Next time I find myself on a flight to Argentina, my sole purpose will be to have the best, and the most amazing time of my life. I want to be standing at the center of Buenos Aires breathing in the summer air, wearing a colorful sundress, and beautiful shoes, looking at life with more passion for laughing, living, and dancing. I want to try red crisp wine, local gourmet food, and dance the beautiful Argentinian tango. I want it all! But for now, I want to stretch my legs and run. Run until I reach the wild freedom that could never be unattained in a city. I want to climb mountains, hiking the toughest trails and driving through the most secluded roads. That is why I started my journey on Route 40 going down towards Southern Argentina where mountains scrape the sky, and ice age glaciers melt creating milky rivers!
The burning sun starts to tuck away behind the thick clouds and my panoramic view slowly starts to change. Endless hot, dry land full of hills and wondering guanacos, gradually converts to light rain and an overcast sky that seems to conceal everything nearby. However approaching closer, the mist starts to move, resembling curtains opening a Broadway show, revealing mountains, rivers and a small city of El Chalten the tracking capital of Argentina. Mt. Fitz Roy that stands towering over this pretty as a picture settlement is why so many travel to here. Trekkers, backpackers, and tourist venture out here to hiking, climbing, and camp at the most remote part of the world, with never ending views of mountains, glaciers, rivers, and forests.
The town is very peaceful, even though ambitious adventure seekers flood every street. With the number of visitors growing each year, expansions are being made to accommodate everyone. So far the town includes one bank (that never seems to have cash available in its ATM except for Mondays), luckily the information center has an exchange booth, two grocery stores (that are very limited on fresh food), and a lot of pricey hotels, moderately priced hostels, cheap campgrounds and all sorts of restaurants.
Certainly traveling this far wasn’t for the town, it was, however, to hike Laguna De Los Tres a trek that’s 12.5 km long and takes approximately 8 hours to complete. Trekking through the national park was fairly essay until the last kilometers approached. A sharp ascend to the top of a mountain, with scorching sun, and the wind blowing particularly fast, making it difficult for me to keep balance. Breathing heavy I preceded to climb, only to notice that my shoulders started to fell agonizing pain, it felt as though my backpack had gained a few pounds, making it even more complicated to go on. Feeling extremely tired, both knees and hands shaking, sweat dripping from my face and yet somehow excitement filled me up.
Upon reaching the end of the hike I touched the azure water, shivers rushed through my body, and I felt the need to scream from joy. All though a strong frizzing gust of wind started to pull me away from the water (maybe in the direction of the north pole) making it beyond difficult to stand or walk. However I froze in time, to grasp as much beauty around as I could: Bitter wind blew in all direction, created a rippling effect on the water, gradually a white blanket of clouds starts to cover the enormous gray mountains, as if to keep them warm from the icy airstream. This is what I came here for, the wild!
Driving through Argentina for hundreds of kilometers the only sight to see are guanacos and rheas roaming around the dry hilly land. Nevertheless, this land has wonderful surprises like the town of El Chalten where hiking is simply divine!