We really are lucky. Friends eithernever came here, or did but the infamous Patagonian weather let them down making good veiws obsolete. Our experience was different - the weather was so good, even the busdriver pulled over to afford us some great photo opportunities - The famous Fitz Roy range. Stunning.
Our new-found (well, MY new-found) casual acceptance of how travelling seems to be done led us to having to stay in a AR$350pesos-a-night hotel, as apposed to our usual AR$120pesos-a-noght hostel. We had arrived with nothing arranged and after wandering around a few hostels with no luck and the mega hangover from the previous night's exploits in the casino we cut our losses. But only for one night.
As we were plashing out, there was nokitchen to make dinner. Added to the fact that we were gonna try get healthy starting tomorrow, we went out for dinner.
I had a big steak, and Kim risked the trout. So-far my dealings with steak had been good, but Kim's seafood was average at best. But tonight was different. While it came with what Kim dislikes - the bits that tell you what you are eating, it was delicious. My 600gsteak started well, but half-way thru it was underdone for me. I perseveered, not wanting to look like a) a phillistine, b) a daft touristor c) a fussy b******. Also, my fluent grasp of the Spanish language had not quite led me to the right phrase yet.
Anyway, of that 600g, 200 was fat (which Kim duly enjoyed as ever) and another 100 still had a name. See pics for a 'Medium' steak in Argentina!
Nect day we took advantage of the comfy bed, the free breakfast and I even had a shave! But our amazing luck with the weather ran out as it was overcast and very windy. But we hopedit would clear soon and embarked. A little rain after a while turned heavy enough to deploy ponchos. But today we were not feeling the love for walking. Getting to the first viewpoint was a drag and seeing nothing but cloud we were starting to consider other options.
We got just before halfway whenenough was enough. Today was a beaten docket. En route home we met Sophie and Matt, an English couple we would meet again on our flight back to BA. We went our separate ways at the bottom but we were all ultimately goin to do the same, surf the net and drink. Somuch for healthy living!
The following day and one of my Patagonian, nay, whole trip, highlights - Rockclimbing!!! An early start but I was keen as mustard to get going. I met with my super-hot instructor Milena (Miley), who would teach me how to rockclimb - on the Fitz Roy range! A veteran of climbing the iconic peak 3 times (and did I mention she was hot?) I was feeling very lucky to be getting this 1-2-1 tuition in such a setting. Kim was not too interested, partly due to over-exposure to extreme-sports, partly due to fear, mostly due to love for her bed. But she did instruct me to get a photo with her, because she was hot. Like other scenes, the photos don't do justice, but I'll let you decide.
The fact we were on a much smaller (but still massive) rockface kinda took some edge off the romantic fantasy of learning to clomb on the Fozt Roy. But Hey! I got to learn to rockclimb in El Chalten! In Patagonia! And apparently I was pretty handy at it - so that'll be another hobby, then. I'm gonna need an extra job to fund that, the camping, the snowboarding, and the sailing, not to mention Kim's part-time life of leisure! I must remember to invent that extra day to fit themall in for definite! But really, I did enjoy it, even if it left me clinging on to a bare, vertical rockface with wind whipping across constantly, and not seeing any easy ways to progress at times. Scary, but fun!
After my exciting morning we hiked up another Munro-equivalent, about 100m, to get the only and brilliant view of the Fitz Roy and Torre peaks. But only for a bit as the weather at the peaks was turning snowy. It was a high and isolated peak we were on which meant we could see for miles. We enjoyed our sandwiches there and got more of my 'panoramics'!
Over all-you-can-eat pozza I waxed lyrical about how proficient a 'Spider Pig' I had become before the repeat of the England-France rugby game. Gluttony, too much beer and our earlier endeavours made us sleepy so half-time and off to bed.
An early bus got us back to El Calafate in time for me to suffer thru the Scotland-Ireland match before readying ourselves for the cheap flight Kimbo found us from Calafate to BA the next day and our departure of Patagonia.
This was always the part of the trip I was looking forward to most. The scenery, trekking and camping were fantastic, even better than I had hoped. But the new-found skills and friends really made it something we won't forget. I can now relax into the rest of the trip, safely knowing everything now is a bonus.