The Bumpy Road from Hell
Los Glaciares National Park, El Chalten, Santa Cruz Province
Google Maps Location photo was taken from: https://goo.gl/cK15Za
After checking into our lovely hotel in El Chalten, we decided to take a drive the 22 miles up route 23, to see the Lago del Desierto. The sun would be setting in a few hours, so no time for long day hikes. Just outside of town, the road turned from pavement to dirt gravel. This shot was taken at about the halfway point and I think Cerro Fitzroy would be visible behind these clouds. Up to this point, most of the mountain range and big peaks like Fitzroy were socked in with cloud coverage like this, so we debated over whether we should continue or not. In the end, we decided to push on, since our schedule was open. As we kept driving, not only were the views nonexistent due to clouds obscuring mostly everything, but the road got progressively worse. I am talking deep, water filled potholes, sometimes a Honda Accord in diameter, all over the road like a minefield. What started with pebbles and small stones for half of the route, turned into rocks the size of baseballs or more, constantly smacking into the underside carriage of our tiny VW Up! muscle bound 1 liter compact. Several times I thought we lost a part of the muffler or some important part of the car on that road. As it got worse and worse, our speeds hovered in the 5-10mph range, barely creeping along. What should have taken around an hour or so, ended up being over two hours. By the time we got to the lake, we could not see a thing. And then to add salt to the wound, we had another two hours ahead of us on the return, with half of it in the pitch dark. That trip was so bumpy, I think I am set from going to the chiropractor for a year plus or more. On the flip side, this little adventure made traveling on any other dirt/gravel road in Argentina and Chile feel like a walk in the park.