1.16.2008

No Hay Peanut Butter

When I was in France, I was trying to find Peanut Butter in the grocery store. When I asked my flatmates boyfriend to help me because he spoke English, he did not even know what I was talking about. I tried to explain the concept of ground up peanuts and the fact that we put it on bread and he thought I was crazy. Well, the same thing goes for the Argentines. They do not have peanut butter. Our plan for our hike was to eat a lot of PB and Js, but it was not meant to be. We are eating a lot of Js though...

We just got back from one two day hike and one long one day hike in the Fitz Roy Range of the Andes in the Argentina side of Patagonia. They were all quite long and grueling hikes, but totally worth it once we got to the end. The first day we hiked into a valley and ended up at a glacier fed lake (Laguna Toro). The trail was hard - the first hour and a half way all uphill, then there was some flat ground, but much of it was marshy and so then we all had wet feet. Next was a loooooong downhill, which sounds like relief, but really is harder on me than the uphill. When we got to the bottom of the downhill, it began to rain really hard and the wind picked up. We hiked the last hour in the wind driven rain (haha, sounds like I am writing a PW) and finally arrived to camp about 6 hours after we had set out. Then we have to deal with starting the stove in the wind and rain and setting up the tent....but to me the challenge is what is part of the fun. The next day we hiked back, again, it was up, then flat, then down. CK hurt his knee on the downhill section and has been gimping around for the last couple of days.

Yesterday I (without the gimp) hiked up to the Laguna de los Tres, which is a path that affords beautiful views of Cerro (Mt) Fitz Roy, which is a huge craggy peak, and the tallest (at 3500 M) around. There is still snow on the top and the moutain shines kind of a bluish grey color. It really was a sight to behold. I have photos, but somehow they just do not do it justice...

Today we bussed back to El Calafate and tomorrow we will go to the Perito Moreno glacier, which is supposed to be quite a sight. Then Grant leaves us tomorrow afternoon and the rest of us (S, CK and I) go on to Puerto Natales, which is the Chilean side of Patagonia. From there we will tackle the "W" (S) and the "Curcuit" (me and CK) trails (5 and 8 days respectively). This will be the true test of our hiking and camping skills.

We are all so happy to be back in "civilization" where we can get a hot shower and some laundry done (it has been a while, I wont say how long..it is kind of gross - let me just say, I wouldnt touch any of us with a ten foot pole) and get ourselves ready for our next big hike...

I hope to get some photos and videos online soon, but with the internet the way it is here (Calafate is a really small town) I dont see that happening for a while. The next time I will be in a largish town will probably be in a couple of weeks.

P.S. Funny...as I was talking about smelling bad, a guy sat down at the next computer...and he smells worse than I do! I didnt think it was possible! Ciao!

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