The Big Ice

Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
1
9
32
Trip End Feb 26, 2010


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Where I stayed
Hospeje Laurada, El Calafate

Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The most southerly point of our epic journey was to be had in el Calafate, a pretty but expensive town where swiss-like wooden cabins and souvenier shops abound. Stayed in a lovely little pousada owned by a young family, the father of which had 2 great talents. He was a brilliant chef (used to cook for the President apparently) and also a great chess player, resoundly beating Dave on a couple of occasions.

There were 2 major attractions of El Calafate, the first being el Chalten, a nearby mountainous village with beautiful surroundings in which we actually enjoyed walking.


The second was the magnificent glacier Perito Merino.
Perito Merino is unusually only 200 odd metres above sea level so surrounded by forest. For an extortionate price you can spend a couple of hours hiking on it ('the mini trek'). We took this option over the 6-hour `big Ice` trek not least because the latter cost over 100 quid each.
 
The trek was pretty good and felt slightly intrepid despite the hordes of other tourists doing the same. Unfortunately it was one of the worst days the guides could remember, extreme cold and incessant snow causing us to be wet through within minutes. Luckily we were provided with spare gloves which were a life saver despite smelling like those lost property running knickers you were forced to wear when you forgot your school gym kit.

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