Tuesday, 26 November 2013

22/11/2013 and 23/11/2013 El Chalten

2013-11-23 click date for more photo's

22/11/2013 and 23/11/2013 El Chalten
We are so glad we detoured to El Chalten. It is a really nice place to hang out. The town itself is nothing much to write home about but when you see the setting it is quite something. From almost anywhere in the town you see the silhouettes of Fitzroy and Cerro de Torre usually with their peaks covered in cloud so all the more special when you catch them 'naked'. There is a mix of really expensive hotels and restaurants which cater for the many tourists but also budget hostals (£5.- pp including access to kitchen etc) because the town attracts many hikers and mountaineers(without money but with a lot of passion) The walking here is superb, with excellent tracks and of course even better views. We have come across many dead trees whilst travelling in Patagonia which troubled us somewhat but after talking to people here, we realise that it is quite normal. The roots of the most common tree species here is very sensitive and if the temperature is wrong whole forests will die. This has always been the way but because the wood doesn't decompose as it would in Europe, the dead wood stays around forever.
We went to do a trek on theViedma glacier today and were truly impressed. We were very lucky because we ended up as a group of six with two guides who were passionate climbers and very knowledgeable. Walking on the glacier with crampons and under the glacier in a kind of cave was amazing. This particular glacier is receding rapidly. Partly because of less snow fall in the high mountains and partly because of increased melting.(global warming??? We felt compelled to take hundreds of pictures but of course none of them really capture it. You have to see it for yourself.

Tomorrow we will be back on the bikes again which is just as well really as although our legs are cycle fit they're still complaining after all the hiking.

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