David Truman's Home Page
  Argentina and Chile
In 1988 I went on a first backpacking trip of five weeks to Argentina and Chile, and in 1995 I spent another five weeks there with a backpack, this time leading a group from the Canberra Bushwalking Club. 

The picture on my Home Page was taken at the start of the vertical rock at the end of the walk in to Fitz Roy, southern Argentina (49 degrees S). 

The track in to Fitz Roy, in Los Glaciares National Park, passes through Antarctic Beech forest with stupendous views of the cordillera of the southern Andes.

The vertical rock starts from a wonderful vantage point where you can sit about 200 metres vertically above Lago Sucio ('dirty lake') and survey the glory of this part of the planet!

Fitz Roy is several hours dusty bus ride north of the little town of El Calafate.  A shorter bus ride westward from Calafate takes you to the Perito Moreno Glacier, where the ice wall stands the height of a 20-storey building above the water, and intermittently calves huge iceberge off into the lake.

The wind blowing down the glacier is bone-chilling!

Further south and a bit to the west, across the border in Chile, is the pleasant little town of Puerto Natales.  This can be reached by coastal ferry, the Puerto Eden, from Puerto Montt in Chile's Lake District, or alternatively by a several-hour bus ride from Punta Arenas (Chile) on the Strait of Magellan.

From Puerto Natales  you can take a superb all-day cruise on 'Last Hope Sound' (Golfo Ultima Esperanza) to see the Balmaceda Glacier.  But the highlight is Torres del Paine National Park, a four hour bus trip to the north, with its 120-km circuit walk.   Nature here is grand.  You'll see guanacos (related to llamas) and rheas (nandu in Spanish:  related to emus and ostriches). 

The greatest highlight is the Torres (towers) themselves.  In the picture following, taken on a 24mm lens, the vertical granite rock is a kilometre high!

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