Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas - we made it to El Chalten!

Firstly, merry Christmas to everyone back home. We hope everybody has a great time without us, but we will understand if you are all miserable and missing us.
We managed to make it to El Chalten. We were rather fortunate for a couple of days of little wind, encouragement from random Dutch people in cars handing out empanadas and coke and random cake shops.

We were however always worried about the turnoff for El Chalten. This turnoff leads to a 90km stretch straight into some of the fiercest winds imaginable.

We certainly weren´t let down.

Just turning the corner was difficult enough and following 500m of wobbling, 3km of pushing and half an hour of road side sitting, we were treated to the familiar "two buses at once" we so commonly get back home.

Bus 1 just waved back and the driver laughed as he scorched past. Bus 2 however was being driven a more sympathetic ´Juan´. This bus took us and the bikes the remaining 86km in just over an hour - saving us a possible 3 days of torture and a quick end to the marriage.

Chalten was fantastic. The camp site was just under the beautiful mountains around Fitz Roy and more importantly there was a great empanada and bread shop nearby.

We met up with old friends once again - Derek from Scotland, Tim and Kylie from Sydney and Kristoff from Germany.

For Christmas day we enjoyed a beautiful BBQ which involved giant steaks, huge sausages, all manner of roast veg and a mushroom cloud probably visible from space. Mine and Tims eyebrows are still growing back. The day also involved beer and axes which is much better than watching the Queens Speech.

We must thank Santa for making special efforts to get the reindeer down the road to Chalten - it must have been tough - they did a fantastic job and helped deliver some great goodies. Christmas isn´t really Christmas unless you get chocolate coins.

During our few days in El Chalten we walked into the mountains a couple of times but the clouds were rather low and so we didn´t see the whole range. The views were still magnificent.

Our Crimbo rest was soon over and following a slow (hungover) start to boxing day, we managed to make our way out to the border crossing to Villa O´Higgins. We have been promised that on the other side (the Carettera Austral) the winds are much less severe. It will be more hilly and possibly rainy but it must be better than the wind.

1 comment:

Globalmum said...

How wonderful to hear your very very special Christmas story. Turkey, pigs in blankets and Noel Edmunds on the TV will never be the same again!