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Today we drove about 3 hours from El Calafate to El Chalten – another scenic drive with a bunch of photo stops! The drive took us around the east shore of Lago Argentino.

Yes the water really is this blue.
Then we followed the Rio Santa Cruz for a while through some very dry terrain
We kept looking for Wile E Coyote and the Road Runner.

El Chalten sits at the base of Fitz Roy mountain – we started to get amazing views of the mountain about an hour before we reached town!

Fitz Roy from across Viedma Lake.
Almost there!
Wow. Imagine driving towards this view for an hour and it keeps getting better and better.

El Chalten is considered Argentina’s ‘newest’ town – it was built up around the mountaineering center starting in 1985.

The Patagonian climate is famous for its temperament. The local weather forecast says “intense sunshine, a gentle breeze, strong winds, intermittent rains or even surprising snowstorms” and that’s just for today! Another forecast says “wind from 5 to 9 miles per hour with gusts to 49 mph.” We thought it was a joke, but the wind here is incredible and constant!

Metal sculpture of a hiker.
Another funny weather rock
An original mountaineering hut, now the Josh Aike chocolate cafe.
Expedition memorabilia all over the walls inside.
Dark hot chocolate, chocolate bar with chilli and a huge yummy brownie (the menu says ‘you don’t want to miss this brownie’)
Spicy ham flavoured chips from the supermercado across the street from the hotel. They were good!

Tonight we are settling into our lovely hotel in El Chalten – will try the local parilla restaurant up the street for dinner. Tomorrow we hike closer to Mount Fitz Roy.

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