El Chaltén_S 49°19′44” W 72°55′48”

January 8, 2011

While usually a million thoughts run through my mind, this place strangely quiets me down. The most difficult thing to do in this moment is to coordinate apple pie, music, writing, bad coffee and taking in the view.

Coloured little houses
Shops
Cafés
People coming back from the mountains
It’s a tiny place
A few hundred people. I think I’ve seen all of them. Twice.
A handful of streets. ‚Streets’.
Two pharmacies. They know me in both. Painkillers, knee supports and sunscreen.
A speed limit of 25km/h. If you drive any faster, you miss the town.

One of two.

I missed travelling timelessly
When you don’t know which day it is. Tuesday, Sunday.
When you don’t have to be anywhere at a specific time
When you make your own time table
And the only thing you ‚need’ to do is catch that bus to go to that place

Today, again, it is foreverlight
It feels as if you’re never supposed to be tired
The whole place is foreverpresent
The curtain never falls

07 January

Still in El Chaltén
Yesterday: the most gorgeous dayhike of my life so far – Fitz Roy
25km
10hrs
1 knee
We were luckylucky with the weather
Up up up
Through breathtaking scenery
Lakes
Valleys
Mäandrierende Flüsse
Blue skies
Up some more
Dead trees
Exposed roots
Clear rivers
Up some more
The last bit: almost vertical
Loose rocks
The background to the bare and rocky climb: the peaks of Mr. Roy
Up some more and what opens up in front of us is the most beautiful scenery: a clear blue lake in front of those dramatic peaks
A little walk to the left and: another glacier, a turquoise glacier lake on the bottom. A waterfall.
It’s too beautiful to be put into words. So we stare and admire. We repeat the same things all over. Interrupted by some ohs and ahs.

Peter and Fitz

We left at 10am and are back at 8pm
We eat the most deserved ice cream ever
The Patagonianberryicecream tastes like soil. Or maybe that’s just us. We’re ridiculously dirty.
My knees hurt like hell, my lips are burnt.
Dinner and wine, bed.
I feel this good exhaustion in my whole body, the one you choose by going hiking, cause you want to climb a mountain just cause it’s there, just for the hell of it. Or maybe because it’s the most rewarding thing, maybe because you’ve waited fifteen years to come here, maybe because you’d never say no.
And it never gets boring. I never stop admiring. I never stop wondering. I never stop being amazed. And the more places I see, the more I am aware of all the places I haven’t seen yet.
One of the best days of my life ends. It’s still light outside.

08 January

It’s Friday (?) and I woke up to some drizzling rain. It’s all cloudy.
Nine kindergarten kids. Five of them in pink.
A drunk guy at the bus station
Pasaportes y novios
Ticket booked
Only one seat left
Booked flights to Iguazu and BsAs
No clue what I will be doing after N and D will have left
Need to write some emails

Sweet day of doing nothing

The town is out of lettuce. And lamb (the holidays! We shouldn’t have laughed. We both worked for FAO!).
But there are carrots *phew*
Soup of the day: carrots!
Pizza with aubergines: topped with: carrots!
A terrible saxophonist
“The” local band
Don’t remember when I last laughed so much
All captured on video
Poor waitress. Her first day. She might have quit the same night.
The other people (ok, there were only four others, all part of the “band” at some point of the evening) must’ve thought that we were completely stoned. Good thing the Taperia was full. It’s one of these nights.
I still don’t understand what the didgeridoo was doing there

The night our band was born. Over carrot soup. Please note the didgeridoo in the background (not part of our band)

Lago del Desierto_S 49°1’51” W 72°51’33”

Alberto lets me navigate the little boat
To the border with Chile
(Of course the other passengers don’t know this. I don’t think it’s legal. But hey, I am 13,518km away from home (yes, I calculated this), so WTF)
It feels like a God-forsaken place. Military in a small hut to defend what belongs to Argentina only since 1994. Argentina – Chile. A neverending story (?)
The lake: encantado. Escondido.
Glaciers
Waterfalls
Fitz Roy in the notsofar distance

Lago del Desierto. Mr Roy in the background.

A Laurita-lunchbox
If the lake was bigger, the boat ride would’ve lasted longer
The ride back to El Chaltén is stony
Thoughts fly

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