6th March: Patagonia (Helsingfors to El Chalten)

Scarecrow in vegetable garden at Estancia los Hermanos

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Up at 6am before dawn.

Another horse trip in the morning, this time to the neighbouring Estancia los Hermanos. Unlike Helsingfors which is now essentially a tourist hotel, this is a working estancia with no pretensions or tourist functions.

To the right is a scarecrow in the vegetable garden.

Below is one of the nearby hills. There are lots of these contorted rock formations all round this area, speaking of dramatic events in the geological history.

In the afternoon we drove to Estancia La Quinta just outside El Chalten and checked in at the hotel. This was just across the lake and would not have been far except we had to drive back to the far end of the lake and around.

Driving is something of an exercise in concentration for us because we have to make sure we drive on the right side of the road rather than the left and interact appropriately with the traffic. The passenger’s job is to check that everything is OK rather than to phase out and drift off.

We went out again just in time to catch some views at sunset, with the sun setting on the other side of the Andes.

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Vista including Mt Fitzroy and El Chalten

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El Chalten

El Chalten only came into being in 1985, to stake an Argentinian claim in a border dispute with Chile. It is a curious little ramshackled boom town where you have to drive very carefully because the pedestrians pay no attention to the cars.

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For this view, we climbed a hill behind the Visitors’ Centre on the outskirts of El Chalten (which was closed).

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By the time we returned to the Hotel, it was quite dark and we stopped to take this photo as we left town. It’s actually not as sharp as it might have been, perhaps due to wind reducing the stability of the tripod.

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6 comments on “6th March: Patagonia (Helsingfors to El Chalten)

  1. […] 6th March: Patagonia (Helsingfors to El Chalten) […]

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  2. […] 6th March: Patagonia (Helsingfors to El Chalten) […]

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  3. That mountain looks for all the world like Angkor Wat! I’ve been oohing and aching, all the way through:)

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    • Murray Foote says:

      I’ve never thought of it that way but I can see the similarity. Perhaps they were paying homage to some sacred mountains in Cambodia – or perhaps even the Himalayas, since Angkor Wat is a monument to Indian religion.

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      • Well, of course, the towers of Angkor Wat are a representation of Mt. Kailash, or is it Mt. Meru? I’m a bit hazy and lazy today about my Hindu mythology. Anyway, I was struck by the shape of that mountain in your last shot – immediately I saw it, a picture of Angkor Wat popped into my head:)

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