Monday, January 17, 2011

Week Ten Daily Journal

Friday, December 3
El Calafate & El Chaltén, Argentina

After breakfast at our hotel, we hung around town all morning and went to the local chocolate shop to redeem our coupons for free hot chocolate- it was really delicious.  With very little time to spare before our bus, we ran to a sandwich shop and asked for their quickest sammy.  5 minutes and only 28 pesos ($7) later, out came a GIANT chicken milanesa (fried chicken, lettuce, tomato sandwich).  Then we noticed it advertised on the menu as being a half meter long.  Luckily we had some friends to share it with on the bus.  When we arrived in El Chaltén at around 4 pm it was freezing and super windy.  We were really excited when we checked into Hosteria el Paraiso- it was really nice, with a big bathroom that included a hair dryer, heated towel rack and an amazing shower (even if the owner, Henry, was perhaps the least friendly Argentine we have encountered).  After loading up on food for tomorrow at the grocery store (called El Gringuito, ha!) we met back up with Ted, Sarah, Bern, Linda (from Holland) and Antonie (from DC) at the Cerveceria for dinner (pizza, locro) and artisanal beers.

Saturday, December 4
El Chaltén, Argentina

We woke up to a gorgeous day!  Our included breakfast was quite odd- chocolate cake and little ramekins of corn flakes served with pink yogurt.  We started our hike to Laguna Torre at about 9:30 am with the crew from dinner last night and covered the 11k by noon.  We were really lucky to have amazing views of Cerro Torre.  After lunch we walked about halfway back and then took the cut off to the north and passed by the gorgeous lagunas madre y hija for another 8k.  Finally we reached the trail to the Fitz Roy mirador.  Sarah and i headed back (another 2 hour walk, ugh) while the boys went for it, not getting back to town until 10pm!  Sarah and i ended up walking 30k and the guys over 40k- we found out later from a park ranger that they call that route the "Supertrek." (See post, My  Dogs are Barking).  We all met up at the Cerveceria again for dinner.

Sunday, December 5
El Chaltén, Argentina

That's right.  That's the famous
Screw Your Neighbor Isch Don't Think So Heisman Maneuver

We were all so beat from yesterday's walk and the weather was cloudy and windy so just relaxed.  We went to a coffee shop, and then to a restaurant where T&S's friend was working, and then to another coffee shop...  We spent some time sorting out our bus tickets to El Bolson and cooked dinner at Ted, Sarah and Linda's hostel.  We taut everyone how to play screw your neighbor and then went out to a nearby tango bar for what ended up being a crazy night out.

Monday, December 6
El Chaltén, Argentina

Dave had an early morning massage and then we met Bern for breakfast at the casa de te.  After picking up lunch provisions we did two relatively short hikes, to Las Aguilas (for cool views of Fitz Roy in one direction and the steppe and a giant lake in the other) and Los Condores (where we stopped for lunch and watched the soaring condors).  We stopped at the chocolateria for a snack and then Bern gave us both acupuncture (eeee!).  For dinner we met Bern and Linda at La Tapera, which was good.


Tuesday, December 7
El Chaltén & El Calafate, Argentina

I am not pleased.

We had an early morning bus to El Calafate and spent the 5 hours waiting for our next bus in a coffee shop (La Esquina), eating Patagonian lamb for lunch at La Tablita, and stocking up on provisions for our 25 hour bus ride.  The bus ride was fine.  The cama seats were comfortable and the baby sitting behind us was quiet.  They showed a horrible Spanish language slapstick comedy movie, and then Tears of the Sun.  Dinner was perhaps the grossest we've seen yet, some sort of ham loaf with hard boiled eggs and pieces of carrots embedded in it.  The lady across the aisle from us chowed down, though.

Wednesday, December 8
El Bolsón, Argentina

This loveable pup lived at the cabanas.
Another full day on the bus.  They showed 2012, Avatar and Taken.  An 8 year old boy sitting in front of us tried to befriend us but we couldn't understand anything he said.  The bus stopped in the middle of nowhere for us to eat lunch.  We finally got into El Bolsón around 6 pm and made our way to our cabana at Cabañas del Campo, located just outside of town.  Once we got settled we went to the El Bolson Cerveceria where we sampled some artisenal beers (settling on the roja) and pizza.  After stopping st the supermarket for breakfast for the next day we drove all around town looking for Otto Tip Cereveceria.  We ended up somewhere else with gross flat beer.

Thursday, December 9
El Bolson, Argentina

The lighting wasn't great in the kitchen,
so we made Amy wear a headlamp.  Fancy.
 It rained a lot today.  Dave cooked breakfast and we hung out in the cabana before venturing into town for the feria and Internet cafe.  We had empanadas for lunch at La Nona.  We stopped at the supermarket and cooked up some pasta mush for dinner.

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