The criss-crossing starts
04.05.2006 12 °C
After a very pleasurable evening (with the odd drink) listening to a local play some excellent songs on the guitar i woke up in what seemed like a mansion of the normal tents, i could actually lie flat out in them. As i meantioned before, the weather had deteriorated considerably and half of our tents had actually become swimming pools, so we set of for El Calefate in Argentina a day early in search of a bed. The main reason to come here, well, the only reason was to see the Moreno Glacier. The fastest moving Glacier in the world. We had a couple of days here and a very nice town it was. With a whole fleet of tourist trucks in our hostel and a couple of days to spare there seemed nothing for it but to experience the nightlife which consisted of, and i quote "The original Irish pub of Patagonia". Now i´ve never been to Ireland but i´m pretty sure this is not typical Irish pub. It certainly didnt play Irish music (well, U2 i suppose is Irish but that can´t count) but with enough Argentinian beer in us we made a couple of good nights of it.
As i said, the reason to be here was to see the Moreno Glacier. After a solid 3 hours sleep (the nights dont finish till 5am or so here) i got up to go see the glacier. It was well worth it (check the photo), 50-60 metres high and you could here it creaking and cracking. It was like playing a bandit though waiting for bits to fall off into lake below, ´just one more minute - i dont want to miss anything´. In the 3 hours i spent watching it I saw a few occur and at times it sounded like thunder. A spectacular sight.
From El Calefate we headed for El Chalten, a small town in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. It was a very strange town, hardly anyone was about and felt like a ghost town, but here was the starting point for yet another hike, this time to see Mt. Fitz Roy. A 3406m granite pillar which to be honest wasnt a lot different to Torres but this time the walk was actually really enjoyable. With the luck of a fine Autumn day the view was superb. The hike was 30km through woods of a fantstic red colour with a very tough final acsent to the mirador (spanish for viewpoint, see i have learnt something) and even saw a woodpecker. Being my first encounter with a woodpecker i was somewhat disappointed to realise that they don´t actually sound anything like Woody The Woodpecker. It was at this point I also realised that one or two cartoons may not be true to life, I think i aged 12 years in that minute. Maybe there is a chance of me maturing. My stomach then started making my decisions and it was time to head back quick smart for a good feed in the evening before leaving the next day to get yet more Chilean passport stamps.