(December 13 – written by “Just Dave”)
We had a nice rest day in El Chalten. Rest was goal one. Getting a photo of Fitz Roy was goal two. Otherwise, our goals were modest – haha.
We didn’t wander far from our apartment. There is a nice bakery on the first floor of our building. That meant that food was close. We needed some Argentina cash and walked all of 500 metres to the bus stop where we heard that there were two ATMs – cash withdrawn without issue (early though, as the ATMs apparently run out of money later in the day).
We had lunch about 300 metres from our place and ran into all of the other members of our posse yesterday. Everyone was sore, which is great. Not great that they were sore but great that us oldies weren’t the only ones feeling the hike-a-bike. Everyone was feeling the hike-n-bike.
We tried all morning to get a photo of Fitz Roy but the clouds were blocking the top most peak. We kept a keen eye out all day and finally around 2PM we got the best view of the day – not 100% Fitz but pretty close. Close enough to check off item number two of our list.
El Chalten is a mountain town. There more adventure travellers here than locals. You can tell the adventure travellers by the hair – apparently facial and head hair need not be trimmed when one is on an adventure. The other dead giveaway is the clothing. Many of the adventure travellers wear smart, high-tech outdoor gear. They often have a backpack or two. The other newest trend, mostly from the European travellers, is a pair of two colour outdoor pants – preferably of two highly contrasting colours. Nothing says “I’m hip and I climbed that mountain” more than a pair of snazzy two coloured outdoor pants, preferably from a maker that is from the Nordic countries.
We like it here – good food, good beer, good coffee. But with our one pair of ordinary pants, limited facial hair and no travel tattoos, and even though we rode here from Alaska, we don’t make the grade, appearance-wise at least.
We head south again tomorrow. We have two long days to El Calafate. Make that two, gloriously paved, tailwind days (except for the headwind parts). We are so looking forward to riding smooth roads and hoping the Patagonia winds continue – we should have 100k by noon – easy. We’ll stop then, get a shower and search our bags for something suitably adventure-looking to wear the rest of the day.