Calafate

El Chaltén, Argentina

Upon arriving at El ChaltĂ©n, Andrew and I had no hostel.  We made a little bet – I predicted being turned away from 4 hostels, he predicted 11.  Oddly enough, I was right – but we ended up at a pretty dingy place for the night.  We decided we would search for another hostel with openings for the next day, and buy some groceries for the hike tomorrow.

El ChaltĂ©n is a pretty small town, but it felt a little strange – nearly every single building was a hostel or something dedicated to tourism.  There were barely any houses, and barely any locals either – I could hear more Hebrew (and even see it – many signs, including official park trail signs, were in Hebrew) than Spanish!  The “super”mercados are something I would not call “super” either – every grocer was quite lacking, but that’s the case when you end up in an isolated town where you can’t even get cell phone reception with an Argentinian SIM card.  We find our next hostel, prep some chicken and avocado sandwiches for the next day, and have a wonderful Argentinian stew called locro (pumpkin, beans, meat, other yummy stuff) for dinner. Continue reading

Wind

El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate is a touristy town, thriving on tourists to the nearby Glaciar Perito Moreno. But after the long Torres del Paine hike that left me quite sore from the day before, I just needed to relax.

After I checked into my hostel (best one yet, young couple BelĂ©n and DarĂ­o were super nice and basically operated out of their house), I took a supposedly easy walk to the nearby Laguna Nimez, a nature reserve located by the very turquoise and beautiful Lago Argentino. Well…given that this is Patagonia, the presence of the lake made it very very windy! It was almost hard to stand at times, and just comical to attempt to walk against the wind and make no progress. I ended up even more sore that evening. Continue reading

Goodbye South America…

Ushuaia, Argentina

It’s been seven days. And I’ve had a wonderful time – in fact, I just got to the southernmost city (not quite settlement, but city) in the world! But I’ve just made a decision that leads me to have to say goodbye to Argentina, goodbye to South America, goodbye to my budget, and goodbye to my plans all so soon…

Well, temporarily. At least for some of those things.

I’m heading to Antarctica! Continue reading