Mission aborted (but the thought was there)

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Sunday, November 28, 2010

We woke up feeling a little stiff (ahem) but after a bit of stretching (mad lizzie style) we were ready to set about another 24km (this time the Cerro Torre) trek but without the vertical height gained in yesterdays trek. Having not eaten anything significant yesterday we were somewhat starving. Oh yes before I go on, we both slept quite well, I was in the bottom bunk which I could hardly fit into because the top one was so close, I did however keep on getting woken up..... by the smell of my walking boots, they were quite simply repulsive and I think now the 6/7 pound pair of walking boots have had their day, they stink and leak in water like no tomorrow.

We wandered down to the bakery through ridiculous winds, we could hardly stand upright and then the rain started (it was becoming apparent that yesterday had indeed been a special day weather wise). We sheltered inside and Lady E made us order two coffees for almost 1.50 each (Erica edit: I needed the caffeine burst). They were extremely good but I couldn't believe we forked out 3 on coffee, that is normally a day’s food budget. We picked up a few empanadas which I managed to order solely in Spanish and although it was probably quite terrible the woman did congratulate me... in Spanish of course. Gosh it feels terrible to be congratulating myself on ordering a couple of chicken empanadas, a few tomato ones and a few meat ones. Erica did the old fashioned point and use her fingers to say how many cakes she wanted (thankfully she only has 8 fingers and a couple of thumbs so cant order anymore than ten at time..... Joke my lover).

We started walking towards the trail start and we quickly made the joint decision that walking in this weather is about as much fun as a dose of herpes, we were feeling good about ourselves though the fact that we were able and willing to get out and walk another 22km the day after such a big walk (we are humouring ourselves in advance of the Inca Trail). We headed back to the hostel and the guy noddingly agreed that it was not a good day to be walking, plus you couldn’t actually see any of the mountains anyway. We managed to change our bus back to El Calafate to an earlier one.  El Chalten despite being nice with great walks doesn’t have too much to offer on a day like this.  We were just fortunate that we had done the walk yesterday.

At 12:30 we boarded our earlier bus, with stinking feet, I do not know how our fellow passengers put up with it. Erica managed to stay awake for about 20 minutes before conking out as usual. I did the rest of the blog and read a bit and before we knew it we were back in El Calafate. We took another taxi to the hostel despite me wanting to walk as I am convinced we are miles away from our Asia fitness peak after sitting in the van in Oz and NZ (the taxi was of course free again though so it didn’t take that much persuading me).

We found our new dorm mates and got chatting to them another couple about our age. In a bit of bizarreness I guessed where one of them was from and got it spot on much to everyone’s amazement including lady E. I guessed somewhere just south of Coventry but moved away perhaps to Worcester, she indeed was born 15 miles South of Cov and now lived in Worcester.

They had lots of wonderful stories to tell us about Buenos Aires, they arrived there from the UK (at the start of a 9 month trip) got robbed before they managed to get into their first hostel (via the old mustard all over your jeans then strangers help you clean it off whilst taking all you have trick) of course they went to the police station and could tell us even more wonderful crime tales of backpackers being subject to armed robberies etc. Just about the right amount to tell super paranoid Stevo the day before he arrives somewhere.  Erica edit:  Andrew had just about gathered his composure in El Chalten – these hiking types didn’t seem the kind to want to rob you half way up a mountain despite having the ideal tools already in hand for the job (they really do love their walking poles around here).

We had a wander into town and decided it was time to splurge again on a meal out. We went to Ricks place (is this actually one of Kade Kinsella’s gaffs?) where we had a barbeque for about 7 a head. Unlimited amounts of BBQ’d lamb, beef, chorizo, blood sausage, other sausages etc etc etc. It was fantastic and I was quite taken aback by just how good a bit of lamb skin is. We also had a bottle of wine with dinner for about 5 so this was a big spend for us, at home though it would be a bargain so you have to splurge occasionally. We always assumed the Aussies were the BBQ experts of the world but in fact not at all, while the Aussies have the catchphrase "Shane, throw a few more shrimps on the Barby", the equivalent in Argentina is “Hugo, throw three or four more whole lambs on the Barby”, they really do know what they are doing, although if you watch them season a steak, my blood pressure rises how quickly a KG of salt disappears.

We were in bed early again though but again I just can’t sleep this far south, I know it is frustrating to hear this Northern Hemisphere peeps, but it only seems to get dark at about 11pm then light again at 5am so I am only ever getting a maximum of 6 hours sleep a night. I’m looking forward to getting further north and getting a bit of darkness smashed in. I am so exhausted still I even managed to fall asleep when I arrived at the hostel, as soon as I did though Erica woke me up just to let me know I had fallen asleep, (Erica edit:  Not exactly) which was nice so I’m a bit of walking zombie at the moment.
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Carlene on

Looks like Cade's got his fingers in all sorts of pies! I'll email a picture of his exploits in Tenerife

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