The Patagonian icefield covers most of the south end of the Andes mountains. More than half of the glaciers here spill into lakes, rivers or fjords. The sediment released from the glaciers causes the milky blue-white colour in the lakes and rivers.
Despite it being towards the end of the earth, Patagonia has been settled by humans for 15,000 years.
Most of the mountains in Patagonia are not tall enough to cause soroche, but the weather can turn lousy quickly. Despite the sun and cloud-free sky, we are carrying snow hats, gloves and a few extra merino layers!
Mount Fitzroy was named by Francisco Moreno for the captain of Charles Darwin’s Beagle. It was originally called Cerro Chalten (smoking mountain) due to the almost omnipresent clouds that form around the peak. Argentina and Chile decided to shift their border a bit to the east so it runs over Fitzroy’s peak.
The three peaks of Mount Fitzroy (3405 meters) were the inspiration for the logo of the Patagonia clothing company
After our hike and a bit of relaxing we headed out for dinner. Our food here has been quite good. El Chalten is a tourist town, and we have many restaurants to choose from. Last night we ate local style and enjoyed it immensely. Tonight we chose a BBQ place. Argentina does Parilla (BBQ) very well, but this place is modelled after the US style. Beer, ribs etc. It had good reviews. Sadly we did not experience those good things. If you’re going to name yourself Bourbon Smokehouse you should at least smoke your own ribs and know how to serve a bourbon. Dave ordered a Bourbon neat. Only to get a Mint Julep???? We chalked it up to a language issue with the trainee waiter. But once the order was corrected, after much explanation and hand gestures, it never actually arrived. And the ribs were stone cold, as if they’d just come out of the fridge and they forgot to reheat them. At least Kris’ beer was good.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is cloudy with rain. We shall see what we can get done when we wake up. When we are planning trips to places like this we always try and have some leeway for weather. Like Iguazu, where the first day was wet and the second much better. Despite Kris’ excellent planning and organizing, the weather doesn’t care about our flight schedules and deadlines.