What a world we live in, ya'll. I had the past week off for my program's "Fall Break" and ended up taking the trip of a life time to the famed Mount Fitz Roy in El Chalten, Argentina. This trip started as a dream a couple of years ago when I received a Patagonia catalog in the mail featuring a picture of two guys with their fists in the air as they drove down the Route 40 into El Chalten, Fitz Roy overhead. While, I did get to explore Patagonia for two weeks before my program started I did not make it to El Chalten sadly, so the dream lived on. About a month ago though I sat on a 13 hour bus ride to Mendoza, Argentina with a then stranger, Sophie, who I told my dream of hiking Fitz Roy to. After only sitting next to me for maybe an hour she just said, "I'm in." And just like that this dream became a reality.
Sophie and I spent the weekend in Mendoza sipping wine and excitingly talking about our newly decided adventure. Isn't it typical to start thinking about the next adventure while you're already on an adventure? Once we were back in Buenos Aires we did a little bit of research on hostels, but other than that we kind of just decided to wing it. I think the real adventure begins when you stop planning.
Before we knew it, we were driving to the airport at 3:30am to catch our flight to El Calafate, Argentina where we would then catch a bus to El Chalten. We landed at about 9am and immediately went to go see the Perito Moreno Glacier famous to Calafate, grabbed dinner with some friends, then tried to sleep as we anticipated our 8am bus ride into the mountains. It was basically Christmas Eve.
This bus ride into El Chalten was a dream, literally. I had imagined this drive for a long time, and dang, was it sweet. We started at dawn and slowly through the ride the fog began to lift and all of a sudden Fitz Roy was just there, right in front of me. Almost like it had always just been there.
As soon as that bus pulled to a stop at the station in Chalten, Sophie and I darted. We ran with our luggage the two blocks to our hostel, put our stuff down, hiking gear on, grabbed a map, and were off. Our first hike was about a 4 hour round trip to Largo Capri - everything I had ever imagined. Crystal clear blue skies, Fitz Roy, and some of the best water I have ever tasted. We set up our hammocks and just stared in awe.
There's a passage in the Bible where God creates Adam and Eve and He looks out onto the rest of His creation and calls it "good" but then looks at them and calls them "very good." It blows my mind to think about the Creator of the universe, the Creator of Fitz Roy, looking at me the same way I looked at that mountain all week. What a love. What a God.
Basically the whole week was filled with laughs, deep breathing, glacier water, incredible views, and heavy use of "freaking." We met the coolest people at our hostel, ate a lot pasta, walked about 18 miles a day, and lived the dream. I couldn't have asked for any more. Nor, could I have asked for a better travel buddy. Sophie is awesome and 10/10 would recommend her if you ever need a travel buddy, thanks for bribing me down a mountain with burgers and teaching me a whole lot about what selfless love really looks like.
It's a weird feeling having lived your biggest dream. But then I remember that I'm pretty small and there are a whole heck of lot more dreams out there to be lived, especially with a Creator as big as our's. So cheers to the next one.
Your joy is worth it, Ker
PS: Click on the pictures to read a little bit about each.