3/24/10: El Calafate, Argentina to El Chalten, Argentina
The mountains here in the Patagonian Andes remind me of Jackie Chan. They may not be the biggest things in the room, but they’re powerful and impressively built, and they’ll kick the butt of anyone who tries to stand on top of them. Plus I bet they too could somehow make a Chris Tucker movie good.
Today we arrived in El Chalten, a popular stop (pop stop) on every backpacker’s tour of Patagonia. Because I am curious about all things historical, I looked up the meaning of El Chalten and found that it translates literally as “a small city built at the the head of numerous hiking trails.” Boy, does it live up to its name. There are about 568 different hiking paths that start in El Chalten (perhaps not coincidentally this is the same as the number of points Evan Turner scored this year), the most famous of which leads up to Mount Fitz Roy. This mountain is only 3,500 meters tall, which would legally qualify it as a less than a midget in Nepal. However, it looks more menacing than a freckle-faced kid with a slingshot.
There are two other trails that we have learned about thus far that I feel should be shared with you. One shorter trail leads to a good lookout for condors. I wouldn’t find this all that exciting except we met an American here in the city who said that seeing a condor flying in the sky from a half mile away was “the highlight of [his] life.” Now I don’t care how boring your life is – if a bird flying that far away can be the highlight, then it’s gotta be good.
The second trail would require a multi-day hike, but it takes you to the biggest glacier in South America. You heard me right, the biggest glacier in South America. I had to reconfirm this tidbit with the lady at our hostel, because after trekking on Perito Moreno yesterday, I found it hard to believe that anything could be bigger than that. Unfortunately we won’t have enough time to see this glacier, but just thinking about Perito Moreno again makes me want to post a bunch more pictures from it.
I’ll leave you with a conversation Zhou and I had today about how much we love Patagonia. While it isn’t the flashiest or most famous region we’ve been to, it definitely ranks up there as one of our favorite few places in the world. Zhou went as far as saying that if someone asked her where to go for a nine-day vacation, she would tell them Patagonia. I then went into deep thought for about 20 minutes and came up with this slogan: you can’t spell “Patagonia, we some want!” without the word “awesome.”
Puzzles for Postcards
Rhyme Time… Special Edition! This week only people who have never won a puzzle can reply (and don’t even think about pretending you haven’t won – we keep a list.) In addition, there is space for two new winners! Solve either the first two rhymes or the second two to win your postcard. (Zhou wrote these, can you tell?)
Teeny-Bopper Edition Rhyme Time:
Miley Cyrus’s alter ego’s yellow fruits
Taylor’s Christmas presents
Winter Attire Edition Rhyme Time:
What a baby cat might use to keep its paw warm
When your neck-warmer vomits wool balls
Picture of the Day: You can tell we forgot to take pictures when I’m including one of Zhou in a rocking chair… from yesterday, nonetheless.