Published: December 22nd 2007December 21st 2007
December 20, 2007
We arrived in Buenos Aires from our first flight around 9am local time. The flight was easy and Dave and I both slept about 8 hours of the 10 hour flight - can’t ask for better than that! We made it through customs and got our baggage with no issue. That was a relief since we’d heard all sorts of stories about the BA EZE airport. We found our driver awaiting us, and hopped in the car to drive across the city to the other airport - Aeroparque as they all call it. We arrived in time to find chaos at this airport just in the sense that there were many, many lines to check in, no kiosks, etc. You just had to pick a line and stick with it, hoping that no one in your line caused major delay. While waiting, we noticed that our flight was delayed, so that lowered the stress level of making it on time for the flight. It ended up being delayed by about 1.5 hours, but we made it on the plane. We both slept for most of this 3.5 hr flight also - I guess we were tired. Flying into
El Calafate was different - from above the ground looks like vast brown “fields” with some mountainous peaks. We landed in a valley right by a gorgeous blue/green lake with some major white caps. Our first confirmation of the famous/infamous winds of Patagonia. They were not joking about that. We got our luggage again with no incident, and met our driver. He prepped us before walking outside and Dave said we’d heard about the wind. The driver looks at us completely dead pan, and says “Well, it’s all true.” And it is!
The skies are a gorgeous blue with big fluffy white clouds that breeze by. It is summer here, and if you’re standing in the sun blocked from the wind, it is very pleasant. As soon as the clouds cover the sun and the wind comes out, it quickly becomes quite a bit cooler. As in I wore a fleece with a hood and a wind jacket on top while walking around. Then I added the wool hat after about an hour outside. The town is very cute - like a small little ski village. Shops, restaurants, internet cafes, lots of wooly, friendly stray dogs running around. It is
definitely a tourist town - they say it is essentially just a gateway town for people coming to see the glaciers. Which is exactly why we’re here.
It gets dark here around 11pm and gets light again around 4am. We are very close to the South Pole - so cool!
December 21, 2007
We got up early to get picked up at 7:15am for our day on a boat to go see the glaciers. I’ve never seen anything like this before! We took a bus ride at record pace to the National Glacier Park. The driver was fun and sped the whole way. Once there, we boarded a catamaran that seated about 100 people and set out on the Lago Argentino (huge lake). The only way to describe this place: imagine 5 Lake Tahoes put together that are completely surrounded by The Grand Tetons. It was amazing. Check out the photos. As you can see, I washed away all of my sins by washing my feet in the cold water. Hahahahaha
We are off to dinner and tomorrow, Mini-trekking (whatever that is????? - hiking on a glacier!)
There are more photos below