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

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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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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate February 27th 2013

After the intense hiking we did in El Chalten, and before we got into more of the same in Chile, we took a few days to recuperate in the town of El Calafate and per Craig Lan's suggestion to allow Chris time to shave. The town was small but huge compared to El Chalten (Population 600). It is the "jumping off" point for the Argentinian side of Patagonia so there was no shortage of tourists, souvenior shops and credit card machines. Overall it was a great town with good food and good views of the water. However, with all the tourists the town restaurants have colluded to charge a "utensil" fee per person at 1-3 USD per person. During our stay in El Calafate we took a boat trip out to the Perito Moreno glacier (~ ... read more
Perito Moreno glacier
Perito Moreno glacier
Perito Moreno glacier

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate February 26th 2013

Il est temps de quitter El Chalten et le Fitz Roy a été sympa d’être là pour mon départ, il était même visible depuis l’embranchement avec le route 40 à 50 km de là ! Retour vers El Calafate donc avant de reprendre un autre bus pour Bariloche. Pour ceux qui lisent ce blog et qui sont passés dans le coin, je sais, ce n’est pas logique, il y avait d’autres solutions mais c’est le seul trajet que j’avais trouvé pour utiliser mon bus pass. Encore moins logique quand on se rendra compte à la fin de la journée que le bus va redescendre jusqu’à Rio Gallegos avant de remonter, l’hallu ! Faire 27 heures de bus n’est déjà pas très agréable, mais alors la sensation de rebrousser chemin, de reculer au lieu d’avancer l’est encore ... read more
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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén February 25th 2013

Aujourd’hui, c’était prévu, beau temps prévu, la journée idéale pour aller faire la rando de 8h, 26 km et 750m de dénivelé jusqu’au Laguna de Los Tres, au pied du Fitz Roy. Eva est repartie la veille pour El Calafate pour faire une excursion en bateau et voir d’autres glaciers (les plus grands) mais moi je ne voulais pas manquer l’occasion d’aller faire cette rando dont on m’avait dit du bien les jours précédents. Eh bien, tout le monde a eu la même idée et attendait une belle journée pour s’y rendre (sachant qu’il allait repleuvoir mardi). En plus nous avons eu de la chance, car il parait que les sommets sont souvent nuageux et que ce n’est même pas la peine de faire la dernière partie de la rando si c’est le cas (tu m’étonnes). ... read more
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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate February 24th 2013

Patagonia! We flew straight into Base Camp, Patagonia, otherwise known as El Calafate, the kind of place people stock up on Gortex gear and have a big last meal before launching into Patagonia proper. The first item on our itinerary was a day walking on Perito Moreno, a huge, advancing glacier that spills into Lago Argentino. Before you get too excited parents; the walk had a strict age limit of 45! Looking at the glacier from the lookout was truly impressive, we saw huge chunks of ice crash into the water below so large Tom swears the impact created rideable waves (in case it’s not obvious Tom is keen to get back to a coastline)! Once strapped into some crampons and on the glacier it was hard to take in the scale of the mass of ... read more
Getting closer to the Fitz Roy
Fitz Roy range
Chalten - Nice view

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

Le site windguru avait dit que le ciel se dégagerait à partir de midi, il fallait vraiment lui faire confiance pour y croire en se levant le dimanche matin, la pluie continuait et n’avait pas arrêté de toute la nuit, ce qui commençait a rendre tout le monde d’humeur maussade. Et puis, à 11h, stop. Ni une ni deux, on embarque sac à dos et pique-nique, et on s’en va pour la balade annoncée de 6h/6h30 A/R et 20 km pour Laguna Torre au pied du mont Torre à 3100 m (voire 2 jours pour le Lonely Planet des treks Maria J, ils conseillaient de dormir au camp avant de revenir !). Toujours pas de Fitz Roy en vue au fait, à croire qu’il a disparu ! Le sentier est étonnamment et agréablement sec, la terre ... read more
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