Road

Route 40, Argentina

It takes 25 hours to get from El Chaltén to Bariloche by bus. Almost 1500 km. I opted to split it into a two-day bus journey.

Two French girls (Anne and Louise) who were staying at my dorm in El Chalt̩n gave me the details, as they went the other way Рthe road is beautiful, but the scenery gets samey. Also, most of the road is unpaved.

They were certainly right. Route 40 is legendary for its barren nothingness. That is no understatement – there is barely anything around, not even little towns or gas stations. We couldn’t make rest stops for food just because there weren’t any places around. Given that I didn’t bring anything other than half a sandwich and an apple with me, that didn’t bode too well for me… Continue reading

Calafate

El Chaltén, Argentina

Upon arriving at El Chaltén, Andrew and I had no hostel.  We made a little bet – I predicted being turned away from 4 hostels, he predicted 11.  Oddly enough, I was right – but we ended up at a pretty dingy place for the night.  We decided we would search for another hostel with openings for the next day, and buy some groceries for the hike tomorrow.

El Chaltén is a pretty small town, but it felt a little strange – nearly every single building was a hostel or something dedicated to tourism.  There were barely any houses, and barely any locals either – I could hear more Hebrew (and even see it – many signs, including official park trail signs, were in Hebrew) than Spanish!  The “super”mercados are something I would not call “super” either – every grocer was quite lacking, but that’s the case when you end up in an isolated town where you can’t even get cell phone reception with an Argentinian SIM card.  We find our next hostel, prep some chicken and avocado sandwiches for the next day, and have a wonderful Argentinian stew called locro (pumpkin, beans, meat, other yummy stuff) for dinner. Continue reading