Glaciers and Lakes

Trip Start Sep 23, 2010
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25
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Trip End Jul 13, 2012


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Where I stayed
Hostel Buenos Aires

Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Thursday, December 9, 2010

9th Dec.

Up at the very early hour of 3.50am to have a quick bite to eat and then catch a taxi down to the bus station for our 5am bus to El Calafate. Just after 5 we're on board and off we set, in 4 hours we'll be in Rio Grande followed shortly by the first of 4 border crossings. On came a movie The Pacifier, dubbed in Spanish with no subtitles turned up loud, so I quickly asked them to turn it down. Around 10am we arrive at the Argentinian border where the driver takes our passports and we remain on board while he gets them stamped, all but one that is, mine! I informed the steward that they didn't stamp my passport and he just said, don't worry no problem we'll sort it out at the entry border, so when the driver came round I check with him to and he repeated the same. The Chilean borders came without a hitch and even the
ferry crossing went well. Now we were told that there would be no food but when we left the border, the steward came round with rolls of ham and cheese, this is the second time this has happened so the agents booking these tickets don't seem to know what's included. Then it was time to enter back into Argentina and as I predicted there was a problem as I didn't have an exit stamp. Luckily the driver was close by and he explained the error. Suddenly another officer
appeared took my passport and disappeared for 10 mins. He returned with an entry stamp in my passport but still no exit stamp. C'est la vie! We then carry on until we reached Rio Gallegos (in Argentina LL is pronounced sha so it sounds like Rio Gaa shay gos) where we had a 2 hour wait until our 20.30 bus so we ordered some pizza from the restaurant upstairs as there was nothing else around. 10mins later some other passengers asked for the same only to be told that they had no large pizzas left. We inquired and were told the same (nice of them to tell me when I ordered) so we ordered two hamburgers. 20Mins later the other guys received their order but we had to wait another 10mins and then she turned up with two burgers on a plate but with no bun, (It's not my day!) so we asked them to change it to what the other guys had to which we we're basically told that we should check what we order in future! How rude! Anyway 10mins
later she came back with something like what we ordered, nice burger but shame about the service! At 20.30 we boarded our bus and settled in for the 4hrs journey to El Calafate which we arrived at around 1am so not too bad. We then walked the 300mtrs to Hostel Buenos Aires (which is the first place in South America that we've found that has decent plumbing and you can flush the loo paper!) checked in and was in bed by 1.30pm

10th Nov.

Got up at 9am for breakfast then took our time finding out about tours and buses to the glaciers for tomorrow, the best idea being to catch the bus to Perito Moreno. We then had a wander to localise ourselves and ended up at Lago Argentino which is huge and has an island in the middle.  There are also lots of pink flamingos, geese and other birds all over the place, it was amazing how close you can get to them in the wild. We had lunch back at the hostel then went to the shops to get something for dinner (pizza) and lunch for tomorrow. After dinner we went down to the bus station to book our onward tickets for Sunday to Bariloche and also for the glacier tomorrow, which we got a 30% discount for booking early, then headed back for a shower and an early night.

11th Dec.

We're off to the Perito Moreno glacier so we're up early for breakfast. Then had to quickly pack our bags as we have to move room and then get to the bus station for 9am for our bus heading to the national park an hour and a quarter away. Once there we took a boat out on the Canel de Los Tempanos in front of one side of the glacier where we got up close, but not too close as ice falls off most of the time. The crew managed to collect some ice for us to try, which was fresh but a little dirty tasting. So we wait patiently and one bit drops off right down the other end so we're going to have to be quick to see another, but the view is spectacular with so many blues, cracks, lumps and bumps. After we got back on dry land we had a few hours to walk along
the cat walks opposite the edges of the glacier and we spent a good hour of that in one spot along what is called the Zona del a Ruptura where we saw plenty of ice randomly fall. The sight of it fall was amazing but the sound of the ice cracking was like the sound of someone eating a magnum ice cream but so much louder and more exciting. It was amazing how addictive it was, you'd go to leave then hear a crack and stay just a little longer. We then thought it best to go to some of the other viewing platforms before heading back to the bus for the journey back to the hostel. Back in town we bought some chicken and veg for dinner and steak for tomorrow's lunch. Tired from another day's tourism, we settled in to our new room and had a rest before cooking chicken curry with veg then finishing the night off with the film, The Prince of Persia.

12th Dec.

Got up late for breakfast, showered, checked out of our room and stored our bags in reception then headed down to the shop to stock up on supplies for the bus journey.We then headed back to catch up on some internet and cook our steak and chips (to which we got a lot of offers to help eating it) and at 3.50pm we headed down to the bus station to catch our bus to Bariloche. At the bus station it seemed that the bus was there early but it wasn't a cama bus, so I went round to the office to check if it was ours and if so what was happening. It turns out that our bus was waiting in Rio Gallegos and we had to do the first 4hrs semi-cama and change there. So the office apologised and refunded the difference (AR$12 each) and repeated only for 4 hours. It wasn't a problem as it was during the day and like they said it was only until Rio Gallegos where we changed to the much more comfy cama bus. We headed out of RG for the last time and we were given a cold dinner and drink and they soon put a movie on, this time Crank (in English) which we'd seen before but 10mins into the film it froze so they had to change it to Lies and Illusions which we hadn't seen.  Straight after that they put Tears of the Sun on which was another film we'd seen before so we just sat back and enjoyed the scenery then brushed our teeth and got some sleep.


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