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Manu | 19 April 2012 | no comments

When I arrived to El Chalten I was not sure about my decision, as the weather was not going to be very nice and it looked like a place where you can only go hiking an that’s it. It thought I may have slowed don my trip but, as I was here, what I could do was just to enjoy it at the best. Wrong! I was wrong! So far, El Chalten is the place that stole my heart in Patagonia. I think this has been the first place that has really given to me the impression of being in Patagonia.

El Chalten lays at the feet of the most majestic mount of the entire Andes Rangers, the Fitz Roy, with its snowy peaks and glaciers, it is right in the middle of the Glacier National Park, in an uncontaminated area where men have asked Nature the permit to live here.

You need to discover this place and get n touch with it, and at the same time you need to become part of it, absorb its deep feeling of Nature and once it’s done, El Chalten will remain in your heart as one of those places where you leave a piece of your heart.

Few places have ever left me such a deep sensation of belonging to them: it happened to Skye Isle, in Scotland, and Isafjordur in Iceland, and now I think it just happened with El Chalten, I have the feeling I love this place so much that I could easily come to leave here for a bit. Actually I even have the feeling that I am going to miss this place so much when I will leave it. And this is the most amazing feeling of all, this is the feeling that tells me I fall in love with a place.

The feeling I have here is that I am really close to the Nature energy of the Planet. Everything here is subject to Mother Nature willing. The weather keeps changing every few minutes, and it’s up to your inner power wat you manage to do and see. The Beauty is surrounding me everywhere. After a short walk ( for the walk distance around here, a walk of 1 hour and half in the forest is nothing) yesterday, I found an amazing waterfall hidden by Autumn coloured trees and rock mountains. The water was coming off fresh and powerful from the mountain, from the glacier up there, the one I didn’t manage to see as the fog has hidden it all the time these days and nobody was around, it was only me and the feeling of Nature that was all around.

The Autumn here has incredible colours and shades, red and yellow leaves mixed with the brown of the ground and the blue of the sky make the surrounding landscape looking like a dreamland. Despite the feeling that  Winter is in the air, and the cold snowy wind does everything to remember it to me, Autumn here gives me the feeling of warm and cosy. The world out there is far away, here nothing really seems to matter, and in the evening listening to the silence surrounding everything is sweet and priceless. This is the magic of El Chalten, and people that leave here seem to know it. This is the first place where people really speak about Patagonia, more that Argentina. It has been here that I realized where I am.

Daniel, another inspiring Daniel met here, the owner of the hostel where I am currently staying and a beautifully inspired mind, open to the Nature vibrations and to the power of the surrounding world,  defines Patagonia as “a place that helps you to take it easy and to understand and enjoy the full meaning of life, the one we usually forget when busy with the daily busy life of the big cities”. How true! Patagonia, as well as all the places where the contact with nature is so close, make the people wiser and more aware of the true meaning of being called an human being. Here everything reminds people how small they are, how fragile compared to the immense force of Nature, and how you must be respectful of the surrounding, as this world is a gift given to all of us to enjoy and make us better persons.

That’s the biggest lesson I got at the feet of the Fitz Roy, and thinking about this in the rainy streets of El Chalten today made me appreciated  so much my choice to come here, slow down and stay for a bit!

No I am ready to my next destination: Ushuaia!