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Hola, Week 7


Wednesday, Jan. 31

Believe it or not our car was fixed yesterday but we decided to stay another day in Chile Chico. We had rented the Airbnb for five nights thinking the car may take longer to fix but it turned out better than expected. So we decided to stick around to hike the Piedra Clavada Circuit. It took us through some amazing rock formations. In this pic you can barely see Sarah standing beside one rock tower.




We also got to see some cave pictographs in Cuevas Manos. As you can see they were very well preserved and shockingly unguarded.



After our hike we cleaned out the van and got ready to get back on the road. We were very thankful to have had a place to shower, lay our heads and rest up these last few nights.




Keep on rolling,


Scott and Sarah


Thursday, Feb. 1st

We left our Airbnb and stopped by the mechanic’s shop to give Pablo his keys and say goodbye to all the guys who have been so helpful. In spite of all our troubles, we actually had a nice time in Chile Chico. It gave us time to practice our Spanish and even a little time to download some Salsa dance lessons.



We drove to the border and crossed into Argentina. It was a fairly easy process and only took us an hour. Once our passports were stamped we headed to the grocery store in Los Antigous. We picked up a few items then asked the checker for ice but they were out. She directed the guy behind us in line to go outside and show us where we could get some. It was down the road. He was so patient with our poor Spanish. We immediately found the Argentinians to be very helpful.


Exchanging $50 U.S. dollars for Argentinean pesos was quite amazing. The largest peso is 1000; so, our one, $50 bill turned into fifty five physical pieces of paper equalling 55,000 pesos. Compared to Chile, things are quite a bit cheaper in Argentina.



Leaving Los Antigous the landscape became very desolate with more of a high desert landscape. We could only imagine what Route 66 might have been like back in the 1950’s. There are no services, houses or ranches as far as the eye can see. We arrived in Perito Moreno and filled up the tank. Whenever you find a gas station it is important that you fill up whether you need it or not. We are now carrying a gas can just in case the next station is out of gas or waiting for a delivery. We have been to stations where they have a limit on how many liters you can purchase. Heading out of Perito Moreno we bought some freshly made, delicious empanadas from a roadside shop.



The rest of the day we drove for hours passing herds of wild guanacos. We also got to see our first rhea which looks like an ostrich but is some what smaller. Watching them cross the highway is a sight to see; they don’t have four legs but they can run fast. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that Ruta 40 is paved. But it was crazy to see how many potholes there were. Driving is kind of like skiing the bumps you have to always be looking ahead to avoid a disaster.




We found a beautiful site along a river bank where we pulled up and unwound for the rest of the evening. The views of the sunset were stunning. We were the only ones round for miles and miles and miles.



Keep on rolling,

Scott and Sarah



Friday, Feb. 2nd

It was a beautiful morning and we were in no rush to leave. Coffee, breakfast and some studying of Spanish began the day. The barrenness of the landscape is overwhelming and beautiful and we wanted to enjoy the solitude. Our goal was to drive to El Chalten today which took us over five hours. Three of those hours were spent covering 45 miles of an unpaved stretch of Ruta 40. The road was covered in deep rock that was rutted by all the cars. We had to pass from rut to rut at times which was like crossing the wake of a boat on water skis.




Just a side note. All along Ruta 40, there is low fence on both sides of the road. Unfortunately, guanaco's are not the best at jumping fences. Sadly, the fences are literally littered with dead animals that have gotten caught. There were too many to count.



We finally made it to El Chalten under clouds and light rain. Where we spent the night in the bus station parking lot. We checked the weather for the next morning which showed us that we were going to have the first sunny day in over a week. That was our cue. We packed up some food and got all of our clothes together for a hike to Fitz Roy the next morning. We went to bed feeling excited and hopeful.



Keep on Rolling,


Scott and Sarah



Saturday, Feb. 3rd.

“It’s six O’clock, Honey and it’s time to get going.” Those are not Sarah’s favorite words but she arose to a cloudless sky and 40 degree weather. We were in for a most amazing day. In total it was an 8 hour hike, out and back. Many people were on the trail but it did not detract from the beauty in the least. The last kilometer climbs straight up reaching the lake and view of Fitz Roy that is indescribable.



We have done our fair share of traveling; New Zealand, Iceland, Thailand, Israel, Ireland, England, Canada, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Alaska, Costa Rica, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, France and almost all 50 states in the U.S. but nothing prepared us for this. Half dome and El Capitan hold a close second, but Fitz Roy blew us away. Our photos were so disappointing to us because they can’t capture the scale and majesty of what we can see with our eyes. If you ever get the chance to visit Patagonia I would highly recommend it. Nuff said, enjoy some pics.




Keep on rolling,


Scott and Sarah



Sunday, Feb. 4th

It rained all night and was still raining when we woke; we both slept in until 8:00 am. As we started our day, we agreed that we were so fortunate to have had a sunny day yesterday for our amazing hike. We decided to not rush on to the next adventure but to get coffee and pastries at a local place and then get on the road. Our goal for the day was to drive to El Calafate where we planned to see the Perito Moreno glacier.



Our drive took us through La Leona which was a hideout for Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. Out in the middle of nowhere somebody put a coffee shop/tourist trap and some horse stables. Whoever owns the place is making bank, robbing people blind like the two hooligans that once hung out there. We rolled into El Calafate, did some shopping and then found a place to camp overlooking a scenic lake. Overall it was a lazy, enjoyable day.



Keep on rolling,


Scott and Sarah



Monday, Feb. 5th

Today was unbelievable! The night was incredibly windy and the van was rocking the whole time. To say we had a good nights sleep would be an overstatement. But that did not deter us from rising early with great anticipation because we were heading for the Perito Moreno glacier.

When we arrived at the glacier, as we got out of the car, there was a tremendous crack that filled the air and then a roar soon followed. Although we could not see it we were filled with a rush of excitement. The National Park has created an amazing system of steel catwalks that crisscross a hillside directly across from the glacier. At first glance, the glacier is overwhelming. It is huge, with a height of 220 feet and over 2 miles wide.




We have been on glaciers in Iceland, New Zealand and Alaska but nothing quite like this. This one was very active and alive. The weather was mixed with clouds and a little drizzle but it all added to the mystique of this beast. While standing there Sarah kept saying, “I think that portion of wall is going to crack”. Not much later, I happened to have my video running, and I heard the crack. It was unbelievable as the whole wall of ice came crashing down into the water below. It was a full “National Geographic” moment. Sarah was so excited that she came out of her shoes! We spent a few hours there and we didn’t want to leave but we finally gave in to the warmth of the cafe and coffee.



We spent the rest of the day looking in the shops of El Calafate. As we were looking around the town we ran into a couple that met on Fitz Roy. We spent about an hour standing on the street just chatting about life. We decided to stay in an established campground for the night because we wanted some showers and a good nights sleep. At the campground we met another young couple from Germany. They had just finished their bicycle tour from Ecuador. They had just sold their bikes and gear and were heading back home feeling very sad to be done. Our day was over but it turned out to be a very memorable one.



Keep on rolling,


Scott and Sarah

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7 Comments


So amazing!!!!!! Enjoying all the photos!!! Hugs

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Incredible! Really enjoying your narration AND the stunning pics.! Stay safe!

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WOW! AMAZING! So glad you car is better!

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Glad you guys are rolling again! Beautiful pics!

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Wow! Incredible! Thesa, keeps sending me your updates. So exciting to watch and read your adventures.

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