Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Day On Ruta 40

So our plans required getting to El Chalten, way south, the trekking capital of Argentina, then to El Calafate, and then to Puerto Natales in Chile for our Torres de Paine trek. We are to do warm-up day hikes in El Chalten and El Calafate. But, between Bariloche and El Chalten is the Cueva de los Manos, the Cave of Hands, something very long on my must-see list. It is an hour or so off the route, from Perito Moreno, half way to El Chalten. All that is to say...instead of simply flying to El Calafate and then El Chalten, we had to take the bus to Perito Moreno and then get a transfer to the Estancia at the Cave of Hands. 12 or so hours altogether. Fortunately, El Chalten Travel has all this covered, bus, transfer, lodging and eats. An experience not be missed, anyway, since it was all along Argentina's fabled Ruta 40. Fabled largely for passing through hundreds upon hundreds of miles of nothing, in high winds, interesting perhaps to people who have not seen Nevada. But we'll now proudly paste Ruta 40 stickers on our campers. Jan. 27.

South of Bariloche, you're still in lake country

A protest camp in El Bolsen; I guess we'll be seeing these
soon enough in Trumpistan

But then things begin to dry out and the wind picks up

A shrine, marking a fatal accident...consisting of water jugs

Not a casino in sight


Interesting settlements here and there, sometimes single units,
sometimes duplexes, as here; perhaps mining or petroleum

Passing through a town

Pretty stark, most of it

More wind, gale force, unceasing

Ruta 40, nowadays paved pretty much all the way; not quite
the adventure it was not very long ago

Argentina long travel buses are actually pretty nice, deeply
reclining seats, meals served (enchilada with yellow/green/
brown interior, juice, cookie), hot water for coffee, mate',
air conditioned, B-grade American movies ("Maldicion"
comprises most of the script of these ultra violent movies);
we got to El Chalten just a little late and made our transfer
just fine

No comments: