Page 51 of rrruss Travel Blog Posts

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia December 29th 2006

Merry Christamas from the bottom of the world! Sorry about the amount of photos but these represent just a small selection of the snap-happy amount I took! The bus journey from Rio Grande was what you hope every journey will be like - short (3 hours), comfortable and beautiful scenery. It’s just a shame that the city of Ushuaia didn’t quite impress us as much as we had hoped. Perhaps we hoped for a quaint pioneer frontier town or something like Bariloche, but anyway, the place is very functional and generally very expensive. Even so, we have thoroughly enjoyed our stay. On Christmas Eve it was hard to find places open and charging prices we were prepared to pay. It seemed that every restaurant upped its prices fourfold, and even the tenedor libres (buffets) wanted 100-120 ... read more
Penguin Postie
Merry Xmas
A Beaver´s Dam

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Río Grande December 28th 2006

Okay, I know, there’s no entry for Rio Gallegos. All the books said there was nothing to see or do there, and we set out to prove them wrong. They were pretty much right!! It was probably the windiest place we have ever been and that even stopped us walking along the riverside “promenade”. At least it gave a chance to catch our breath and get some domestic chores done. From there we had a torrid journey out of Argentina and into Chile, then over the Magellan Straits, then back into Argentina before getting to Rio Grande. The journey took forever because of delays at border crossings. It appears that someone on our bus had a problem with their passport or visa, and so we sat for over 3 hours on the bus at the first ... read more
We got a good soaking
We were not sure at first

What to say about the Perito Moreno glacier? We decided to do a “mini-trekking” tour rather than simply make our own way to the viewing platforms. It turned out to be a good move, and the prices are the same (250 pesos) no matter who you book through. Our day began with a bus journey into the National Park and then a boat trip across part of the lake. The views of the glacier were spectacular, but they got much, much better. Once back on dry land we had a short lecture about the formation of glaciers before being fitted with crampons. Then we took to the ice. For almost 2 hours we trekked up and down crevices (or were they crevasses?!) and had breathtaking icy scenery all around us in every shade of blue you ... read more
Easy does it going downhill
The South Front of the glacier
And the North Front too!

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Chaltén December 20th 2006

Another 12 hours down the Ruta 40 took us to the town of El Chaltén, a place clearly constructed just for tourism. It was apparently only founded in 1985. Whilst it was expensive to stay and eat there, we did have one exquisite meal in the Fuegia Bistro which matched anything we had eaten in Buenos Aires for taste. The real purpose of the town is trekking, and specifically to reach the base camps for climbing the Fitz Roy mountain and also Mount Torre. Unfortunately your ability to do this, or even to see said mountains, depends entirely on the weather. I am sure we are not alone in having visited the area and never seeing the Fitz Roy! Still, we did some pretty spectacular walking. We lunched at glacial lakes and were awed by the ... read more
Trish tries out her new hat
Feeling the cold
Crossing the river

La Ruta 40 (Route 40) is a long, long, long, long road stretching from the North of Argentina to the very South. It’s the equivalent of having a road going from Liverpool to Timbuctu! Our journey from Bariloche to the town of Perito Moreno took us on only a small part of the road yet was 12 hours or so on the bus, a great part of that being on ripio (gravel) roads and therefore not the most comfortable! The town of Perito Moreno itself is the archetypal one horse town! Other than tourists travelling the Ruta 40 (or a handful going to or from Chile) there is nothing much there. A tourist map takes you to “Swan Lake” or “El Lago de los Cisnes” but it’s rather an over glamorous title. The plaza looks like ... read more
Cave paintings
Cave paintings
Cave paintings

What to say about Bariloche? It has been an incredible place and by the time we leave in the early hours tomorrow we will have been here almost a week. Our hostel (Albergue Patagonia Andina) has been everything we could have hoped for and that more than made up for the bad start we had in Bariloche. We have walked - a lot! Up mountains, through woodlands and across valleys and streams. The weather has been very kind to us and the occasional chill in the air never put us off doing anything. We have eaten our lunch with some of the most breathtaking views we have ever seen. The Hotel Llao Llao looked incredible and at US$240 a night, it should! Even so, that’s a fabulous price for what would be an unforgettable stay. Not ... read more
Why Aren't We Staying Here?
Millions of Purple Lupins

South America » Argentina » Río Negro December 7th 2006

Twenty minutes from Las Grutas on a local bus was the town of San Antonio Oeste. We had an impressive glossy brochure from the Tourism Office which must have taken some imagination to put together! The sights are really a collection of ram shackled old buildings left over from the early days of the railways. Still, we wandered around and saw everything the brochure “offered” before passing a few hours in a café and a bar. Then we ate a wonderful fish supper in the Alca restaurant. We may have been the only diners but the Patagonian wine was wonderful, and my abadejo (Argentine Cod) and Trish’s fish stew were fabulous. Then it was time to go to the train station to wait for the Tren Patagonico to Bariloche. The 9pm departure eventually left at 10pm ... read more
A rare one!

South America » Argentina » Río Negro » Las Grutas December 7th 2006

One of my students had suggested we make a stop at Las Grutas, so we did. Arriving in the drizzle didn’t bode well and we felt like tourists from Yorkshire arriving for their annual holiday in Cleethorpes! At the bus station a cute little stray dog latched onto us and followed us faithfully around as we sought a hotel. The sandy roads had turned to deep mud and we eventually gave up trying to find the place we had decided on. We trekked around town and along the seafront for about 40 minutes, always with our tiny friend in tow, before making a dash for the Tourist Information Centre. They were surprisingly efficient and before long we were round the corner and checking into the Hotel Casa Iberia Sol. At 50 pesos a night we were ... read more
Another one for the collection
Beach Bowls
Swimming Pool

South America » Argentina » Chubut » Puerto Madryn December 7th 2006

Puerto Madryn is a nice little seaside town and we stayed in a terrific hostel, the Viajero, who were so popular we were unable to extend our stay! The sunset was terrific and we relaxed soooooooo much. The Ecocentre was an excellent place to visit to learn about the marine wildlife before a trip to see it. The sofas in the lookout tower were a little too comfortable so we left before outstaying our welcome! The main point of staying there is to go and see the whales, and to visit Peninsula Valdes, home of various fauna of the region. The whales were not as numerous as we had hoped, in fact we only saw three or four of them. Even so, it was wonderful to see these graceful creatures in their natural habitat. Whilst none ... read more
Look out for the whale
Salty Spray
Beach penguins

South America » Argentina » Chubut » Gaiman December 4th 2006

Gaiman is a small town some 17 km from Trelew and famous for its Welsh tea houses. Who were we to say no? After traipsing around and seeing the Welsh chapels and the first house to be built in the town, we tried to do the cultural thing and see the museums - but they were never open. We gave up at 3.20 (they were supposed to open at 3pm and we had already wandered around since 11am) and went for our tea. Inside Ty Gwyn (White House in Welsh) it was like something straight out of the Welsh valleys. The tea was amazing with so much bread and butter, scones, and a large variety of sweet cakes. We felt really gordo afterwards!! We even heard some Welsh being spoken in the street. Even though we ... read more
The Cardiff Tea House
Across the rickety bridge
Going to the chapel

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