Me Embracing the World

Me Embracing the World

Monday, February 12, 2007

Glaciers! Glaciers! (El Calafate, Argentina)

So, I´m in El Calafate, Argentina... and its only been... 10 days? I spent 10 days in El Bolson?! How? Why? Well, Its a funny story. I was waiting for my bank card, which I lost all the way back in Santiago to show up from the states. The funny part is that it was sitting in the bus station, just waiting for me for a week, while I toiled, labored, sweat, and cry, trying to work it out with Fedex representatives, Wamu representatives, Club Andino (where I sent the card) representatives, and Correo Argentina (where I redirected the card) representatives, over the phone, on the internet and in person.

Am I still upset? No, but I do feel more than a little foolish.

Luckily it provided me with the time to do a sublimely wonderful 4 day trek in the mountains around Hielo Azul. Accompanying me was the usual company of Kathleen, Andreas, and Katrine, but we also had the addition of Bruno from Rosario (which is a few hours north of Buenos Aires). It was a wonderful hike... heres the lowdown.

  • 1st Day: 6 hour hike up 1300 meters to the base of the Hielo Azul Glacier(Blue Ice, go figure...). This was the testing day to see how my leg would fair, and it felt great! It also was a reminder of what I learned in Colca Canyon, that 1000m is actually quite a lot more than 1000 ft. :) (3.3 times to be percise). Awaiting us up top was a beutiful refugio with water pressure, home cooking and great veiws. We celebrated Kathleen´s birthday in style with the free homade beer they gave us.
  • 2nd Day: We changed our plans and stayed an extra day at the refugio so that we could climb up to see the glacier. The path was steep... well no, the path was nonexistent! Which made for a great adventure on the way up and tricky footing on the way down. I walked up alone, and it was quite an empowering feeling to boulder up some unmarked terrain to a glacier up high in the Andes.
  • 3rd Day: We descend to Cajon del Azul, walking for 3 hours over a mountain ridge and then decending into the neighboring valley. The thing is... in argentina, they don´t really understand the concept of ´gradual´, so on our way down we were bassically falling, running, grabbing on to trees to stop ourselves from sliding down the mountain. And of course, half way through, the trail just disappears. At that point, Kathleen and I just started running, hopping logs, really hauling, and we decended the whole 1000m in around 45 mins. The Cajon is a small canyon carved by the crystal blue river and was just beautiful.
  • 4th Day: With what scraps of food we have left (I think it was 7 crackers and 2 pieces of salami) we walk back out to the road. I walked with Maria, from BA, who we met in the refugio, and we talked all about cooking zucchini. Apparently, down here they do zuchinni boats down here too, mom, but they use a white sauce! Also they use these cool round zuchinnis that they have down here... and white eggplant! I should bring some back... give you guys some variety.

So, as soon as my card arrived, I was out of there, hopped a bus that day to Rio Gallegos..... 24 hours. And not an easy 24 hours either, like in Chile, a LONG 24 hours. When I got there I was more than ok with the fact that they had no buses to El Calafate till the next day and I finally got a good nights sleep (I´ve been sleeping on bad mattresses for 10 days now).

And now here I am!

A small town El Calafate is about one thing and one thing only, Glaciers!

Tommorrow is the famous Perito Moreno and the next day I might hop the 4 hours up to El Chaltén to do some hiking and maybe even, if I´m up to it, ice climbing.

Chao and Love Chicos!

1 comment:

Jerome said...

Yea!!!!!!!!!!
Yeah!!!
Yipee!!

Wow!

Thanks for the details...love ya --
Dad