El Chalten


As expected, the overnight bus journey was uncomfortable and we had to switch position every ten minutes. After an age, we reached El Chalten but Christine’s bike had a flat tyre. I removed the inner tube but there was no sign of a puncture and I couldn’t see anything embedded in the tyre so I put the same inner tube back and pumped up the tyre. Then we went for breakfast and a superb café doble to an excellent café. Christine hunted down a bike mechanic who took about ten minutes to fix her gears, charging her $400ARS. Argentina is even more expensive than Chile.

Finding accommodation was challenging, so many places were full or very expensive. We settled for one near the bus station, poor compared with our Chile accommodation but dearer.

In the afternoon we called into the same café for coffee and cake then went for a short walk to a mirador, during which we spotted an armadillo. On our return we ran into the Austrian cyclists, who had successfully completed the Carretera Austral and the crossing from Villa O’Higgins. We hired walking poles to help Christine on the walk we had planned for the next day.

Cerro del Torres