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Published: October 25th 2019
Up early for 7am breakfast, before taxi arrives at 7.30am to take us to the other Buenos Aires airport. Have enjoyed staying at Los Patios de San Telmo. Much, much cheaper than Chile (US $150 for two double rooms for 2 nights versus US $210 for a family room in Santiago for one night at Casasur Charming Hotel), great location in lively, characterful San Telmo, interesting decor and generally chilled with a nice vibe. Only small niggles would be that the room was a bit too warm with air con not working and fridge not working.
Pretty smooth and uneventful trip to El Calafate with LATAM. Spent about half an hour with a helpful LATAM sales lady trying to decipher the various emails I’ve received from LATAM about problems with the refund. All pretty confusing and annoying. About £1,000 tied up in airfares we can’t use and now have to re-buy to get our trip back on track.
I had managed to book Apart Hotel Linda Stay in El Calafate the night before so we were met by our driver Eduardo when we landed. As we still have no activities booked, we chatted to him about all the options
on our journey to the hotel.
Mother and daughter team Susanna and Ginny met us at the hotel and couldn’t have been more helpful arranging trips for us and giving us all the info we needed on where to eat and where to hire bikes, which we wanted to do. So after checking into our lovely mini house, we set out for a late lunch.
Went to Elba’r and enjoyed a couple of Patagonian beers with sandwiches, soup and empanadas. El Calafate is not particularly attractive, but has a nice ski resorts feel to it. We sat outside in the sunshine and enjoyed a really chilled moment with good music coming out of the bar. Next door was a backpackers bike hire and info place, so we took 3 bikes for a couple of hours to cycle along the Lago Argentino. The appeal was to see some flamingos (as well as to stretch our legs), but there were only a very few at quite a distance, so not much to see. Instead, we encountered a different kind of wildlife - stray dogs! A couple attached themselves to us and stuck with us for about 10km. They must have
been tired out, and had a bit of a death wish as they kept chasing cars, but they were also cute and it was fun to have them with us.
Next stop was the supermarket to get a picnic for our day trip to El Chaltén tomorrow. As with a ski resort, the selection of food isn’t great. All the same we got sandwich ingredients, bread rolls, some nuts, chocolate, fruit and a load of water.
The restaurant we wanted to have supper at was fully booked, so we crossed the road to a pizza place, for steak, pizza and salad with the now obligatory Malbec.
Boca Júniors and River Plate had their big derby at La Bombonera where we were yesterday. We put the tv on back at home, saw the score was 0-0 and decided to go to bed.
Another busy day of travel, but we managed to do some fun stuff too.
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