From Patagonia to Erfurt

Joined December 2017
  • Day30

    Hello Cerro Torre!

    February 12 in Argentina

    Yes! The hike back to el Chaltén was also very enjoyable, including some unexpected ups and downs. I can´t thank our Australian friends from the camping enough for their recommendation to do the circuit in this direction!

    For a smaller, but still impressive hike I can recommend hikers from all fitness levels the “Mirador Cerro Torre” from el Chaltén. There are some steep sections but you are suddenly rewarded with views of the Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy.

    Have I mentioned how lucky we have been with the weather? There are travellers that have been in el Chaltén for days/weeks without seeing any peaks.
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  • Day29

    A blue jacket @FitzRoy

    February 11 in Argentina

    We woke up at 5:00 am to walk up to the Laguna de los Tres to watch (& photograph!) the sunrise at the bottom of the Mount Fitz Roy lake. The sky seemed cloud-free, stars were still shinning and there was no wind. Sounded like the perfect conditions for this one hour hike, uphill, steep, trekking around 750m (height) in 1,5 kms.

    Micha and I only trek together when it´s flat. As soon as it starts going uphill, my speed is dramatically reduced. I keep going, “sin prisa pero sin pausa” until my pace automatically adjusts to the terrain once more. This is what happened here too, so Micha went ahead.

    We were not alone, half of the Poincenot Camp had also woken up and made their way up! Still dark, and with a couple of layers less I slowly made my way up. I even overtook a couple of hikers, but after climbing the last flight of rock-stairs before a flatter terrain, I realise that I don´t have the jacket around my hips anymore. As I realise, I freeze: should I continue climbing, or should I go down to get it? Maybe someone has seen it and kindly brought it up!?

    I decided to make my way down once more, asking all the hikers if they had seen my turquoise jacket… around 50m meters later, a girl kindly responds that she saw it on the trek path, and hang it on one of the poles and that I should not go down. I think about it, and decide to keep descending and after some meters I am literally the only person that is walking down. I´m not sure how long I descended, I just know that it was 6am as I found my jacket, just behind the last hikers. This was the approximate time that I should have reached the top.

    It is still dark, but I still look up, wondering how much I have descended and consequently how much I have to climb up again. At 6:45 I reached the top, and was happy to see a worried Micha. Nobody had told him about the crazy turquoise jacket lady!

    This was the start to my day, with some extra 600m hike, and a 12km trekking route to the next camp to see the Cerro Torre ahead.

    The day could have started a little better, but it was definitely the day´s highlight. The “connection hike” to the Laguna Torre was not really enjoyable.
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  • Day27

    El Chaltén

    February 9 in Argentina

    We suspect that our car battery has died. Is this Karma? We have been lazy enough to drive to the town centre to grab a couple of empanadas for our 3-day trek and as we wanted to leave to drop our car at the camping place and start trekking, the car would not start.

    There´s no car mechanic in el Chaltén, just a “Gomeria” (tyre repair), but luckily enough they have a battery charger. We´ve been waiting for 5 hours at the bakery in front of our car, and nobody appeared… Manana será otro día.

    I´m not going to go into detail regarding the car rental´s reaction to our problem, because it is not worth it. I´m summarizing it as follows: work on your customer communication skills dearie, there´s room for improvement! Alternatively, let Jenny take over – she´s great with people, and very competent.
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  • Day24

    Para bailar la Pampa 2

    February 6 in Chile

    Strictly speaking, this isn´t Pampa region anymore. But the monotony, and presence of nothing (just landscape) resembled our previous Pampa journey, also along the “Ruta 40”.

    Journey summary:
    Kilometres: 729
    Start time: 11.45
    Border crossing: 13.05
    Stops: 2, for diesel.
    Arrival time at el Chaltén: 00.45

    PS. It is very windy & the clouds formations are amazing.

  • Day23

    After 3 hours of steep trekking and some very light rock climbing, we chilled at the mountain top waiting for the cerro top to show. Unfortunately, never happened! The hike was still amazing, and the views were nearly fantasy-like. A great first hiking experience in Patagiona!

  • Day22

    Catedral de Marmol

    February 4 in Chile

    Never underestimate 100km drive in Patagonia, especially if any of these words are somehow associated: “ripio” & “carretera secundaria”. One tip for the ladies: wear a sport bra.

    The boat trip to the Catedral del Marmol is apparently a compulsory visit in the area. The boat trip, and the extraordinary rock formations was “ok”, a mere 6/10. It was the driving, the views in carretera Austral, and the Lago General Carrera were amazing.

    Our tip: skip this excursion, and enjoy the drive to Chile Chico on your way to the Argentinian border instead. Time & money saving ;)
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  • Day21

    Unexpectedly a trip highlight.

    Morning plan: sheep shearing.

    At 14:00 traditional food tasting, which we didn´t take a bite, apparently in some situations 8 mins is way too late.

    Parade in the afternoon, and horse racing (Carrera Chilena) in the evening. A half an hour before the horse races were supposed to start, I overheard a guy part of the organisation team calling friends/family/acquaintances to see if they were in la Villa. They were looking for racers.

    After dinner, salimos a carretear! Where? Town-gym-transformed-event-hall.

    After mouth-dropping performances of traditional “fantasia de malambo”, and “tambores y boleadoras” the whole town took over the dance floor to the extremely famous “Los Flores de Rucalhue”. Song after song. 4 hours of Rancheritas, pasodobles, corridos and cumbia later, we decided at 3am to leave the next artist “Rafa´s keyboards”.

    Los Chilenos son bien bailones!
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  • Day20

    Villa Cerro Castillo

    February 2 in Chile

    What an amazing valley! I think we are extending our stay.

    Absolutely adore the map we got at the tourist information office. No street names (no need!), and a completely distorted sense of distance. We were told that from our camping place, we should go everywhere by car, as it is outside of town. Literally 700m. We walk.

  • Day19

    Travel itinerary:
    Kilometres: 830
    Start time: 10.30
    Beginning Pampa: 11.30
    Stops: 2, in Esquel and in picturesque Rio Mayo.
    Border crossing: 20.30
    Arrived Coyhaique: 22.30

    Micha is exhausted, and so am I. Micha has been driving, all day and I´ve been navigating, charging our cameras, and taking care of “administrative stuff” in these 9 hours’ drive. 80% of the journey was Pampa. For dessert, 150km of gravel road. After finding two full camping places, we managed to avoid sleeping in the car by taking the last spot in Camping la Alborada. Sandra is incredibly guest-friendly and kind, after such a long day, we appreciated that heart-warming welcome.

    We saw Emus, rabbits, alpacas, random cows and sheep. The changing landscapes were fascinating, it reminded us of Iceland, just blown up to another scale. I think actually, Iceland fits several times in the Pampa region we drove through.

    Border-crossing tip: make sure you ALWAYS cross the option that you have food items with you (they will check and probably find something that you are not aware of), and an address in the town you are planning to sleep in. It´ll save a lot of (unnecessary) stress.
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