Buenos Aires

Buenos aires –
Hum, what can I say? This massive city has something but after 4 days there I am still not quite sure what…. Oh wait…. Let me think…Yes I do :

1. Hangovers
2. Amazing Steaks
3. Tango ( only for tourist, it doesn’t seem like any other porteƱos do this regularly)
4. Hangovers
5. Insane nightlife
6. Ice cream
7. Legit classic guitarists
8. One more time for good measure – hangovers

To give you guys a bit of a background- we came from a town that has maybe 1000 people, at the end of the world, in a national park, with maybe, and this is a big maybe, one bar.
We had been in Patagonia for 3 weeks hiking and doing all things outdoors and from here we flew to Buenos Aires (or BA).
We got in fairly late, 11pm and made it to our hostel at 12. As we walk in, we felt we were walking into a club more than a hostel. Strobe/black lights, music thumping so loud you couldn’t help but to start fist pumping, a boat load of sloppy drunk people and huge time table on the wall with every nights weekly activities( by activities I mean pre-party location and the destined club with what kind of music) !
Yes, this was our first true and official party hostel and it was grand!!!
Surprisingly enough our room was amazing and quite. The only problem was (but really wasn’t ), wifi was only available on the ground floor where the party went off every night and where breakfast was served every morning.

We were happy to also find out that two other couples that we met on our way down to Patagonia on the Navimag ferry were also in BA during our stay. We were glad to meet up with them and enjoyed a couple more great experiences. It was so nice to see some familiar faces.
Hopefully we will be meeting up with them again along the way.

We did eat some great food and had some awesome evenings, but all in all I don’t think we really have gotten a good idea of what BA is about. I think we are both still torn if we would return back, I suppose we should give it another go and approach it a bit differently, but for now, we are done with 6am bed times and are looking forward to head back into nature again.

This is Rex now….. I just want to add that the photos are from this super colorful area called boca and that was from our walking tour. The others are from out on the town and pretty much random at best.

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El Chalten

The town of Chalten was very sleepy. You can walk through it in ten minutes. When you go grocery shopping, you end up going to 5 different stores to get what you need. This is where we booked our ice climbing tour through. We did a couple day hikes and rode mountain bikes up to a waterfall. It’s basically the hub for rock climbers to gear up before hiking the Fitz Roy or the other vertical mountains around there. There isn’t really much to this little town. It has that feeling like one day it may see some massive growth. We really appreciated it for it’s laid back feeling. For climbing, hiking, camping, outdoors stuff, it’s perfect.

Ice Climbing in Patagonia

There are only a couple things that I honestly could never see myself doing. For example…race car driving, hucking myself off a huge ledge and flying down a mountain in a squirrel suit, parkour, etc. Things like that. It’s not that I wouldn’t try these things, there’s just a disconnect. it’s just the idea of finding the resources to make these far fetched ideas come to reality. Or maybe I’m just not very interested. Sometimes you see these things on TV and say to yourself, “I could that” but at the same that little voice in your head will tell you it’s probably never going to happen.

This is my view towards ice climbing. It looks cool, it is great to watch people get themselves into tricky situations, and they’re usually climbing high above rocks and ice which I don’t do well with. I’d like to imagine climbing being similar to surfing. Both sports are very independent and I’ve always felt climbers have grown up with the outdoor lifestyle, like surfers do. I grew up in the ocean. Climbers grow up on mountains. Either way I have a huge respect for them. I just thought I’d never get a chance to ice climb, nor have I ever met any ice climbers.

As long as I’ve known Carolin, when she sees a tree or something to climb she’s all over it like white on rice. In chalten we found a ice climbing ad and naturally she was hooked. It didn’t take long for her to make her mind up about whether or not we should do it. I think she saw a picture of someone in an ice cave and said “I wanna do that”. To make a long story longer, we had the opportunity to ice climb on a glacier yesterday. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. An hour bus ride to a boat, then another hour to a remote glacier called ( the viedma glacier ).

I don’t doubt that if I told an avid climber what we did they’d probably think it was minor, but my response would be that there’s nothing minor about climbing a 50 foot wall of ice next to an ice hole thats pretty much an infinite freezing abyss, and certain death.

Carolin seems to have a different approach then me on this. I’ve never seen her so fearless before. No hesitation at all. Even the guides were asking if she had climbed before. One guide said ” she’s better than me”. The other guys that were climbing next to her were getting mad because it would take Carolin 2.5 minutes to go up and down a 50 foot vertical wall, when it would take them 5 just to make it half way up. I have video proof. I thought it was funny. Ive never been more proud of her. I’d catch myself hooting at her and cheering as she passed one person, then the next, and another. It was awesome! So, after Carolin had crushed everyone’s dream about becoming an ice climber, we hiked through some ice caves and across this massive glacier. We had lunch with a surprise glass of baileys and glacier ice from the guides, and hiked back to the boat.

I’ve never done anything like this before and absolutely had a blast. As far as the trip goes so far, it has been a huge highlight. Such a unique experience that I will remember forever. Even though we made it out safely I might have a legitimate fear of endless ice holes in the middle of a glacier. Or just glaciers in general. Massive, beautiful, freezing, always changing, jagged, rawness!!! Amazing!!! I can’t wait to do it again. I woke up with a buzz this morning and a desire to get back out there. Who would have thought…..