Giantbarilochemuffins. For looking. Not for eating.

Wonderful setting
Chocolate
Swiss ski resort feel
Up and down
Saturday afternoon excursion, instead of on a mountain, in a bus. Rain outside.
Beschlagene Scheiben
Got drenched
Got back
Went bowling in a shopping mall. Watched N play her first game ever. Laughed. Applauded.
Kayaking
Horse riding. French girls. Galloping without falling off, I’m a hero.
Bruised legs
Beautiful day. Beautiful days.

SaturdayAfternoonNoHikingBusAdventure

 

 

The reason

Esquel_S 42° 54 0 W 71° 19 0

After almost a whole day of driving through absolute nothingness

In Esquel, people like to water their front lawn. Even if they don’t have a front lawn.

Random thoughts pop up in my head, in this place –
If the Argentinians didn’t eat so many cows, there would be less leather bags
Waterfalls never look good on pictures
In Argentina, you always have stuff in your shoes

Parque de los Alerces

Day one: a group excursion (or: a social experiment)
Moohs and määähs
A boat
Sandwiches
Cheese
No tomatoes
A day at the lake
A lot of laughter. And stretching.

D und NMe and N

Day two: a beautiful 7hrs hike around the lake
After every peak we climbed, there was another one
Bamboo
Wind
Ice fields
Loose rocks
Breathtaking views
Back down: an hour in the sun
Warm skin, hidden

Downdown, down, down

The road always winds. Up or down.
An old man takes our bus. He gets on next to purple flowers. And leaves again at the beginning of the town.

Esquel: left

09 January

D broke a sink in the hostel and they had lettuce again
El Chaltén. What a place
I ate the berryicecream, so I will be back

Already more than 16hrs on the bus
Another 6 or so to go
Out there: nothing

Nothing

Earlier: snow capped mountains in the very far distance
Some guanacos
Some sheep
I don’t remember when I last travelled on such a bumpy dirt road for so many kms
We stop in the weirdest places
Thicker Than Water in my ears
Yellowishgreen bushes
And the horizon
Treelessness
It’s all a bit greybluishpurple
A few more sheep – if they know their way home?
A loud movie in Russian
Next stop: middle of nowhere
It must be a million degrees in this bus
Curtains
No view
Jack sings for me
6pm
Another 3-5hrs
The sun is highhigh up in the sky

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

El Calafate_S 50°2060” W 72°1760”
03 January

It’s been eight and a half years since I’ve been to South America.
It seemed unreachable for a long time and for no reason, but here I am.
Back.
Patagonia.

A long journey. FRA-BsAs1-BsAs2-EC.
Long hours
No sleep
No personal entertainment system on a 13+hrs flight, but three new spoons form y airlinespooncollection, yay!

A very informative taxi ride from the tiny airport to El Calafate
Funny guy. Tons of information. No pause.

My bad arrived, standby-nostandby, Aerolinas Argentinas is a catastrophe.
Nice little encounters
An even nicer reunion
Sometimes time passes without passing

04 January

It’s the fourth of the new year, and I woke up at the almostendoftheworld.

A bus to el Parque Nacional de los Glaciares
Perito Moreno
Massive
Impressive
Breathtaking noises
Breaking ice blocks
Big waves
Open mouths
Pictureperfectperitomorenopictures

Perito. Moreno. Pretty. Massive.

A walk on the glacier
Spiked shoes
Shy steps
Ohs and ahs
Nobody falls into a crevasse
Phew
A very, very windy place
Wind everywhere. On the boat. Sitting on the rocks. On the bus.

Boated.

I look into the distance and pretend to bet he only person in the world.
Endless landscapes
A gigantic Lago Argentino
Tiny houses

Dirt in my hair
Weather on my skin
I am exhausted
I am happy
I just am. Happy.

Them.

05 January

Sitting on a bus
Driving through Patagonia
Tiredness of a sleepless night
But I don’t want to close my eyes
I don’t want to miss a second of what’s outside
Terrible music, loud, it would be impossible to sleep anyways
The sun gets up early and sets very late. It’s forever light outside.
Wide plains
Mountains
Lakes
Shrubs, no trees

This place is empty

Traces of people who passed, left, are gone. Not much else out there.

It’s good to be here
Sweet nothingness
And then: snowcovered mountains