Two men, a woman and a dog...
El Calafate Travel Blog› entry 10 of 117 › view all entries
Well, a few dogs in the end, as it turned out. Let me explain...
We were unsure what was to be done with our second and final full day in El Calafate. We had previously tried asking the assistants in the travel agencies what we could do, without success - in fact, the reaction we generally got was of shock, or a look like I had killed a family member - "A second day? I don't understand." So we were left to find our own amusement, seen as the only other option, seeing some other, not quite as good glaciers for another 250 potatoes, didn't appeal. So we popped into a hostel that specialised in treks to ask for some advice. There we were told a walk could be arranged.
Our walk turned out just to be us two with a (non-official) guide, or someone who just enjoyed walking and had lived in El Calafate for a long time. However, after visiting the supermercardo and on our way to meet said accomplice, a rather friendly dog decided to follow us. I thought she would get bored, but for some reason she decided we were to be her owners for the day, or as long as we could be got to, anyway. Little did we know at this point that the dog would stay with us for the whole day. After meeting Federico, our guide, we started the ascent. What was in front of us looked like something we wouldn't even contemplate tackling. But we did. I kept thinking we were going to find an easier route to one side or something and tackle it that way but, no, we tackled it pretty much head on, as you see it on the pictures.
The walking was tough but still very enjoyable. The weather on our ascent was fine, quite warm in fact. Above us, we could see hawks circling the mountain. The terrain was soft and Federico warned us that conditions were not ideal. We could see that towards the national park area there was rain, and we were told that if it came our way we would have to descend immediately, as conditions would have been too dangerous. Unfortunately, this was the case. The first sign of rains and an increase in wind and Federico said we should turn back. I was really disappointed as we were only about 250-300m from the top and the views we had from almost the top were incredible so I was keen to see the finished article.
The descent was actually much more challenging than the ascent, even if it took a lot less energy. The winds became swift and the soft texture of the ground from rain the night before made getting a good grip hard. Some parts were challenging, and some required you having to slide down on your behind, it was that steep. Our new friend, Hobo as I named her, breezed down, while we cautiously got to the bottom. Once down, we thanked Federico, who was unwilling to take any payment for an exciting day, and said farewell. Hobo, on the other hand, wasn't so easy to say goodbye to, and after about five minutes of walking with her by our side, we had two more friendly dogs with us, who proceeded to walk with us until we got to our hostel. Good ol' Hobo.