This is the “easy” part of the trail???

6 Nov

Our second day in Chalten, “The Hiking Capital of Argentina”, we ended up sleeping in (’til 7:30 am –wow!).  By the time we dressed, ate breakfast, and walked to buy empanadas to pack for lunch, we made it to the trail head around 10:30 am. Our goal was to hike two thirds of the Sendero al Fitz Roy (trail to Fitz Roy), as the last third is marked “very steep and dangerous in wind”. There are several named peaks in this chain of mountains, but Fitz Roy is the largest and most distinct with its  jagged points.  Our hike began straight uphill. Our hike continued straight uphill. Not just inclines but hoisting ourselves up ledges that required at least a 90 degree angle of flexion at my hip. Let’s just say most of this trek was not our prettiest moments. I blame “the altitude” on my hyperventilation and mom’s palpatations. Not that we are out of shape for this kind of trail or something.  Needless to say, we did not go two thirds of the sendero but one whopping third. This was no small feat, though! We did trek 9 miles that day. Uphill both ways. In the wind. Barefoot. Seriously, though, that hike kicked our asses for most of the way up. Even the men with 3 llamas carrying gear passed us! We stopped many places along the way for photos and at Laguna Capri for lunch. Unfortunately, Fitz Roy was masked in clouds throughout our hike. We did get to snap a few clear shots the day prior at least. The descent, although easier on the heart and lungs was still a challenge on the legs. To reward ourselves for all the calories burned, we enjoyed sharing a piece of chocolate and raspberry cake and cafes con leche afterwards.  After a short stay in the hotel pool (surrounded by windows looking out to the mountains with trees slapping the glass from the gusty winds) we eventually went to dinner. We ate at a quaint, log cabin-esque cerveceria and microbrewery. I had their excellent negra cerveza (Bock), onion soup, and spinach ravioli filled with pumpkin. Another superb meal!  On Sunday, we must awake at 5:30 am (I’ve got the right bus time this time around!) to make the return trip to el Calafate. The ride is approx 3.5 hours plus one stop.


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