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After a lovely afternoon in Rio Gallegos just chilling out and enjoying the rare comforts of our especially nice hotel for the evening, we drove across the vast and familiarly barren land of southern Argentina to El Calafate- an island of tourist’s heaven.

As Adam pointed out in the last post, the magnet of this town is the ridiculously massive glacier – the Perrito Moreno (affectionately known as the Brown Puppy)  – sitting 50km away. One of the few glaciers in the world still growing, it measures 4,500m across atthe terminal,  over 30km in length, and has a 70m ice wall (a total ice depth of 170m),  and flows into Lago Argentina. In the rugged surrounds, it is rightly one of the main drawcards in Argentinian Patagonia.

We explored the various views along with some friends that we met at the previous stop- Kathrine and Partrice from Leon- and were as entranced as every other visitor there, waiting, watching for the next shard  to tumble spectacularly into the water below.  A few times during the afternoon we also witnessed huge chunks of glassy blue ice float up from below the lakes surface, emerging like a submarine desperate for air.

After taking photos from every possible vista, with us, autumn colours, clouds,  and ice bergs, we eventually tore ourselves away from the sport of glacier watching and ambled back to the comforts of town. More of that to come later in the trip no doubt.

As it was our aniversary day (we made it to a year!) we treated ourselves to a lovely dinner out in town and feasted on succulent lamb (not as good as Rob’s of course),  steak and a nice red, all renowned in these parts.

Although not as green and lush as I had hoped it would be El Calafate has plenty of charm to keep the traveller amused, comfortable and well feed for a few days. Plenty of  chocolaterias, crafty shops and touristy but charming bars.  Because of the amount of wood in the architecture it had a distinctive ski resort feel to it, and had the clientel around town to match.

We found a few favourite spots to hang out – a book store/cafe with good  music (very rare here), excellent coffee (even rarer out of BA), and comfy chairs in a sunlit upstairs area with wooden charm; and a bar in the sun where we relaxed with Catherine and Patrice after a hard day of  more relaxing in the garden of our hospedaje.

After picking up the papers for the car, it was time to move again. Next stop….finally across the border to Chile and further south.

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One Comment

  1. Hallo to our other pair of nomades. The glacier photos are just beautifull, the 2000km sounds less exciting, though nodoubt by now having traveled to Chili and back we should get a lot more of those great descriptive passages that make us yearn to travel along side.
    John


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