Day 275 – Parque Nacional Los Glaciares – Day 1 of 4

I checked out of the hostel leaving behind some of the things I did not want to take on the hike and started to walk up the road to the trail head. Pretty quickly you see the first view of Torre Fitz Roy. The closer you get to the Fitz range the more enchanted you become by it. Out of all the parks I have visited, it is one of my favorite places. For me it even stands out above Torres del Paine. The vast beauty and the minimal effort you have to put in to see the range is absurd. People can see it as a long day hike. The hike starts with a slightly steep but short incline. From the top of the first climb you get a great perspective of Chalten. What you see there is pretty much the whole town. Also at the top there is…

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Day 274 – Birthday Pampering

Today was my birthday and I was excited to be in Chalten for  it. Why? Because nearly two years ago I had the best steak of my life here. I couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant but I thought I knew where it was. This morning I was on a mission. Despite the large development in Chalten within the last few years, I found it fairly easily. My memory of where it was, along with the hostel I stayed in was intact. I made sure to look at the restaurant hours and it would indeed be open this evening. It’s not uncommon to find a restaurant closed an odd day of the week or for it to close while owners are on vacation. I walked away from it with the excitement of a child. For now though, I would go and have a meal. I stopped in at place…

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Day 273 – A day on buses & the time I got stuck crossing the border

I spent the majority of my day on buses. The first was a crossing into Argentina through the Dorotea border crossing. Being here brought back some pretty funny memories… Flashback about 2 years ago when I was first here. The last time I was at this border I was denied entry into Argentina because I failed to reproduce my reciprocity fee paper. Argentina and Chile have laws such that if their citizens are charged for a visa to enter a coutry, they will charge the same amount to those from that country. I had paid my fee and had gotten stamped into the country in Buenos Aires so I assumed (incorrectly) that I would be ok. I had left that paper in my bag which I had stored at the hostel which I was heading towards in Argentina. I pleaded my case with the agent explaining that I would never…

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Day 271- 272 – Leaving Puerto Natales

Yesterday I was dropped off at the bus station after my 10 day hike. I immediately looked for a bus to El Calafate for the morning. I wanted a morning bus because then I could leave on the afternoon bus to El Chalten. There are no direct buses to El Chalten from Puerto Natales. It is not frequented as El Calafate and after all this is an international bus that takes you from Chile to Argentina. Unfortunately all the companies were sold out of morning seats and only one had an afternoon bus for the next day. I booked it figuring I would find a cheap place to stay and then take the bus out to Chalten the following day. What I didn’t fully grasp at the time was that the music festival being held in El Calafate was not a small local thing.  The festival included internationally renowned artists…

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Day 270 – Torres del Paine – Day 10 of 10

I set my alarm for 5am in order to make sure I got to my 2:30 bus on time. I had about a 25k (15.5 mile) hike out. When I first woke up I was almost certain I would opt to continue to sleep and catch the last 8pm bus. Then all the reasons why I set my alarm clock started to run through my head. If I leave on the 8pm bus I wouldn’t get into Puerto Natales until 10 or so. Getting a room at that later hour would be harder. Also restaurants might not be open after I take the filth off me. I also had little food. I had some mashed potatoes, half a tomato soup and a small packet of oatmeal. The longer in the day I wait, the hungrier I am going to be. I won’t be able to purchase my bus ride to…

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