El Calafate

Day 6 – Saturday 13th October 2018
El Calafate
Distance travelled:-
By plane – 0
By foot – 21.5kms/13.37miles
By public transport – 0
Steps taken -32,024


So today was our ‘rest’ day. This was one of the extra days we had to build in to keep our choices open for going to the glacier. So due to us going yesterday we had today to explore El Calafate.

Some of the streets in El Calafate

Now we were going to explore by bike…but today we got to experience the Patagonian wind!

Corrugated Iron Houses, like in La Boca??

The local girl in our hostel told us “ah it is ok, it is very mild wind”….so off we went into ‘the very mild wind’. I needed to fill my pockets with rocks to stop me feeling like that other Mary who’s name ends in Poppins!!!

My goodness, it was hard going as we walked against it. This place is very desert like so you can imagine the dust and sand and small stones hitting against your face!! Windswept that’s all I’m going to say!!

View up to where our hostel was

As I walked though I must admit I did start to think…imagine carrying a heavy rucksack in this, up a mountain and winds like that happening….AND….if this is what she classes as mild, what the heck is a medium to strong wind!!!!

Now coming from Scotland let me tell you I have witnessed strong winds, this is on another level….and did I tell you it was MILD!

Weather in Patagonia in general is unpredictable and can change very rapidly….so watch this space!

Check out the structure/ shape of the roof on some of the houses, I know why now after today!

We met a couple today who had been travelling for 2 months across South America, they had trekked the Bolivian Dessert, climbed Machu Picchu in Peru, came through Chile doing several hikes then hit the Fitz Roy mountain range in Argentina, both said it was the hardest climb they had ever done, due to the terrain and elements and it was only a day climb, 9-10 hrs…maybe we should look to change our itinerary as that’s where we’re heading next!!

View from our hostel over town

So back to our mild windy walk! On leaving our accomodation we immediately felt like the Pied Piper. We were followed for approximately 8 miles with two of the local stray dogs…then they attracted every other stray dog in town who followed us on our travels all over town…I laugh now but not at the time. The sight must have been comical!

These were the first 2 culprits

We visited the National Park Office which told you about local Patagonian history/wildlife/trees/plants etc….and we got to meet the famous Francisco Moreno himself – remember this is the guy who discovered yesterday’s amazing glacier!

So Francisco was a scholar who spent years studying in Patagonia from 1852-1919.

He contributed greatly to the development of science in Argentina and his brainchild – a science museum was opened. This was referred to as ‘the first museum to follow the theory of evolution’.

He was also a prominent figure in Argentina’s defence towards keeping their region of Patagonia during border disputes against Chile. He helped in reaching peaceful solutions.

We then headed to a nature reserve, home to flamingos but there were no flamingos here today, I think the wind blew them over to Cuba!

After doing the ‘promenade walk’, which was the best idea we ever had, given the wind and the promenade sitting wide open alongside Lago Argentino, we were now completely wind blasted. We then headed back towards the ‘main street’ which is full of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants.

Check out the trees ‘mildly’ blowing in the wind.

Lago Argentino is the biggest fresh water lake and reservoir in Argentina, this was the same lake that the glacier sat on yesterday. Various glaciers calve in the water and today we even saw an iceberg that had travelled all the way here.

So after another full on day it’s time to be heading once more to somewhere new.

This time a house made of brick

Tomorrow we leave El Calafate, but we will return for sure!

Could this be Andy in the photograph, check out the skills of the photographer though!

Well actually we literally will be because we need to come back here in five days time and once more again after that to catch buses to different destinations.

But before we go we felt it only right to raise a glass (or two) for all things ICE, especially the amazing Perito Morena Glacier…and there’s nowhere better to raise that glass than here in El Calafate.

Cheers! Or as they say here….Salud!

Perito Morena Glacier

Ow and here’s just a few things/pictures from yesterday that I forgot to put in as it was so full on and I could not talk about anything other than that stunning piece of ice:-

We got to see two Andean Condor soaring above the glaciers and mountains. With its three metres of wingspan, this big soaring bird uses rising air currents to fly without flapping its wings, stunning to watch.

Can you see them in the picture?

On this one they are on the right of the picture, one very top right and one bottom right, across from mountain between this and the cloud above

We also saw what they call ‘Barba de Virgo – Old Man’s Beard’, this grows in areas with no air pollution….looks similar to what we would call lichen I think?

Lastly, I may be off line for the next 5 days as we head to El Chalten. I’ve heard that in El ChaltΓ©n there is limited internet….who knows what awaits but I’m excited to see!

Night time view across the town

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Alice Reid says:

    A bit late today. Auntie Lena has just left as she usually comes in for a coffee after Mass. She’s going to send me a map of Patagonia so that I can follow you in spiritπŸ˜„ All the buildings seem to be very colourful not the drabness of Britain. Notice the signpost doesn’t show Edinburgh or London do you think that’s anything to do with the Falklands Ha Ha !!! Wonder who owns the brick house as it must be more expensive to build on brick rather than wood although there doesn’t seem to be much in thre way of trees in that area. Hope the wind dies down before you start your climb…please be careful . Do you have a guide to take you on the climb? Not impressed with your photo of Andy ..could be anyone😬 Have another go . Look forward to next part of yout trip. Love/God Bless. Auntie Alice xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So guess what…we have arrived in ElCalafate and found somewhere with wi-fi.

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    2. So guess what…we have arrived in El Chalten and found somewhere with wi-fi!!! Crazy considering where we are!
      That’s great you can be part of travels now too.
      The buildings in El Calafate are really nice, some better than others obviously but I like the style…especially the corrugated iron ones, they’re just different.
      I also laughed at the sign… possibly re The FalklandsπŸ™ˆ
      Probably less trees in El Calafate as it’s so windy with not alot of protection.
      The wind died down late last night and it turned out to be such a beautiful evening…they do say 4 seasons can happen in one day here!
      We do not have a guide for hikes, just doing them on our own…with maps of course…we will be safe.
      I so knew that would be the comment re my photo of Andy but I love to tease you guys πŸ˜‚…that might be one way to keep you reading the blog πŸ˜‰
      Lots of love xxx

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  2. Helena Brogan says:

    Another interesting day for you both (and us to be able to read all about it) el calafate looks a fascinating place. Shame about the wind though. Wish I hadn’t mentioned that it was windy here..maybe that put a jinx on the weather there. Have found a good website called SwoopPatagonia which helps to follow your trip. Had a look at the next stage at Mont Fitzroy. That look there’s some quite serious hiking to do!! Hope you don’t get fed up with having to answer our comments!! Like Alice said photo of Andy, although quite artistic it could be anyone standing there…you can do better! Xx

    ps Enjoy the bus ride to El Chalten…it takes 3 hrs so take a snack & a drink with you(there are toilets on the bus) ha ha!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have arrived in El Chalten…and although you were right in saying a 3 hour bus trip, with a toilet on the bus πŸ˜‚πŸ€£…we got here in 2hrs 30 minutes roughly, including a rangers talk!

      So El Calafate sure was a nice place….I liked it and was pleasantly surprised as I had read some people’s comments about the town saying that they felt it was only a ‘passing through’ town…I thought it was more than that!

      That wind was crazy…died down in the evening and it was lovely.

      Lol..I’ve saw that websites…I’m glad you are joining our journey 😊

      I’m not going to spoilt the blog 🀣 but El Chalten is amazing…serious mountains πŸ‘

      I said to Auntie Alice and Andy actually that you would come back with that comment re Andy’s photo πŸ˜‚…I love to tease…and keep you guys reading now even if it is just to see a picture of Andy πŸ˜‚

      I managed to find a place with wi-fi can you imagine that!!!

      Keep those comments coming…enjoying the entertainment along with the scenery! 😁

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  3. Theresa Skelhorn says:

    Glad you have arrived safely in El Chalten and you have WiFi it is mind boggling really here we all are following on your trip. Look forward to seeing what El Chalten has to offer more amazing scenery I guess.

    Take care
    Love Theresa xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes we are here, seriously lovely road trip passing some amazing scenery 😍…and yes wi-fi in the middle of no-where, it’s better than the reception in some places in Kelty πŸ˜‚…we shall see what this place brings 😁 x

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  4. Jane boyd says:

    Hi, keeping up with your journey, even been reading up about your treck ahead, making sure there wasn’t any wild animals to be afraid of but the black panthers are very rare thank God πŸ˜ŠπŸ€£πŸ˜…. Tell andy and plenty of birds to see on the wayπŸ˜‰. As for Wi fi, it seems to be better than ours in lower Kelty, Kinrossshire πŸ€£πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ˜†. Be safe and don’t be trying to get some of your poses in on edge of cliffs with that wind. God bless xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol…there’s Pumas here, so we may run into them? We’ve been told not to run and not to turn our backs to them….hmmmm I wonder! πŸƒπŸƒπŸƒ Yes we have WiFi spots and it’s much better than down at your bit for sure! πŸ˜‚…takes you to walk in this wind never mind hang of cliffs or even take a photo πŸ™ˆ x

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  5. Jane boyd says:

    Hanging off cliff’s, has Andy been watching too much mission impossibleπŸ˜ŠπŸ€£πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜„πŸ˜…., does he think he is Tom cruise.When I was investigating your walk, it did say it was very rare to see a black panther, but if a group of wild dogs are following you then there is always a first πŸ˜ŠπŸ€£πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜„πŸ˜…. Have you washed yet? Is there flies a following you as well ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not as many wild dogs here but there are a few! All washed and clean πŸ˜πŸ‘ x

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  6. Jane boyd says:

    Good morning hikers, great pictures,looks very chilli πŸ˜‚. Keep warm and safe, will speak later, some of us have to earn a crust πŸ˜‰xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes temperatures will drop further south we go….wonder if it will be chillier in Chile πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

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