Next up was El Chalten, a small town with just a few paved roads. It exists because it is walking distance to one of Patagonia’s most picturesque series of peaks. Our day spent hiking to the viewpoint at Laguna de Los Tres was maybe best since Clay arrived. The scenery was on par with Torres del Paine, and we weren’t sitting on a bus. We hiked roughly 12 miles through battered, twisted forests, marshy plains and up a steep mountain to another alpine lake, at the foot of a series of dramatic granite peaks. At times, Patagonia made me feel like I was in a Lord of the Rings movie.
The following day was rainy, and we were exhausted. We took the day to repack our bags, recover and shop. At dinner time, we found a bar selling local microbrews. Shockingly, we nearly missed our 10pm bus. I almost wished we HAD missed it, because it was a miserable overnight ride. Uncomfortable seats and sweltering heat kept me awake all night.