gallegos where there was nothing for us to do except wait at the bus station for our next bus to El Calafate. We arrived in El Calafate late and night and headed to our couchsurfing friend`s house to stay at. This was a lot of fun, met a girl from Germany and another from the US who was studying in Buenos Aires. Then some girls from Spain, Singapore, and more Germans! We spent two nights there so we could check out El Calafate and go to the Perito Moreno glacier. Strangest thing about El Calafate was how much it was a tourist town. It was perfectly placed near the great outdoors but the town itself made us think of a place like Aspen. Not that we’ve ever been there either, but whatever we have in our heads as our idea of what Aspen would be like. The glacier was incredible, luckily we ended up procrastinating making plans and went late in the day via taxi – which meant less people there, better lighting as the sun set, and time to just sit and watch the glacier… What do you do when you watch a giant chunk of ice? Watch for the pieces to fall off the sides into the water of course! And listen for the ice breaking in other parts – sounds like thunder. Really beautiful. Not to mention all of the skies we’ve been seeing down here in the south… They are so huge and when the sunsets, the clouds look like they are on fire! I have a ton of pictures, so you will have to go look at them.
Then we headed to El Chalten, a smaller town, still growing with tourism, but it’s actually located in the national park of glaciers! Never heard of that before. We did a day hike when we arrived to Lagune Torre, then realized that my knees and ankles still weren’t fully recovered from Torres del Paine, so we didn’t go to the Fitz Roy the next day unfortunately. It’s supposed to be really cool with a giant frozen lake at the base, but oh well! We saw it from afar and spent the day making plans for our next move. From a quick stop back in El Calafate, I left for a long busride up Ruta 40, and Morgan flew out for Buenos Aires!
After two full days on a bus, I was definitely ready to get off. My wish was granted when we stopped in El Bolsón, a town I wanted to visit later on… but since we were already here, why not get off and save myself the next 3 hours on the bus and a later trip! Met up with a girl from Switzerland and a guy from Canada also traveling solo, so we have explored the city a bit and are all using today to recooperate our lives haha. El Bolsón is supposedly a hippie paradise – I guess I can see why… Surrounded by mountains and trees, it’s right in the middle of nature with a lot of artesanial markets and vendors. Sadly, there is also great hiking here but I don’t know if I’m going to be feeling up to it by tomorrow to get any of it done! Still a nice place to take a break… From here I’ll go on to Puerto Madryn on the east coast near Peninsula Valdes. It’s supposed to have amazing marine wildlife – whalewatching, penguin, sea lions… I might try to do a little scuba diving if the price is right!
From Puerto Madryn, I’ll be going to Bariloche, then back into the southern regions of Chile for Christmas and then to the Santiago area for New Years. Unless I find a cheap flight back north to visit Mejillones and my friends there for New Years that is… It’s tough dealing with that temptation… I could travel and visit more places but all I really want to do is pass the holidays with my friends! Doesn’t help that one of the other girls from Mejillones will be able to go back and visit. But we’ll see…
My plans change every day. Three days ago I was going to be helping at an English camp but that fell through with the program (surprise surprise), yesterday I was going to be in Bariloche, and today I ended up being in El Bolsón!!!