Next stop El Chalten, Climbers Mecca in Santa Cruz province Argentina

From Calafate to El Chalten. And I thought Calafate was frontier. El Chalten is currently a frontier boom town not driven by gold as such, but by its extraordinary position in the Los Glaciaros National Park and proximity to Cerro Torre and Fitzroy drawing climbers and trekkers and tourist in ever increasing numbers. One figure was expecting a 45% increase in Visitors in just one year.

I can see why, on a clear day the scenery is stunning. And the walks range from very short and easy to hard multiday Treks or Hikes or tramps. But you can see the mountains without exerting yourself. Just sit at one of the many roadside cafes and indulge in a Cerveza (or two) and watch life going by whilst taking an occasional glance at the mountains people come here for. Being a climbing mecca with some of the hardest and longest rock routes in the world on Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre some of the life is quite eclectic. As with most South American towns the street life includes dogs. Most are strays but the collared variety mixes in with them quite happily. No class distinction here. Same with the humans. As it should be.

Did I mention the mountains?

A small truck, bonnet replaced by a small tarp, just drove by dragging a bunch of concrete reinforcing rods along the road just hooked over the tow ball. Closely followed by a double decker Luxury Tourist coach.

Did I mention the moutains?



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