The key to being a good traveler is being flexible and understanding that any journey can defer from its planned path. Sometimes you might miss your 6 AM flight, sometimes your hostel roommate has some real rank feet, and sometimes your amazing Patagonia trek gets rained out. The truth about traveling is that you can’t win them all, but you can plan in a throw away day in case things go awry. This is a tribute to having a weather contingency day in your travel schedule.
It’s the most exciting morning of our trip. Our group of six young travelers woke up in Calafate Argentina, ready to travel to the base of Mt. Fitz Roy, one of the world’s most iconic mountains. The hostel arranged a private cab for our group and insisted it would get us there more efficiently then the air conditioned coach that drives there every morning. We thanked the hostel and gathered our backpacks filled to the brim with tents, camping stoves, and all the Patagonia essentials. Then our luxurious cab arrived!
Oh right we are in Argentina! You can’t help but laugh as you realize the car has a no trunk, as the back is filled with two extra seats for our large group. Everyone’s bags were tied onto the roof extremely securely, with one rope. That singular rope worked so well, we only pulled over three times to catch a bag falling off the roof!
Our day got more entertaining as it looked like we were driving into a rain storm! The bags should stay dry on top of the car though, no problem! As we pulled up into the rainy town, we couldn’t wait to see the views!
Being familiar only with the Rocky Mountains, we knew the rain would lighten up shortly and decided to head out on the trail to see a beautiful glacier. So we started out on our hike and stopped at the first view point. Amazing!
A tour group then walks by and the instructor shouts “You can imagine how beautiful this view would be on any other day." Realizing we could imagine the view from the local bar, we decided to cut our loses and turn around.
As we are walking back down the mountain in our grim despair, we acknowledged that I was the only one with dry legs because of my awesome Trailhead Coalatree pants… but also that we lost an opportunity to see a gorgeous part of the Patagonia region. But wait! One of our friends reminded me that we planned in a throw away day in case the weather was crappy or our transportation got messed up…..smart huh?
A tribute to the weather contingency day!! The next day we had the best time of our lives hiking Mt. Fitz Roy. The intense peaks, the gorgeous valleys, and the ice blue alpine glacier lakes make Patagonia the most special mountain range I’ve had the pleasure to trek in!