Day 132 & 133: El Calafate to El Chalten – Trekking to Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torres

After relaxing a day in El Calafate our group decided to go back to El Chalten since so many people were so enthusiastic about the nature and the mountains. 

After a great breakfast (actually the best since weeks) we started our day rather late but considering only 250 km and 3,5 hours to get to El Chalten seemed to be absolutely alright.

What we did not consider until so far was the famous Patagonian wind. When we already thought the wind would be strong over the last days then today we were facing a completely different scenario. Comparable to a storm in Europe when people stay at home and drink a cup of hot tea, we were like: Alright, let’s go outside for a ride! LOL!

The wind was so strong that I was scared my tires would get blown away under my butt. Driving around 70 – 80 km/h seemed to be appropriate and made the navigation of the bike under these extreme conditions possible. However, I felt like driving constantly a curve due to the wind pushing me constantly down the road. My helmet got furthermore constantly shaken through in the wind… When I was stopping to take a picture I had to be careful my bike was not dropping down, so strong was the wind.

Arriving in El Chalten we immediately checked in into the next hostal and went for a short 3 hour hike to the viewpoint of Mount Fitz Roy. The trek was beautiful and lead us through an old forest which reminded me rather of a magic fairytale than an ordinary landscape. The path eventually also followed the edge of the mountain and revealed beautiful views on the valley with its magnificent snow capped mountain ranges in the background. The weather was beautiful… blue sky, a couple of clouds and an intense sun.

When we arrived at the viewpoint however, the whole scenario was changing and suddenly we had nothing else but a grey curtain which was covering the whole landscape. We could have had a guess on how it possibly looked like… well, this is Patagonia and weather forecasts are like playing the roulette. This time we lost!

The next day Joao and Alice decided to stay in town to relax a bit more while I was keen to explore more of this beautiful landscape. Besides mount Fitz Roy there was also another stunning mountain range one can admire, the cerro torres. The hike took me in total about 6 – 7 hours while totally enjoying my day off from the biking.

I felt to be free… It is a great feeling! I was walking quite fast and passed by a lot of other hikers who had the same goal than me.  I highly enjoyed my day off from my bike and enjoyed the silence of the nature. Only now and every then a bird was singing a song for me and I loved to hear my steps on the ground which made a calming sound.

I passed amazing landscapes with silver grey trees and hush green mountains at both sides of my trek. I only made a short 5 minute break at a nice look out and strengthened myself with some healthy power food, a banana and a few walnuts. How I missed this kind of activity and had to think back about my time in New Zealand which reminded me a lot of this hike.

When I finally arrived at the laguna torres and the famous mountain range I unfortunately faced again some deep hanging clouds and I could again only guess how it could look like. This time I had some more time and practiced to be patient. After waiting for a bit more than an hour the sky started to clear off and suddenly I saw the amazing towers of rocks. The most challenging mountains one can climb in the world. It was just beautiful… Additionally, I was fascinated by the clouds which tried to slowly pass the mountains leaving some bits and pieces of their existence behind.

At the end of the day I was quite tired but did not want to miss the Argentinian beef which is just the best in the world…. absolutely delicious!

El Calafate to El Chalet