14.12.2012 - 19.12.2012 11 °C
Monkey Man - the missing link?!!!....
The last 600m were sheer hell mainly due to the sheer cliff we were climbing. We had already been walking for 3 hours since 8am and Seamus said we should take the detour on the map. I looked up and said no way but decided to give it a go anyway. He took the rear and offered words of encouragement such as 'you're doing well' 'keep going' and other such Bull S***. It's a miracle we didn't have to call in the local equivalent of William O Brien crane hire. After an hour and a half of excrutiating pain we rounded the top of the moraine - I looked in front of me and thank god I was wearing sun glasses cos I burst out crying! Partly due to relief at getting to the top but mainly due to the sight that lay before me: the most perfectly turquoise, half frozen glacial lake, backed by a glacier and topped by the majestic jagged knife-like Mt Fitzroy. I was totally overwhelmed. We sat down and lay back and drank that view in.
Thanks to the 2 Canadians for telling us about Chalten. It is a hikers paradise. On arrival we tried to rent a little cabin which had views of the snowcapped mountains but it was only available for next 4 nights so we stayed in the hotel for 1st night. Of course for unfit Aine it was a baptism of fire. Walking as follows: day 1 four hour hike, day 2 seven hour hike, day 3 five hour hike, day 5 nine hour hike ( the tear producing one). (Below are photos taken on day 5 trek).
On day 5 Seamus decided to get up at 4am and trek an hour outside town to get a view of mount Fitz Roy as sunrise appeared over the horizon. Of course I was with him (in my dreams)...not. but I had brekkie ready when he returned at 7. That's when we did the 9 hour hike. "Mad fecker" but I suppose I love him. Photos below are pre sunrise and during sunup.
And at last we got to taste the lamb cooked on the wood fire. I was in carnivore heaven - you could have eaten that meat with with a spoon.
And then all too soon our time in our little paradise came to an end and then there was our 30 hour bus journey to look forward to.... yes that's 30 hours. For a change Seamus on arriving in El Chalten, decided to book our transport out of there with a bus company called Taqsa. All was well until we started reading blogs about our particular bus company, all of which said 'do not use this company' hmmm. One writer said that she was so hungry that she almost ate the bus driver, and then the passengers. As much of a carnivore that I am I didn't fancy eating our fag smoking, supersized bus driver.