Thursday, February 2, 2017

Return Fron Cueva De Las Manos And Night Bus To El Chalten

So the tour ended, and we were back in Perito Moreno at the Hotel Belgrano in time for a light dinner before the night bus to El Chalten arrived. 8PM passed. 9PM passed. No bus. About 10PM, the bartender/waiter/manager told us in very rudimentary Spanglish that the Chalten Travel bus had broken down and that alternative arrangements were being made for us. Somehow, we were relieved. Later, Claudio appeared, drove us to the bus station, and procured tickets for us on the Taqsa/Marga night bus to El Chalten. (Claudio sub-contracts with Chalten Travel; we trust he will be reimbursed). Anyhow, the Taqsa bus was an hour late, took another 45 minutes to load and refuel get the picture. We arrived in El Chalten after noon on January 29th, somewhat fatigued, but relieved to be more or less on schedule. Plus we were both able to sleep a good bit on the wonderfully reclining seats. The bus was filled with a few locals but mostly with young budget travelers. Backapackas. Many Americankis, too. We are deep in Patagonia. Jan 28-29.

A prized photograph and memory; the guanacos frequently try
to jump the fences and sometimes don't make it, impaling
themselves on the stakes; we saw half a dozen of these but at
turbuss speed warp factor 5+, they are difficult to catch (I'll
spare you the close-up); I have a similar photograph of an
impaled antelope/deer in the Davis Mountains, TX, c. 1984,
entitled "Don't fence me in"

An apparent short-cut took us through a side canyon and its
salty dry bed

Claudio occasionally opening and closing gates

Another road shrine

More desert color

Our luggage outside the Hotel Belgrano, hopefully so the bus
driver can't miss us; unfortunately, he never made it

Waiting for the Taqsa bus at the bus station...a depiction of
where the day took us

Next morning, aboard the Taqsa bus, on the long off-pavement
spur to El Chalten

More guanaco

Also no alcohol

They are herd animals: the female herds, with young, led by
one lucky male; the bachelor herds, the unlucky males; I guess
this depends on your perspective...

Next morning: big mountains looming

And the lake and the tongue of giant Viedma Glacier

And wildly striated mountains

Welcome to El Chalten and the Parque Nacional de los Glacieres;
"Capital Nacional del Trekking"

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