We left El Calafate pretty early in the morning so that we would have time to hike in El Chaltén the same day, although it doesn’t get dark until almost ten o’clock at night. On the three and a half hour drive, I kept wanting to close my eyes and sleep, but I couldn’t stop looking at the bright blue water next to the road, the dry brush, and the occasional huemel looking back at us. I find it fascinating that you can travel halfway across the planet, and see things that look so familiar.
Once in El Chaltén, there are a ton of amazing hikes that begin from various parts of town. When we arrived, we dropped off our luggage, and set off for Laguna Torre. It’s about 6-hours round trip–we started in a flower field, passed through a forest, wandered by a glacial river, and into a rock garden before we reached Laguna Torre. It was pretty warm the entire hike, until we passed through the rocks and saw the water, and then it became freezing and windy. We finally were grateful for all the layers that we had been carrying. We sat and ate lunch by the water, surrounded by white-throated caracaras who seemed to be enjoying the wind. On the way back, I thought for a second that I saw a huemel who was standing still enough for me to photograph, and then realized it was just a dog.
© Sarah Milstein 2016