El Chalten adventures – Part 2

Hope you enjoyed our blog on our first Hitchhiking adventure! This one is all about the hikes we did (tried to).

We woke up and it was blue skies all around! Perfecto! We decided we were going to do the 8 hour Cerro Fitz Roy hike as blue skies meant we will have a great view on our walk. The first hour and a half hour was a bit tough as we climbing up but after that we enjoyed a stream of stunning views walking through flat trails.

We got to the end of the flat trail where the hardest part of the hike was waiting for us. This was a climb up rocks of 400 metres in just 1 km. Rikki decided against it as he had tendonitis and I was going to give it a go. It was a very tough climb and tougher doing it by myself. When you get to the top, well at least what I thought was the top there was another hill to climb. By this time I lost all energy and almost didn’t make the final 5 minute walk down to this rock as it meant i would have to climb up another hill to get back!! However, once I got to the top it was worth it. There was snow and the wind had picked up but so was my spirit / energy level! I then walked down the hill to get a photo next to the laguna wih the mountains behind me. By this time the cloud had covered the highest peak but it didn’t matter as I still thought it was amazing. I didn’t want to wait around either as I was conscious of how long I had been away from Rikki.

As I was walking up I sent couple of messages down via other walkers, hoping it would get to Rikki that it has taken me a while to climb up (2 hours) but I’m still alive. None of which Rikki got so when I got down three hours later he was cold and clueless! I would say this was the hardest climb I had done and was glad to see Rikki waiting where I had left him!

Unfortunately, Rikki’s knees started playing up again and we walked the last 3.5 to 4 hours down very slowly. It was very painful watching Rikki try walk it back. When we finally made it down after almost 10 hours of walking we were relieved and ready for a big meal. We ordered a Milanese with fries and 2 eggs with a big salad and beer of course! We both crashed hard that night.

The next day we had planned to do a 6 hour walk to Cerro Torre but since things didn’t go too well for us the day before, Rikki was going to stay back at the hostel and go to the chemist to get knees braces, ibuprofen and an ice pack. I went ahead with the walk as Rikki insisted he will be fine.

The walk was beautiful and quiet as I had started early. I got to the 3km mark after 1.5 hours and the view was pretty but Cerro Torre was covered in clouds. I decided not to walk the remaining 6km although it was meant to take only another 1 hour 45 minutes (pretty flat) as I was worried about Rikki, my legs were tired and we had a 6pm bus to El Calafate.

We spent the afternoon reading. I read the “Marching Powder” which is a great read about San Pedro prison in La Paz, Bolivia and an English inmate, Thomas. It was a very fascinating read as the prison is nothing like you would expect a prison to be due to the corruption. Highly recommend it and I’m looking forward to seeing it when we are in La Paz.

Overall we found El Chalten to be a beautiful small town and great for hikers whilst being affordable in comparison to Torres del Paine in Puerto Natales!

CaYf Kumu

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