Paddys Day in El Calafate

Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
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Trip End Mar 19, 2007


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, March 17, 2006

Arrive in El Clafate about after being delpayed at the ariport for about 3 hours.

Went to the hostel that was recommened to us by the owner of the place in Usuhia. It was calledLos Dos Pinos and what a kip! We basically got a garden shed with bunk beds. There was no heating, no sheets on the bed, no toilet paper in the toilets, so we basically droppe dour bags adn took off to find a pub to celebrate what was left of hte night.

Ended up in the only Irish bar,The Grouse, and what a joke! I think we were the only Irish people there. There was a DJ spinning the decks..the typical 80s trash. They were serving green pints of Warsteiner and had serious problems pulling pints. At one stage they were pulling pint after pint of foam! We gave up after about an hour in search of food....and managed to find a fancy joint that was still serving at 1.30 am so we ordered their cheapest bottle of wine and the cheapest things we could find on the menu!

Next day we got all geared up for the big match Ireland v England. We had one English guy in our company so he was slightly outnumbered. Had to put up with teh ESPN spanish commentary again...which could only barely be heard over the brutal music they were playing in the hostel. We were now crashing in the EL calafate hostel ....using their facilities but staying in a B&B down the road, which unfortunately had a curfew!

The result was great but we realy missed out on teh whole atmosphere especialy when they cut it the minute the game was over. Andy (english guy) was gutted but and reckoned the video REF was stil recovering from Paddys night.

Visited the Moreno glacier the following day. Rented a car since there was a gang of us and made it a bit cheaper. The road was pretty brutal...round that part of the country most of them bar the main routes are just big wide dirt tracks. The day was amazing so our first sight of the glacier...one of the few in the world that is stil advancing, was spectacular. The glacier is massive, although it was hard to get the proper perspective becase we were looking down on it. When we got to the actual national park it was even better. We had been told to plan on spending about 6 hours there and didn´t believe it till we got sucked into the whole ice-gazing thing! Basically we stood there at a viewing platform with the glacier in front of us and stared...wating for big chunks of ice to fall off! When it happened it was deafening. Even what looked like the smallest piece of ice made an really loud noise falling into the water below. We made the mistake of breaking for lunch and of course missing a huge crash that we could hear from the car park. Determined not to miss anything again we sat there for 3 hours while nothing happened and just before we left we were rewarded with a massive break. The cameras had the last little bit of battery/memory reserved for that moment so it was great to capture it. Definately it was one of the highlights of the trip.
Apparently there was a huge collapse the week before that had been on TV. A tunnel had formed at the front of the Glacier and the whole thing collapsed. A group of people supposedly had been camping there for 2 weeks wating for it to happen...in case you think we were mad staring at it for 6 hours.

We took a bit of a detour on the way home through some even rougher roads along one of the lakes and spotted ourselves some pink Flamigos! Although I don´t know if it was worth if for the extra bone shaking we got in the car!

Left El Calafate for Puerto Natales the next day...finaly making the decision to brave the elements and attempt the ´W´in Torres Del Paine.
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