Patagonia: Day 8-9

Our bus arrived to El Calafate around lunch time. Our first stop was the visitor center where we told about the park rules and given a map of the area and surrounding trails.

The trails for Los Glaciares National Park start in the town of El Calafate which makes it super easy! I didn’t have much of a plan since reservations are not required for the park. I figured I would see how the weather looked and then decide my route based off that.

Since it was nice and sunny, I decided I would head to Laguna Torre, have lunch, and then cut over to Camp Poincenot.

The hike to Laguna Torre wasn’t too bad from a difficulty standpoint, but there were a lot of people on the trail which got annoying after awhile. I made it up the lake where I had lunch. I didn’t stick around too long as the wind made it quite chilly, and I knew I still had a couple hours of hiking ahead of me if I wanted to make it to Camp Poincenot.

The hike to Camp Poincenot seemed like it went on forever, but that was mostly because I was tired from numerous days of hiking. I was glad to finally make it to camp and setup my tent. When unpacking my bag I also realized I had never thrown out my water bottle which had a cup of wine in it – score! That made dinner much better 🙂

I went to bed fairly early, but did set an alarm. I wanted to get up early hike to Laguna de los Tres for the sunrise, but when I awoke, the wind was blowing quite hard and it was drizzling. I decided to go back to sleep and would re-evaluate in a couple of hours. The rain did eventually stop, but it was cold and there were still clouds covering the mountains. I was exhausted and decided I would rather hike back to town and try to catch an earlier bus back to El Chalten.

The cloud eventually did start to clear up on my hike out, and I caught glimpses of the mountains.

At some point on the trail, it started to lightly snow.

The snow didn’t last long, and with the sun out, it started to warm up.

Most of the trail back to town was downhill so I made pretty good time. I went to the bus station and found out about bus departures. I was able to switch my ticket to the 1 pm bus (I was previously scheduled for 6 pm). I had two hours to spare so I found a cafe with wifi, and grabbed some food. Yummm… carbs…

I got back to El Calafate around 5 pm. I grabbed my bags and walked to my hotel where I took a much needed shower. I then ventured into town. I walked around a little, but my feet were so tired! I found a nice rooftop restaurant and enjoyed some empanadas and wine.

The next morning consisted of breakfast, and then it was off to the airport where I began my long journey home.