Day 1: El Calafate to El Chalten to Campamento Poincenot
Arrived in El Chalten this morning after a good morning bus ride. At the half way stop, a little cat hopped on and explored the bus (meowed, hid under chairs, and scrounged our legs for food). We shooed him off just before the bus driver accelerated to continue down the road.
In town (raining, completely overcast, gray skies, and windy –no view except for twenty feet in front of you — motivating, right?), bought some freshy fresh bell peppers and some bread to solidify my food stash in my pack and headed off down the road towards the trailhead at the end of town. Halfway walking through the middle of nowhere, my friend Max, from El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier, bumped into me and we continued together. The rain stopped and the sun tried to come out, so we stripped down and hiked in our long underwear.
All the trees and bushes decided to “Go Autumn” on us.
By the time we arrived at camp, my fingers were so cold/numb/malfunctional, that it took me 20 minutes to rig my tent (compared to the normal 8). Three other tents at camp, so not too bad. Max napped. I ate dinner and had free surround sound entertainment while I cooked and then while I munched. Two big, BIG, birds (that looked like eagles) were preaching to the whole world about how upset they were that the whole day was cloudy and windy. Or maybe baby was just trying to find mama, but baby was bigger than mama. Regardless, they came super close to me to really make a statement (10 feet away from me hopping on the dirt and directly above me squawking in the trees).
During this whole sha-bang, I started talking with another confused/impressed/amused onlooker, Amelia from Bouler, Colorado. She had been hiking around for a few days and we watched the commotion together. A guy she had met at another camp, Mike from Vancouver, joined our conversation and we chatted for a while. After Max arose from his slumber, the four of us headed down to the river flood plain to patiently wait and watch Fitzroy taunt us with his cloud cover.
“Say it with me: `This isn`t beautiful!`…I don´t have my camera!” -Max
Well we waited and drank tea and waited more and laughed and then decided to call it a night. We vowed to see Fitzy Fritzy in the morning.