The nice thing about being back in civilization? A roof over your head while it is raining outside
The disadvantage? Knowing about what is happening in the world with COVID 19. While the world seems to be shutting down, at least it is still peaceful out here.
Today was a lot of time spent on a bus. Our first leg was a 6 hour ride with BusSur to El Calafate. My first impression of Argentina was that it was a poorer country. Or they just don’t care out infrastructure. Chile had nice roads and a big X ray scanner in the customs center. We knew where the country boundary was because the bus slowed down and then started rolling in gravel. The Argentina border patrol didn’t seem to care much, they just stamped our passes and let us go. Turns out I didn’t have to worry about the salami and cheese we bought last night at the supermarket. I imagine the Chilean side is a bit more strict.
El Calafate upon entry was not that impressive. The landscape was dry and seemed like a dusty wild west town with the architecture basic and the buildings scattered about. We bought tickets to El Chalten (all same prices and similar schedules again). We had 3 hours to spare and went to town to get some lunch and pull out Argentina pesos. The downtown was a lot more lively and nice, albeit touristy.
We met our friend Laura from Canada from the O hike on the bus to El Chalten and got caught up. She tackled the John Gardner pass the day after us, and was caught in the wind and rain. We really dodged the bullet there.
We are now on Ruta 40, which is the longest route in Argentina. This 5000 km highway is known for the scenic views and adventure as it crosses 20 national parks, 18 major rivers, and 27 passes in the Andes. This road stretches from A few kilometers away from town, I caught the picture perfect opportunity of the road heading straight into Fitz Roy near sunset. It was like a live Patagonia logo painted in front of me. Except I was behind a bug splatted windshield. Once into town, I convinced Ingrid, Laura, and a taxi driver to drive 6 km back out of town to inspiration point. We got all out pics (and I got my drone shots of course) and settled to our hostels all happy. For not having to lug my stuff 1.5km and the photoshoot where the driver waited 15 minutes for us, I would say totally worth the $1200 ARS ($20) taxi fare.
We gathered again at La Ruca, German/Italian restaurant with European architecture and beer garden. We got some pizza, salad, goulash (German beef and potatoes), and beer. Salud!