Kilometers from Montevideo 8349
Wow… again long time no see! Most of the time we try to find places that are a bit off the beaten track, or do wild camping, which means most of the time we have no mobile signal and definitely no Wifi! But now we found the best Wifi we have seen in 4 months, so time for a big update!
After Torres del Paine we made our way to El Calafate. On the way, in the little town Esperanza, we discovered that one of the wheels was leaking oil. This made us decide to find a camping in town in El Calafate and find a mechanic. But when we arrived there we noticed some of the bolts of the wheel were a bit loose, and tightening those seemed to solve the issue. So we decided to make the drive to the Perito Moreno Glacier the next day. We’ve both seen glaciers before, but this one is really impressive! The glacier is really huge, with walls of about 70m high. And the sound it makes when pieces fall off is really impressive as well! It’s really obvious that this glacier is constantly moving. We found a very nice free camping close to the glacier at Lago Roca to spend the night.
Unfortunately there seemed to be an additional problem with the wheel, so we went back to El Calafate. We contacted Jorge the Land Rover specialist we visited earlier in Puerto Madryn, and immediately got some contact details in El Calafate of people who could help us out. The next day we met up with Pablo, who owns a 4×4 adventure tour company in town, including four Defenders ;). He brought us to his own workshop and we quickly found out the problem was not too bad. He fixed it real quick, and even offered us to join him that evening on a 4×4 tour with other Defenders. But that would imply waiting the entire day, so we decided to pass on the opportunity. We thanked him with a nice bottle of wine and continued our journey towards El Chalten.
The drive to El Chalten was really pretty. Driving over the flat pampas towards the high peaks of Fitz Roy mountain and his brothers was really amazing! And we had a very clear day, so could see all the peaks! In town we parked at the Sendero Trailhead, and immediately saw we parked next to Mike, as we did in Torres del Paine as well. Got greeted by a cup of coffee and decided to stay at the parking. It was the real overlander spot and we met a lot of nice people, who we would run into a lot later on. Another cosy parking!
We made the famous hike to the Fitz Roy mirador and Lago de Los Tres the next day, in amazing weather. Clear skies, no clouds and warm enough for shorts ;-). It was a very busy hike though. We had to pass a lot of people on the small trail, and sometimes were stuck in real traffic jams. But that did not make the hike less pretty! We made a detour to the Piedras Blancas lookout, which totalled the hike on 27km, not bad!
After a couple of days in El Chalten the weather changed so we decided to move on. On the way to Perito Moreno National Park we made a stop near Lago Cardiel for the night. And surprisingly we ended up next to Anja and Arjen again, our neighbors of El Chalten (this would happen a lot more often.. :)). The next day we wanted to make a quick stop in the town Gobernador Gregores to fill up and get some shopping done. Perito Moreno National Park is pretty remote, which means no facilities, shops or fuel (the closest fuel is 200km away..). We decided we wanted to have the wheels of Miles balanced as well so went to a Gomeria in town. Unfortunately the guys did not have the right machine for our big wheels, so they only made it worse… So we had to find a different Gomeria. The next one did have the right tools, and did a pretty good job. But meanwhile the supermarket had siesta… So after all we spend a good day in this little town, but at least drove away with everything fixed!
Perito Moreno National Park was a real gem! The free campsite was located next to one of the lakes and had a very good shelter against the never ending Patagonian winds. This meant we could sleep some nights in the tent again! We spend the days in the park with some hiking, scenic drives and some fossil hunting. There was a lot of wildlife to see: lots of guanacos, foxes, all kinds of birds, and lots of condors! And we shared the park with just 4 or 5 other couples, most of whom we met before :). After 5 days in the park it was time to move on. The weather seemed to change and we were in need of some fresh supplies. So we left towards Chile! A long drive through the empty Argentinian steppe and a very long bumpy but scenic ride to the border got us into Chile, where we would embark on the Carretera Austral. More next time!
Ciao! Another update will follow super-quick!