That was more Welsh than expected.

I mentioned this before the trip, but now that I have experienced it, I have to say a 24+ hour journey by air is exactly as exhausting as it sounds.

It didn’t even have to be that long. When we booked the flights, Mélissa and I thought it would be fun to have an extended layover in NYC. We could drink martinis and visit the MoMA!

Great idea! Let’s do something fun while thinking about nothing else but how badly we want to get home!

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Hiking El Chalten.

In El Chalten, there are 6 hikes that start from various points of town: Laguna de los Tres, Chorrillo de Salto, Laguna Torre, Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, and Laguna Toro.

ElChaltenMap

All buses going into El Chalten are required to make a stop at the Visitor’s Centre for an orientation from the park ranger. Instead of listening to the park ranger’s lecture–because I cannot hear–I sized-up the other adventurers. Judging by the brand names on their technical gear, they were mostly European, but I was able to pick out a few Canadians from the crowd. (MEC, Canada Goose, La Cordee, are all brands that are a more reliable way of identifying a traveller as Canadian than the maple leaf patch!) I could see several ropes, carabiners, and climbing shoes sticking out of some people’s packs.

Mélissa gave me an overview of the park ranger’s address. The ranger had emphasized how the weather was often unpredictable and advised us to be well prepared for these sudden changes. The map that was distributed to us denoted the sections of the trails that were to be avoided in high winds.

This was serious business.

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Cave winos.

In 9,000 years from now, the recent graffiti that have been done over the 9,000-year-old graffiti found in the Walichu Caves will be just as revered by archaeologists.

Guide: “You see this painting? What do you think it is?”

Hesitant tourist: “Is it a penis?” *goofy shrug*

Guide, pretending he’s impressed by the tourist’s observation: “Correct! Thousands of years ago, in the 1980s, teenagers bonded with one another by drinking a sacred liquid mixture made of fermented malted barley and wheat called Quilmes beer * . They would then sketch phallic images on the rock face to signify their brotherhood.”

*The Argentinian equivalent of Budweiser.

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