This is a continuation of my last two posts about trekking the circuit in Torres del Paine. Click here to read part 1 (which is an introduction to the park) and click here to see part 2. Part 3 was the most challenging of the trek but with the greatest challenges, also come the greatest rewards.
Posts tagged ‘backpacking’
Finally we were going to get our big chance to do the circuit at TDP! The prospect had me nervously excited as I hoped we could carry as much stuff as we had packed for such a long time, every day. Three years ago we failed. I hoped for the best this time around.
After trekking in El Chalten, we took a bus back to El Calafate. El Calafate kind of sucks but unfortunately it's a major hub in Patagonia and is a gateway to the southern part of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (El Chalten serves the northern and free part of the park) and you usually have to go there to transfer to other places you want to travel to.
Three years ago, Laurent & I made a month long trip to Patagonia. We trekked around Fitz Roy from the village of El Chalten for 3 days. I never imagined that three years later, I would be lucky enough to be back in this incredible landscape. But here I was.
I was looking forward to going to El Bolson. I heard it was a beautiful town surrounded by majestic mountains, colorful flowers, homemade beer, artsy stuff, fresh organic berries and had a general laid-back vibe. Yeah, it was kind of a hippy place. But honestly, deep down, I must be one too. I'll come clean. I love this stuff. And I loved El Bolson.
The north of Argentina has one of the most beautiful landscapes in all of the country, if not all of South America. You can drive from thick jungle mountains to giant cactus filled deserts one day and on other days find yourself in cloudforests or standing in front of ancient Andean ruins. One of the biggest, if not the best, wine countries lie in this region, in Cafayate. Salta is the major city in this region and it's filled with animated peñas where you can hear the traditional music sung live, and visit beautiful churches decked out in colonial architecture.
Did you know you all have an inner gaucho? Well you do and I recently discovered mine. In case you don't know, gauchos are the South American version of the North American cowboy. Riding over the pampas on their horse with no name, the nomadic gauchos lived their lives by hunting cattle. Much like the cowboys, guachos were thought to be the honest, strong, silent types, but proud and capable of violence when necessary. Gauchos often carried a faćon (ginormous, sharp knife) tucked into their pockets and they often used only their faćon for eating. They ate, almost exclusively, meat. Even though I am a former vegetarian, I long to be a gaucho. Waving around my faćon, eating my beef and laying in the sun. I finally had the chance.
Whew! What a week! After a tranquil weekend in Tigre, Buenos Aires was a whirwind! Actually it was completely ca-ray-zee! Sometimes in a good way but other times it was just too much.
We took the train from Tigre to Beunos Aires (BA) on Saturday (sigh..almost 2 weeks ago....I am really behind on blog writing-hoping to catch up while I am here relaxing in Uruguay). We had made arrangements for the entire week at various couchsurfer's homes. Except the first night, we decided to just stay in a hostel. We also signed up for Spanish classes (4 hours a day) at a school in downtown BA, Expanish. And if that wasn't enough, we arranged to meet with a tutor for 2 hours every day as well. All of this in a brand new city where we didn't know where anything was and had to learn our way around. I get tired just typing it!
It's about time I wrote something useful. Not that the last post wasn't useful in some way, but I think it was more useful to Laurent & I than to all of you readers out there!
Thanks to all of you who are reading and who voted in our poll. I still don't have a decision on the sailboat and I'm still occasionally watching youtube videos of the Drake. I've curbed the habit a bit though. I think I'm down to about 2 a day. Is there a Drake's Anonymous anyone knows about? I think I have until April to decide about the sailboat. Until then, stay tuned.