Just like Titanic (sort of)
Trip Start Sep 19, 2005
35Trip End Mar 19, 2006
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I arrived in Calafate on Tuesday after a flight with the Argentinian Airforce passenger service (company motto: the Falklands belong to Argentina...!), it was a little propella plane and we stopped on the way for a coffee in a random airport! Have been having such a good time here that I am staying an extra day. The hostel I am at is great, with beautiful views of the Andes and small rooms. The communal areas are comfy and very condusive to lounging around, so I am having a relaxing day today, to do all the things I havenīt had time for whilst rushing about to see glaciers etc! So today I am getting photos burned onto a cd, getting laundry done (yay, clean socks!) and doing a travelpod entry for you all!
Plus, have organised almost the whole next week of my travels
Anyhow, back to the nature bit. Calafate is jammed almost up against the Chilean border, which is essentially the Andes. On this side, there are huge snow fields which compact to form a whole load of glaciers. Calafate is a really touristy (and v expensive) town, where every other building is a hotel, hostel or souvenir shop, to serve all the tourists who come to see the glaciers. But still, its beautiful, right on a huge milky blue lake with the odd iceberg floating in it. I arranged 2 tours through the hostel, one was a whole day in a catamaran boat which travelled to see 4 or 5 of the biggest glaciers, and one was a shorter tour to see one of the most active and acessible glaciers, called Perito Moreno.
The first tour was long, very very cold and amazing. We saw huge icebergs, got completely frozen by the really strong winds on the lake, and saw the highest and I think the widest glacier in the area too. The weather wasn't great so within about 5 minutes I was wishing I had got around to buying a hat and gloves, but it was fun all the same
Yesterday I went to another part of the national park to see the Perito Moreno glacier. The weather had cheered up a bit and I had bought a hat and gloves, finally, so it felt lovely and cosy after the day before! The Perito Moreno glacier is the most active in the region, moving about 2 metres per day! It calves so much at the face, though, that it is actually quite stable, size-wise, and doesn't advance. The ice a a spectacular blue colour, an optical illusion formed by the light, and it is 60 metres high (about the height of a 15 storey building, fact fans) and something like 30km long. We did a hike over the beach and up towards the side of the glacier (scrambling over boulders and up hills - NOT good at all for my ankle which I have strapped up today). I was glad I did it though, we got the most amazing views of the face of the glacier, and then climbed up the hill to see right over the surface too
Anyhow, after all that excitement you can tell I need a day off from sightseeing. The next part of the plan is: tomorrow, fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. I was going to take the bus, but it involves leaving here at 3am and getting there at 9pm, and I'm just not that hardcore!! Plus, its only about 100 pesos more to fly. This country is SO big, I can't tell you how many times I think that every day! From Ushuaia, I am heading into Chile. Next Thursday, there is a ferry which will sail up through the Chilean fjords (there are no roads) to Puerto Montt, arriving next Monday. The ferry only goes once a week, hence the necessity of planning a bit so I don't miss it!
Anyhow, am waiting for another machine to add some photos, so they should be on later today. Hope everyone is well, talk to you soon. Lots of love Sarah xx