Hiking in El Chalten & Mount Fitz Roy Patagonia

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A Walk in the Woods.  Hiking the Patagonia for Beginners

Patagonia’s El Chaltén hiking trails are on the bucket list of every serious hiker and photographer. Hiking is the best way to discover what makes El Chaltén unique: fragrant forests, amazing wildlife, the sounds of nature, sublime mountain light, and a real sense of peace.

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El Chaltén

It is a small mountain tourist village in Los Glaciares National Park. It is situated in the western part of Santa Cruz Province, at the foothill of Cerro Fitz Roy and in the riverside of Río de las Vueltas. It is one of the youngest villages in Argentina. It has a population of  1 627 inhabitants.

Trees and Mountain  Photography-El Chalten and Torres del Paine

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The trekking capital of Argentina provides access to a network of well-maintained hiking routes with some of the best alpine viewpoints in the world. There were different trails and hiking routes from a mini halfday to several days hiking. You can do a self-guided treks or employ a Certified National Park guides. Because they’re experts in their local areas, they know the best trails and the most scenic spots

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The trekking capital of Argentina provides access to a network of well-maintained hiking routes with some of the best alpine viewpoints in the world. There were different trails and hiking routes from a mini halfday to several days hiking. You can do a self-guided treks or employ a Certified National Park guides. Because they’re experts in their local areas, they know the best trails and the most scenic spots

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Most of these tours do not require any previous experience in mountain activities. You may visit viewpoints with spectacular panoramic views using little time and effort. You don’t need to be accompanied by a guide to walk on the trails described in this section, but you may want to have their services if you don’t feel safe walking alone or if your want to discover the secrets of this wonderful place.

This spectacular multi-day trek is the most demanding one you can take without specialist mountaineering gear.

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The start of the hike was very promising of a challenge.  The rest of the hike, was trees, trees and more trees, and some trees with moss on them or with enlarged fungus. The scenery was peaceful and relaxing. The autumn foliage is a bonus.

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I went with a photographic workshop group on a multi-day trek from camp to camp, glamping into the woods with our ranger, porter and cook. It sounded like an interesting challenge so we made our plans for a 3 day hike

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Camping at this place during autumn time you have to prepare yourself for a very cold nights. I slept with my fur hat to kept my head warm. The toilet is not that far from the camping site, but night time puma is the big problem. As elusive these wildlife  at daytime, they love to come out once it’s get dark. And if you strike to meet one, it would be your lucky night.

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On a day like any other, our journey to the top of Mirador Del Cerro Torre usualy  begun early on the day. The next 3 days will be upon looking above to observe the beauty and majesty of the range. With snow-covered mountain tops, looming in the horizon and 40 km of a winding climb, there’s no joke that this journey will be an uphill battle, especially on the last day.

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As it’s autumn,the weather is cool. Trees and shrubs light up our path. But I notice that over the next few hours, the mountain landscape changes subtly with diversity as we are ascending. If there is something that is constant is the abundance of trees with lovely autumn foliage.

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As we continue to hike and experience in wonderment of the scenery, I’ve gain a fascinating insights about the trees, wildlife of the places that I have came to walked and visited. One thing is certain, I come away with a much deeper understanding of how plants and animals have adapted to survive in our hostile climate.

The vegetation is diverse- about as diverse as the trails in the range. The landscape is vast. There are shrubs, small trees, tall ones, trees that are isolated in the middle of the valleys that are perhaps most striking and piercing. The smaller trees look more like over-grown shrubs, with leaves and branches extending in uneven directions. And trees standing in isolation seem to be most alive, by virtue of their luscious foliage. The valleys are a sharp contrast to the relaxing mountain evergreen plantation. The snow capped ranges are equally striking and one can’t imagine a more picture-perfect setting.

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As I walk in this woods, my mind wanders and delves into recurring themes of life. The mind wanders, and so do we. I saw hundreds of trees that seems like they are dying and out of place, as it looks, but they seems to be surviving. In this place, survival is a game. The survival of the fittest and the fighter.

Just like all these trees, in life, we either respond to obstacles by accepting them or taking the responsibility to change them. That is, we go with the flow, or we fight the flow to the order of our choosing. As we keep walking, this becomes a standard theme in the journey; it’s a life journey magnified into the form of 3 day hike.

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The peace and quiet of the place is so hauntingly shattering that it takes you into an ever-present trance. Nothing speaks more to the soul than the calm of nature. As we make our final hike into the mountain, there was a sudden feeling of accomplishment and yet, I’m reminded about the trees. The trees face life for what it is. They do not complain, they just live and they survive. There’s not really any choice; it’s death or life – or fight for your survival to live. It was then that I realized just like this hike or challenging climb is somewhat a metaphor for life- whether you’re going up or you’re going down, as long as you’re moving in a certain direction, you’ll get there – you fight for your survival like the trees. The journey is the destination.

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Photos below is our final day on reaching our destination at the town of El Chalten. As challenging as it may be for first time hiker who never walked a block of her neighbourhood like me, unexpectedly, I have said to myself that YES, I did it! A challenge with the hike is as a culminating element of success. A walked in these woods of Patagonia has been a truly revelatory experience for me.

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Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
– Hunter S. Thompson

READ MORE ABOUT DR ZENAIDY CASTRO AS A DENTIST & HER COSMETIC DENTISTRY PRACTICE IN MELBOURNE

THE GLOBETROTTING DENTIST

See the world from my photographic perspective

Welcome! I’m Dr Zenaidy Castro , a Cosmetic Dentist based in Melbourne  Australia. My unquenchable thirst for travel and passion for photography  leads me to explore the world, from here and hopefully one day, at the end of the remote continent -wherever that is.

If you are looking for travel insights and inspirations, you have come to the right place. My blog post have abundance of visual journals and photos to help you soak with the landscape, culture, people and the place without leaving your home. You will find tips and informations along the way.

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