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Patagonia Journal Travel Writing, Blog, Travelogue
Bariloche through Patagonia and back to Bariloche

(March 1 - 24, 2004)

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March 1 Bariloche.  We realize that we do not have enough time to ride our bikes down the Carretara Austral and still have time to trek in Torres del Paine.  Our equipment probably would not make it either, our tent is not working very well, the zippers work some of the time.  My bike is also worn out.  My hands hurt from riding on dirt roads with road bars, something I will have to change before our next long ride.  My hands are numb and I am afraid that I may be doing long term damage.  Time off the bike will do me some good.  
March 2 Bariloche.  We have decided to rent a car here in Bariloche and drive down the Torres del Paine.  We are renting a car with Justin from Australia and possibly Sara from Kentucky.  I feel sad leaving my bike behind.  We have bought new hiking shoes from Tim and a backpack, both relatively cheap in Argentina.  We pack up to go and make a few CDs for the car.  
March 3 Rent the car.  Bariloche - Comodoro Riviera.  Sara decided not to come along so it is Tim, Justin, and I.  We covered 900 kilometers today, a very long day in the car.  Moving this fast makes me kind of seasick.  The wind is incredibly strong so I am happy to be sitting in the back seat of a car.  We pulled into town late and went to 5 hotels before we found a room.  Even at midnight the wind is howling.  
March 4 Comodoro Riviera - Piedra Buena.  Stopped off at a grocery store and it took an hour just to get through the line.  No one seems to be very happy, either they are sad about summer break ending or the constant blowing wind has made everyone irritable. Went out to the national park and could not find the campground to camp in, so we returned to Piedra Buena.  Something we would definitely not do on a bike.  The camp site was on an island and some what protected from the wind. Tim was very sick in the middle of the night.  
March 5 Piedra Buena - El Calafate.  We stopped in town for some groceries and headed out to the camp ground.  Bahia Escondido costs 7 pesos per person and is 7 kilometers from Perito Moreno.  It costs 20 pesos to get into Los Glacier's National Park.  
March 6 Perito Moreno Glacier.  The view of the glacier is awesome, we stayed the entire day watching pieces of ice falling from the glacier into the lake.  It was a nice sunny day.  
March 7 Perito Moreno - Torres del Paine.  We arrived late in the afternoon at Los Torres camp ground and set up camp.  the  cost was 3,500 pesos (7 dollars) per person per night. At least they provide firewood and a hot shower.  The view of the towers is incredible.  I am so excited to be here.  The camp ground is not over crowded so it looks like we picked a good time of year to come.  Otherwise you need to make reservations for each place you plan to camp or stay in a hostel.  
March 8 Torres del Paine.  We did an 8 hour day hike today up to the Torres del Paine.  Tim and Justin carried the pack so I was free from carrying anything.  We had lunch at Los Chilenos half way to Torres del Paine.  The scenery is beautiful, the geology breath taking.  The climb up to the Torres was a bit demanding but very worth the view.  The weather was good, the trail well marked except for a washed out bridge it was easy to follow.  By the looks of the trail I can tell that this place is over run with people.  The trail separates everywhere.  Not very good land management and bad for erosion.  On our return we run into Amanda and Steve, a couple of Aussies we met in Bariloche.  The were just completing the circuit around the towers.  I am extremely impressed. 

At the end of the day my feet were hurting, I have gotten tender feet since I have been spending more time on a bike then on my feet.

March 9 Torres del Paine Los Cuernos.  It was a 4.5 hour hike to Los Cuernos for us.  I am carry out day pack with all the light stuff because I do not have a hip belt to help balance the load.  I will never consider Tim's clothes light again.  The trail is well marked.  Again we had to make a river crossing without a bridge.  You would think they would put one in.  I am shocked to see cows grazing in the area.  
March 10 Torres del Paine Camp Italiano.  We opted for a short hike today of 2 hours to Camp Italiano.  The scenery is awesome.  We arrive early at camp and find a place to set up.  This is a free camp site.  The park administers this area.  There are only two toilets for the many (at least 50) scattered tents. As I walk away from the bathroom I notice that people are going to the bathroom in areas in the woods.  People can be so disgusting.  Think.  Maybe they should build a few more toilets.  
March 11 Torres del Paine Camp Italiano.  We hike 2.5 hours up the Valle Del Frances.  A beautiful valley with views of glaciers and granite towers.  A must see for every geologist I know.  If you can not make here, enjoy the photos.  Another day of great weather without any wind.  I think this may be rare here in Torres del Paine.  
March 12 Los Torres.  Justin decides he does not want to camp at Pehoe with his tent.  I would not either.  The camp is infested with rats.  We have heard stories of people beating them off their tent, even when there isn't any food in the tent.  Yuck.  Tim is sick, so we all decide to take the ferry back and go to Los Torres.  Our trek through Torres is over, I am sad and not quite ready to leave.  I will have to come back and finish the W and go around the back side of this park.

Some thoughts about Torres.  It is an awesome place, I would put it up there with the Grand Canyon.  It is quite a bit smaller than the canyon but the geology is just incredible, I felt like a kid in a candy store the entire time we were trekking.  The weather was great so that helped too.  Some things I did not like about Torres del Paine; I thought it was too expensive.  It is set up to gouge the tourist.  Camping for two people was 7000 pesos (US 12), the ferry was 10,000 peso (US 17) per person for a 30 minute ride, and the cost to enter the park is 8,000 pesos (US14) per person.  So if you plan to come plan on breaking the budget.  Since is was so expensive we only saw foreigners.  I had to laugh at one guy we met who said in Spanish, we are in chile we should speak spanish.  I asked, where are the Chileans?  They are not here because it is too expensive.  I think this is not right either.  I also think they need to do some land management.  What in the world are cows doing in the park, this can not be good for the vegetation or the wild life habitat.  Trail maintenance and some bridges would be something they could do with all that entrance money.

March 13 Los Torres - El Calafate.  We are up early and make the long drive back to El Calafate. We stop for lunch once we are in Argentina and we had a wonderful lunch of steak and french fries for 8 pesos (US 2.70).  In Calafate we can not find a room, the town is full.  We thought this was the low season.  We take a room with three beds for 25 pesos (US 7.50) per person. 

It turns out that a tunnel is forming through the glacier.  This has not happen in 16 years.  We all decide to stay and watch the glacier.

Perito Moreno Glacier flow out into both Lake Argentino and Lake Escondido.  A small peninsula juts out into the lake between the lakes.  Every so often the glacier will ride up on the peninsula forming a dam between the two lakes.  At this point Lake Escondido is 10 meters (30 feet) higher than Lake Argentino.  The water pressure on the glacier gradually forms a tunnel.  Water begins to trickle out.  Two tunnels were formed and then one large tunnel.  We arrived at the glacier after the tunnel has already formed.  We did get to witness the tunnel enlarge and huge pieces of ice fall into the river.  It is an impressive site.

March 14 Perito Moreno.   We move to the campground out near the glacier.  We spent the entire day at the glacier along with some 3,000 other people and a TV crew.  Hopefully people around the world have had an opportunity to few this phenomena.

 Perito Moreno - El Chalten.  We spent the morning at Perito Moreno, the tunnel is still there but very very small.  The tunnel finally fell after falling apart for three days.  We left the site before the last ice block fell.  A spectacular site.

It took over five hours to drive to El Chalten.  Along the way we saw where the Lake was flooding the lower areas.  I wonder how much water emptied from one lake to another.


March 15 El Chalten.  We took a rest day in El Chalten and finally got our laundry done.  It rained most of the day and into the evening.  Lucky for us our tent did not leak.  
March 16 Poincenot.  We trekked up to the camp Poincenot, it took us about 2.5 hours.  While we were trekking we were warm but the minute we stopped trekking it was very cold.  We arrived at camp to find Amanda and Steve, the aussies, we met Bariloche already there.  The weather was fridge so we turned in early.  
March 17 Poincenot. I hiked to the glacier while Tim hiked up to the tarn lake. Justin decided he wanted to go back to El Chalten.  We will meet him tomorrow.  
March 18 El Chalten.  As we walked out today Justin met us at the trail head.  We stayed in a youth hostel for 20 pesos per person.  I am glad we got a room, it rained all night.  
March 19 El Chalten - Cuevas de las Manos  A drive up the famous route 40.  Tim drove.  Patagonia is a lot of wide open spaces and lots of wind.  
March 20 Cuevas de las Manos - Godo Costa.

We camped at the municipal campground for 4 pesos per person, it was out of the wind and had a nice hot shower.  We went out to dinner and found a parrilla tenedor libre.  There was nothing on the menu but tenedor libre.  We paid 12 pesos and was served all the meat we could eat, salad, bread and soda water.  The food was excellent. 

The last of route 40 is over. The road was not quite as bad as every said it was.  We drove it in a VW gol, although I would have preferred a high clearance pickup truck.

March 21 Godo Costa. - El Bolson.   A short three hour drive.  It will be nice to get out of the car soon.  
March 22 El Bolson.  Tim and I went for a nice hike at the ski area today.  The weather is pleasant, warmer than down south.  The valley is beautiful, filled with evergreens, deciduous trees, fruit trees, wild rose bushes, and my favorite blackberry bushes.  
March 23 El Bolson - Bariloche.  It rained last night so we packed up a wet tent.  We do not anticipate using the tent much longer.  I am somewhat sad to think that we will not be sleeping in this tent any longer.  It has been with us since we left the States almost 2 years ago.

The drive into Bariloche was quick and the scenery awesome.  We saw a number of cyclists on the road.  I really really miss my bike now.  We dropped off the car, were charged for a missing grill on the front of the car.  Who knows where we lost that, it could have been on route 40 where we plowed gravel with the front of the car or when we hit a rabbit that ran in front of the car.  We have covered 4,700 kilometers in three weeks, it took us more than three months to cover the same distance on bike.  However, there is not much in between Bariloche and El Chalten on the Argentinean side.  Wide open Pampa that has been sculptured by glaciers in the past and wind in the present.

I am glad to be out of the car and back to walking and biking.


March 24 This will be my last entry for a while.  We are staying in Bariloche for the next 6 weeks or so working on self publishing a book about our travels.  We plan to be in Indiana, USA on June 16th and publish the book sometime in October, all this is a tentative schedule.  Things always take longer than we think.  We still do not know where we will go after our stay in the USA.  You will have to check back to find out or if you are on our email list we will let you know.  Emails are still welcome.  We do plan on doing a few hikes in the Bariloche area and I plan on writing them up as we go, so if your interested in that check back in a few weeks.  I am looking forward to being in one place for what seems like a long time.  

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Tim's Letter for this Journal

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INDEX #2: South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present

(see all 3 book)

June 4 -  July 8, 2003
Ecuador #1
Quito to Riobamba, Ecuador

Cindie's Daily Journals
Ecuador #1

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Ecuador: Riding on top of the Southern Hemisphere

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of Pictures in Ecuador #1

Full size Picture Pages

- Quito The Old City
- The Equator "Mitad del Mundo"
- Volcano Tugurahua, Backpacking
- Banos, Ecuador Natural Hot Springs
- Quito to Latacunga, Ecuador
- The City of Latacunga, Ecuador
- Latacunga to Riobamba, Ecuador
- The Village of Mocha, Ecuador
- The City of Riobamba, Ecuador
- Other


July 9 - Aug 4, 2003
Ecuador #2
Riobamba to Macara, Ecuador
( Peruvian border)

Cindie's Daily Journals
Ecuador #2

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Ecuador #2: The Magic of the Andes

The Fastest Place to see Pictures
Thumbnail Page of  Pictures in Ecuador #2

Full size Picture Pages

- Riobamba to Alausi, Ecuador
- The City of Alausi, Ecuador
- Nariz Del Diablo - Train Ride
- Alausi to Cuenca, Ecuador
- The City of Cuenca, Ecuador
- Cuenca to Loja, Ecuador
- Loja to Macara, Ecuador


Aug 5 - Sept. 14, 2003
Peru #1
The Ecuador border to Huallanca, Peru

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Peru #1 Riding Between The Extremes

Best Place to see Pictures
Peru #1 THUMBS

Full size Picture Pages

- The Ecuador Border to Chiclayo, Peru
- Chiclayo to Trujillo, Peru
- Casa De Ciclista, Peru Cyclist House
- The Ruins of Chan Chan
- Ruins - Temple of the Moon and Sun
- Trujillo to Huallanca, Peru
- Huallanca to Huaraz, Peru
- Huarez to Pachapaque
- Pachapaqui to Huallanca


Sept. 15 - Oct. 31, 2003
Peru #2
Huallanca, Peru to
Copacabana, Bolivia

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Peru #2: Been Doing Some Hard Traveling

Best Place to see Pictures
Peru #2 THUMBS

Full size Picture Pages

- Huallanca to Huanuco
- Huanuco to La Oroya, Peru
- Arequipa, Peru
- Cusco, Peru
- Tambo Machay, Pucapucara, Qenqo
- Sacsayhuaman, Inca Ruin
- Machu Picchu #1
- Machu Picchu #2
- Machu Picchu #3
- Cusco to Santa Rosa, Peru
- Santa Rosa, Peru to Copacabana Bolivia
- Uros, Peru Lake Titicaca


November 1 - December 8, 2003
Copacabana to Villazon, Bolivia

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Bolivia: The Calm After the Storm.

Best Place to see Pictures
Bolivia THUMBS

Full size Picture Pages

- Copacabana, Bolivia on Lake Titicaca
- Todos Santos - Day of the Dead
- Copacabana to La Paz
- La Paz to Oruro
- Oruro to Quillacas
- Quillacas to Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
- Salar de Uyuni Salt Lake to The City of Uyuni

(December 9, 2003 - January 22, 2004)
NW Argentina
La Quiaca, to La Cueva, (border with Chile) Argentina

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's North West Argentina Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)
Northwest Argentina: The Wrong Way In the Right Country 

Best Place to see Pictures
Pictures of  North West Argentina

Full size Picture Pages

- Quiaca to Tilcara
- Tilcara to Salta
- Salta to Cafayate
- Cafayate to Belen
- Belen to Mendoza
- Parque National Talampaya
- Valle De Luna Provincial Park
- Mendoza to La Cueva
- Aconcagua National Park

January 23 - February 29, 2004
Portillo, Chile to Bariloche, Argentina

Cindie's Daily Journals
Cindie's Chile Daily Journal

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures
Thumbnails of Chile

Full size Picture Pages

- Portillo to Los Andes
- Temuco to Parqua National Conguillio
- Conguillio National Park to Villarrica
- Villarrica to Playa Pucara
- Playa Pucura to Puerto Pirihueico
- Bariloche, Argentina Velodrome

March 3, to 23, 2004
  Patagonia, South America
 Argentina and Chile

Cindie's Daily Journals

Tim's Emailed Newsletters (Join  List)

Best Place to see Pictures
Patagonia THUMBS

Full size Picture Pages

- Southern Patagonia Birds
- Perito Moreno Glacier, (Before rupture)
- Perito Moreno Glacier (After rupture)
- Torres Del Paine National Park #1
- Torres Del Paine National Park #2
- Torres Del Paine National Park #3
- Torres Del Paine National Park #4
- El Chalten  - Fritz Roy
- Cuevas los Manos, Rock Art

- My First Jewish Passover
- Ski Argentina Cerro Cathedral
- Fall in Bariloche
- Cerro Campanerio
- Cerro Lopez
- Nordic Cross Country Skiing Bariloche, Argentina

1North and
Central America
3-30-02 to 4-17-03

2 South America
6-3-03 to 6-17-04

3 SE Asia / China
11-22-04 to

4 Australia
9-15-06 to 9-15-07

5 New Zealand
9-16-07 to 5-2-08
6 Alaska, Canada, and the USA
5-3-08 to 4-30-10
7 India. Nepal, and the Subcontinent
5-1-10 to present
Where am I  now

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