We’ve entered Argentina! Although we will be back in Chile in less than 12 hours, but then we’ll be back in Argentina in eight days, so we’re not really shortchanging it. But speaking of change, upon arrival in Argentina the guy at the corner shop was all too eager to accept US Dollars and even Chilean Pesos. Argentina is currently undergoing “estrés económico” (as the headline on Argentina’s breakfast TV stated) and I’m curious to see how much the exchange rate fluctuates over the next four weeks as we explore the country… Okay. Tangent over.
Due to bus schedules, we completed our journey from Punta Arenas to El Calafate in two days, first with a three-hour bus from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales and then a seven-hour bus the following day from Puerto Natales to El Calafate. This left us with an afternoon in Puerto Natales, which will be our launch pad for our five-day W trek in Torres del Paine that begins on Saturday. Very aware that I have never done a multi-day trek on my own before, we took full advantage of our afternoon in Puerto Natales to sit in on Erratic Rock’s 3 o’clock talk, where they super helpfully go over all things W trek. We’ll be heading there tomorrow to rent gear, but more on that later (assuming we make it 😉 )!
Now for El Calafate, which has been a great introduction to Argentina and has laid claim to my favorite singular sight of our travels thus far: Glaciar Perito Moreno. In many ways El Clafate reminds me of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With few year-round inhabitants (the population is only 6,000), the town feels like an outdoorsy, yet very wealthy, vacation base camp. It’s situated on on the banks of Largo Argentina, which has provided a great path for morning runs and afternoon walks with flamingo and wild horse sightings.
Okay. Now that the lead is sufficiently buried: THE GLACIER! Words can never come close to describing just how awe-struck I felt while walking along the paths at Los Glaciares National Park viewing the massive incredible beautiful mystifying enchanting hunk of ice that is the Perito Moreno Glacier. While most glaciers are receding (thank you, humans) this one is actually stable and is the size of Buenos Aires. I’m going to stop talking now and just leave you with these photos:
This afternoon we’re heading back into Chile and then we’re embarking on the W trek on Saturday. Stay tuned to see if we make it…! If we don’t, I’m very glad we chose to see the glacier before the trek rather than after 😉