El Chalten – Not Great if You Don’t Like Hiking – Part Two

Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist

My El Chalten experience, continued.

The hikes are no doubt beautiful as you can tell from my photos. I did one called Laguna Torre. That trail was 9 kilometers. I only did the first 2.5 kilometers as that was hard enough for me and being cold and windy I didn’t want to overdo it. With the clouds I missed out on seeing Fitz Roy in all its glory. I first worry about hiking alone because I might be mugged (damn you anxiety) but then I worry because if I get hurt I’m alone. Soon enough, I see tons of other hikers and all my anxieties disappear. I even manage to hike up and down some steep areas and do just fine.

A sign lets me know what path I’m on.

Photograph by Heather Markel, Copyright 2019

I decide to cut my stay one day short. I’m learning to go with my heart instead of making excuses to suffer through an experience I don’t feel like having. I’ve done enough of that in my life that I’m dropping this bad habit. 

“I’m done suffering through experiences I dont feel like having.”

Before heading out I grab some breakfast. A 20 minute desperate walk around town for some eggs because I can’t look at another pastry for breakfast. I finally find a cafe and end up meeting à lovely French couple from Paris. We talk about our travels and my time in Colombia. When I get ready to leave another couple there stop me. They are also French and heard me talking about Colombia and since they plan to go they are interested in my experiences there. I urge them to go and tell them how wonderful it was and show them photos. They are one month in to 6 months of traveling through south America and have just started their travel blog. I just love meeting other people who have decided to see the world like I am, for months at a time. Makes me feel more and more accepted for what I’m doing.

Another gorgeous view, wonder what it’s like in sunshine! Then again, this way it’s more mysterious. 🙂

Photograph by Heather Markel, copyright 2019

I have to cut the conversation short to make my bus. Luckily I was able to change my ticket with no fee and get another seat. I end up sitting next to the exact same people I was next to on the way to El Chalten! They turn out to be from Calafate and we have a lovely chat.
So, in the end, a visit to a town I didn’t particularly love ended up letting me practice the art of following my heart and leading me to some wonderful food and people. Not so bad after all. 🙂

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