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Day 80 – The Road to El Chalten

December 29, 2010

Location: Road from El Calafate to El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina

Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2010

After two nights in El Calafate and a day on Perito Moreno Glacier, it’s time to head to El Chalten. And you know what that means: another bus ride!

Enough already, right? You’re telling me.

Luckily, the trip wasn’t some all day affair, but at this point anything over an hour is way too long. All to get to El Chalten, the supposed hiking capital of Argentina. No overnight camping trips this time around, though. Just day hikes into the surrounding mountains.



El Chalten is nothing to write home about. El Calafate was considered small, but it’s Nueva York compared to this place. El Chalten is nothing more than a frontier town set up for tourists who have nothing better to do than spend money and time walking up and down mountains. The kind that say things like, “Money can’t buy happiness,” and mean it because, frankly, they have enough money to be happy.

A note about hiking in El Chalten. Apparently there’s a dog problem here. Strays will often follow tourists onto the trails and chase down and occasionally kill the wild animals. Park rangers actually ask tourists to yell at dogs and, if necessary, throw rocks at them if they try to follow them up the trail.

So it’s that kind of town. A place that exists because of mostly foreign tourists, has one working ATM, and sporadic internet service. The kind that’s overrun by wildlife killing dogs. Just the kind of place you’d find a technophile like me.

Why am I doing this again?

GALLERY: No bonus pics today.

Mervyn is a traveler who brings too much, eats too much, and writes way too much.  To learn more, read some of his excessive writing here or flip through the archives.

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