Blogs from Santa Cruz, Argentina, South America - page 5

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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 26th 2013

I got up at seven to meet Brett, Erin, and Cristian at their hostel for some climbing. After waiting for them, and getting some mediadores (delicious pastries) for breakfast, it was almost nine, so I waited for the climbing shop to open to rent some shoes. After opening fifteen minutes late, I was lucky that this place had my size, and for only $5 for the day. What a bargain! Wait, what am I doing here??? I've never gone rock climbing. I've gone wall climbing before a handful of times without ever really knowing what I was doing. And the last time I went, I felt like I was going to rip my shoulders from their sockets thanks to some old shoulder injuries that never really healed properly.... which was my own fault, but that's an ... read more
Climb on!
On my way up
Brett, workin' the wall

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 24th 2013

I had a very poor sleep on my last night in El Calafate. Someone in my room had a phone that would beep every minute. I think maybe the battery was dying, but it didn't seem to disturb him. Just me. I only managed to sleep for a couple of hours before it drove to a couch in the common area. So naturally I slept half of the three and a half hour bus ride to El Calafate to try and make up for it. I would have slept for the other half as well, but it was a clear day without a cloud in the sky, and that meant spectacular views of the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from the bus. And these are two geological features that don't really make any sense compared to ... read more
The town
The Fitz Roy
Cerro Torre (not CGI)

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate March 21st 2013

One I've my favourite characteristics of travel is the random and extraordinary things that can happen. And as far as crazy coincidence goes, I think I have topped that category on the flight to El Calafate. I sat down in my window seat and got myself set up for the three hour plus flight, and I ended up chatting with the couple next to me, who were also (coincidentally) from Canada. Actually, they were from Calgary(coincidentally)... and actually it turns out he's one of the Vice Presidents of the company that I work for! So in summary, on a domestic flight in Argentina, over 10,000 km from home (and work), I'm sitting on a plane with over one hundred other total strangers on it, and the person seated right next to me is not only also ... read more
From Afar
From a Boat
Wall of Ice

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate March 17th 2013

Until now the longest bus journey we have done has been 12 hours and its about to be more than doubled. We have over 2000km of arid land to go over before finally arriving into El Calafate, 5 hours outside Puerto Natales. We are more than likely going to go insane on it and I thought it would be best to write down this painfully enduring journey. 11 am - The bus pulled into El Bolson and we see exactly where we are going to be spending the next day and a little bit. We had only one choice of seat, Premier or Cama, which is a big comfy chair that reclines to almost 160*. Here we go. 11.30 am - The initial excitement of spending all this time on the bus has begun to wear ... read more

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate March 17th 2013

Feeling surprisingly refreshed and ready to go after our bus ride down from El Bolson we were keen to make the most of our time in El Calafate, all of the two days we had. The first day was almost a write off after arriving into the town at 1.30pm, then getting to the hostel, sorting out our things and of course showering. It left us a few hours in the afternoon to do a couple of things. First and foremost to do our very routine scan around the town to see what was is on offer and have a look in the abundance of expensive outdoor shops, including a very tempting sale at a Patagonia store. The chocolatiers carried on in El Calafate too, the main difference was that this chocolate tasted amazing! We spent ... read more

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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate March 16th 2013

Today we went ziplining (flying fox). It was Emiliano's idea, as it was his last day of his holiday, and we had booked it the night before. Unfortunately, he has come down with the cold that has been making its way through all of us, and has bailed out. Just leaving Jo, Mike and myself to do it on another beautiful day. We drive about an hour out of El Calafate to a private farm, where they do eco tours. The zipline circuit for us is 2.5km's over 5 individual lines, weaving its way down a small mountain. After getting up the mountain in a 4x4 we are greeted with the first line, 544 metres in length and 60 metres high. We have tremendous views over towards Torres Del Paine, 450km away, and can actually make ... read more
The view to the lagoon
Torres Del Paine
Mojo getting ready


Off to the Los Glaciares National Park today to see the Perito Moreno Glacier. Up at 6am to hunt for a taxi, or bus company to take us out there. Ended up getting a bus tour for a good price, but its still not cheap when you add in national park fee's and a boat ride. Once again a spectacular day, we can see Torres Del Paine in Chile, clearly - some 450kms away. The bus tour guide says that there are only a few days a year like this, and on bad days they get 3m waves on the lake!!! Bus ride is good, we briefly see an armadillo brefore he disapears, as well as some eagles and a condor ripping into some roadkill. We get to the park, and the glacier blows your mind. ... read more
View to Mt Fitzroy (El Chalten)
Sunrise over Lago Argentina
First glimpse of the glacier

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate March 14th 2013

Arrived in El Calafate in the early afternoon after an enjoyable flight with Lade Air. Seeing as the tickets were so cheap i was expecting that we would be sitting amongst some chickens and a crate of fruit. But we were served a nice lunch and drinks, including beer, which i suprisingly turned down as i was still getting over a cold. Additionally, we had views across the Andes the whole way down. For two hours it was non stop snow capped mountains and lakes as the weather was still spectacular. Arrived in El Calafate to find it much warmer then Bariloche (at least while the sun was up), and started the hunt for a hostel. With backpacks on we tramped around the streets of the town until we had found one that we were happy ... read more
Ducks in Laguna Nimez
Flamingo in Laguna Nimez
Flamingo in Laguna Nimez

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén March 11th 2013

After a great time in El Calafate (forgetting the bug bites), Sonya and I were both keen to discover more of the spectacular beauty that southern Patagonia has to offer. A three hour bus ride north brought us to the tiny town of El Chalten, at the foot of the Fitz Roy mountain range in the middle of nowhere. The town attracts tourists during the summer months because of its many walking trails to various mountains and lakes in close proximity. Now, as you may know, we're not exactly avid ramblers. In fact, we don't even own a pair of those super-trendy walking shoes between us but the beauty of Patagonia will make you do crazy things. In our case that meant a 12km round trip to Laguna Capri, under the gaze of Mount Fitz Roy. ... read more
Valley
Laguna Capri
Mirador de Los Condores

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate March 9th 2013

We arrived at our next destination El Calafate by plane which was a nice change from getting an exhausting overnight bus journey. We had been told that it was pretty cold in El Calafate and as soon as we stepped outside the airport me and Jon both looked at each other and laughed as the freezing weather hit us immediately. We had acclimatised to the hot and humid weather of Brazil so 5 degrees was quite a shock to our bodies! We began joking on how Jon was probably going to freeze to death due to only having one jumper with him and no coat! After coming out of the airport we jumped on the shuttle bus and made our way to our hostel huddled together. It was around 10pm at night and completely pitch black. ... read more
Me getting blown away at Lago Argentina
Our ugly walking boots
Boat ride to the Perito Moreno glacier




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