Christmas in Patagonia

I’m not sure how Santa fared this Christmas in Patagonia. Judging by the howling wind all night, it must have required monumental effort for him to fly around and drop down all those chimneys. The wind wailed all night long, keeping us both up for much of the night. In the morning, we had grand plans of a super early morning, hoping to seize the day, but after a rough night’s sleep, we gifted each other with sleeping in a bit :)

Once we packed up we finally made it to the trailhead. Our hike to an alpine lake with views of a glacier sandwiched between jagged peaks was stunning.

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El Chaltén

Over breakfast we chatted about the plan. Wolf’s research indicated that part of our “highway hiccup” problem could be dirty electrical collections, and after tinkering a bit more with the van, we decided that the responsible thing to do would be to put off the big day hike we had hoped to accomplish and go see a mechanic for some help. We drove a few blocks back to the shop we had spotted the day before. We stopped in and told him that all we wanted to do was have him clean a few specific electrical connections, but unfortunately he didn’t have the right cleaner and sent us to a hardware store around the corner where we picked some up. We picked up the laundry we had dropped off the day before and I set about putting things away and packing lunches to take with us on an afternoon hike while Wolf set about cleaning the connections. We were both feeling good and responsible and had accomplished our goal. We ran one last errand and then started towards the trailhead, but somehow, things had gotten worse. Now the car seemed to have lost the ability to idle. The first minute or two after startup were ok, but then it wouldn’t maintain an idle, and stall out unless we were giving the engine a bit of gas. Somehow our issue had gone from bad to worse.

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The Day The Wind Blew The Roof Off Of Our Van

Waking up at the lake was incredibly peaceful. We were all alone, and in the morning light, the lake looked turquoise, a stark contrast to the sandy dunes all around us.

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