Sunday, 23 December 2007

Patagonia - Part 2

After all the excitement of seeing the famous Perito Moreno Glacier in the evening we headed down to one of the most famous local restaurants which served a traditional Argentinean parilla (gril). The meat feast was great and the wine – Altas Cumbers Malbec matched it very well and was one of the best wines we had in Argentina.
Early the next morning we boarded our trusted bus, fittingly called Peggy, and headed towards El Chalteen in the Fitzroy National Park to see some more mountains and glaciers (and of course for more steak and red wine).

On the way we stopped at Hacienda La Leona, which was a place the famous bank robbers Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid escaped to from America to be eventually caught in Bolivia.

In the Fitzroy National Park we decided to try and organized 25km round trip trek to the Glacier Grande at the foot of Mount Fitzroy and try some ice climbing and zip-lining across a river. It was great fun even if it left us a little bit tired. Nothing that a good steak and plenty of good Malbec could not sort out, though.

After leaving Fitzroy our trip continued through the Patagonian steppe to Bariloche with an overnight stop at the town of Perito Moreno.
Bariloche is located in the Argentinean lake district and was originally the location of many immigrants from Switzerland and Austria, which is reflected in it’s Alpean architecture. The town is famous from it’s chocolate, which we had plenty of opportunities to taste. Bariloche reminded us a little bit of Chamonix.
In the morning we went Trout fishing in one of the lakes surrounding the town in pristinely clean waters. The trip was successful and we’ve managed to come bask with a nice Trout, which we had cooked for dinner by a local restaurant.

After leaving Bariloche we drove though a mountain pass back into Chile to the town of Pucon.
For me Pucon was the favorite place during this trip – a small, relaxed town focused on adventure sports. It reminded me of Queenstown, New Zealand.
We had 2 full activity packed days in Pucon, starting with the live Villarica volcano climb, where we trekked up the icy slopes to the edge of the crater in our crampons and than descended most of the way by sliding down on our bums – great fun.
The next day Alex went with the rest of the group for some white water rafting while I rented a brand new mountain bike and rode for 120km exploring the local scenery.

Sadly the next day it was time to leave Pucon, although we even considered staying longer, and we drove 800km to Santiago de Chile.
It was a little bit strange to be back in a big city after 3 weeks of traveling through wilderness, but Santiago turned out to be quite pleasant for such a big city with many good restaurants and parks and quite a European feel.
Unfortunately this is where our trip had to end it we had to say good byes to all the friends we made on the trip.

1 comment:

Daphne said...

Merry Christmas!!!! Have a wonderful time which I am sure you are enjoying those wonderful trips. Steak and wine is perfect. The photos you post are fabulous. You have seen so many places and you have so many more to see.

Have great time. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!