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Patagonia Part 8: El Chalten Days 3 and 4

El Chalten continued to deliver our last few days. On day 3, we did a short hike to the lagos azures y verdes (blue and green lakes), and enjoyed a wonderful picnic courtesy of our guides. Due to the road being washed out higher up, we then biked back to town. It was bumpy but just so beautiful! I do always love seeing the scenery via bike, and the ride wasn’t as scary as I was imagining based on the condition of the road. We managed to beat the school kids to the shop for ice cream, and then had an early dinner to rest up for our last day.

The first three days in El Chalten, Fitz Roy played coy with us as it hid behind the clouds. The last hike was a “friendly” up to this beautifully windy/cold peak that overlooked a glacial lake at the base of Fitz Roy. I felt pretty terrible on the way up, as we had all started to catch a cold. The clouds/lake/mountains made for some interesting pictures and was a great last major view, and I finally got enough energy to join in on the jumping pictures that were all the rage amongst our group. (This was a big deal since I have opted out of any jumping scenarios since I jumped off a shed when I was younger and bruised my feet terribly.)

As we headed back down, I had given up hope of getting a clear view of Fitz Roy.   Then of course, the clouds parted and all of a sudden there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky. It was a major highlight of the trip, and we freaked out with photos. My favorite shot was of a random guy taking a photo. It’s not be, but it’s spiritually me. That last hike was long, and my feet were killing me by the end, but it was my favorite of the trip and I can’t imagine a better one to end it with. I really would like to go back to El Chalten for another week sometime and just hang out/redo these hikes with my camera, a picnic basket, and my tripod. 

We ended the trip by heading back to El Calafate for one last meal, an Asada home cooked for us at the Patagonia Queen. Alvaro got us my favorite flavor of ice cream (but pretended not to in an effort to get me back from all of my teasing of him for not being Rafael’s favorite guide Cynthia). While I felt pretty miserable, it was a wonderful way to spend the last evening with my new friends. The next day began our long journey home, and I enjoyed my time bonding with Steve and Penny in the airport as we flew together to Houston. I then enjoyed the quiet time the rest of the way to reflect on the trip/watch Friends. All in all, it was a wonderful adventure and I’m grateful for this life I get to lead.

 

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