El Cal´ to El Chal´

El Chalten Travel Blog

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Mariana and Yamila at America del Sur. Super helpful. Super friendly. Super cute.

Fearing a big "last night out" in El Calafate with Cynthia and/or the Stanford GSB guys, I had changed my bus trip to El Chalten today - from a 9am departure to a 1pm departure.  The big night out didn´t really materialize, but I was still glad I had changed the time. 

I relaxed in the morning at the America del Sur hostel - enjoying a nice breakfast, free internet, and the company of Mariana and Yamila (the girls at the front desk of the hostel who were super friendly, super helpful, and yes, super cute).

At 12:30pm, I grabbed my bags and big farewell to Mariana and Yamila.

America del Sur Hostel. Awesome.
  We had fun making a quick video and picture to post here.  I hope they come visit the blog, or hook into facebook.  (I can´t seem to post the video here...go to my facebook page, or search "dannyboytravels" on www.youtube.com).

I made the 20 minute walk to the bus station downtown, hoping to stop at an ATM to stock up on cash - the next town of El Chalten doesn´t have an ATM.  Unfortunately, one ATM was out of service, and the other one had a huge line.  It was either a) get cash and miss my bus, or b) make the bus and risk not having enough money to eat for 2 days. 

I chose the latter.

So I found the bus station and hopped on my bus.  It didn´t look like it was going to be crowded until at the last minute a group of 20-somethings hopped on, one grabbing the open seat next to me.

A stop along Ruta 40.
  Clearly it wasn´t his seat, but he wanted to be by his friends who had grabbed the 2 open ones across from me.  I tried to fake him out saying it was assigned seating so he´d better find his correct seat because we might be picking other people up along the way, and it would be really confusing if people weren´t in their correct seats.  He didn´t go for it though.  Oh well.  It was only a 4 hour ride.  And at first whiff, he didn´t smell too bad.

I´m writing this a few days later so I really don´t remember the bus ride.  And you probably don´t care about it anyway.  So I´ll move on.

Arriving in El Chalten, we pulled into the Rancho Grande Hostel where I´d be staying for 2 nights.  This was a fairly big, dorm-style accommodation.  So I checked into my bunk room and settled in, trying to guess who my bunk mates were going to be.

Taking cover from the high winds and dusty air.
  (That´s always fun...kind of like boarding a plane and sitting down, when you start eyeing everyone who comes on board wondering if the fat old guy or the young hottie coming down the aisle will be next to you.)  As usual, I got the former. 

El Chalten, by the way, is a great little town.  Tiny town.  But growing fast, thanks to the wonderful hiking trails nearby.  As usual, I won´t go into details here about the town because you can just wikipedia it, or look at lonelyplanet.com or whatever.  But I´m posting a few pictures. Dirt roads, lots of wind, and half the town is under construction, etc.

They do have a brewpub, though.  So of course I headed out there for dinner and a beer.  Wanting to carbo load before my big hike tomorrow, I went with the lamb ravioli and tasted every kind of home brewed beer they had.  (Don´t worry - that equates to 2 beers - a rubia and a negra).

Knowing I had a big day ahead of me, I went back to the hostel, lounged in the lounge for a few minutes, but was in bed by 11pm.


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Mariana and Yamila at America del …
Mariana and Yamila at America del…
America del Sur Hostel.  Awesome.
America del Sur Hostel. Awesome.
A stop along Ruta 40.
A stop along Ruta 40.
Taking cover from the high winds a…
Taking cover from the high winds …
Enough said.
Enough said.
El Chalten is a small - no, TINY -…
El Chalten is a small - no, TINY …
The dusty, windy streets of develo…
The dusty, windy streets of devel…
The dusty, windy streets of develo…
The dusty, windy streets of devel…
El Chalten
photo by: mountaingirl