El Calafate, Here I Come

El Calafate Travel Blog

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My bed in the corner of "El Chill" at America del Sur hostel.

I spent the morning relaxing and getting organized.  Visited the Aerolineas Argentinas office, where I spent an hour (and $300) changing and confirming flights for my next few legs.  (Thanks to those people at home who helped me with this earlier in my trip - everything is fine!)

By 2pm, I was on the short flight to El Calafate.  I had a fun time looking out the window, following our course over the islands and mountains in my Lonely Planet guidebook map. 

Upon arriving in El Calafate, I took a bus to the hostel America del Sur.  I had forgotten to finalize my reservations here, and the hostel was completely full.  BUT, the very helpful (and very good looking) staff offered me a mattress in the upstairs lounge / loft area.

A broader view of my bed in upper right, in the loft or "El Chill", overlooking the dining area of the splendid hostel America del Sur.
  A place they call "El Chill".  I said that would be fine.  I had my sleeping bag, I just needed someplace to crash.  I´ll post a picture when I get the chance - it won´t do the Chill justice though. 

I then inquired about Glacier tours, and within minutes the very helpful (and did I say very good looking) staff had set me up.  I just had to walk into town to pay with credit card.  So that´s what I did.  I ventured down to Hielo y Adventura and booked my tour which would include a bus ride, a boat ride, and a 7 hour hike including a crampon-trek across the glacier Perito Moreno.  Awesome.  All for the mere price of 520 pesos.  Like $200 U.S.  Well, you only live once, right?  And hopefully I´d live through the glacier crossing.

I then hit the grocery store to stock up on food and snacks for the trip.  For $200, lunch was not included.  Funny.

Back at the hostel, I settled in for a tasty all-i-can-eat barbecue dinner in the hostel lounge, with a great view of the surrounding area.  And at sunset, this made quite a scene.

Later that evening, I met up with Cynthia (from Ushuaia), Hana, and Shane for a beer at a local pub.  Hana was from Canada, and we enjoyed talking about hockey.  Too bad she had to catch a 3AM bus tonight!!  And Shane was from Australia.  Cool guy.

We all had early morning tours, so we didn´t make it a late or crazy night.  I walked Cynthia back to her hostel, and then Hana and I closed down the evening with me crawling into my sleeping bag in the Chill around 2am, and her reading a book and chit chatting with me til she had to leave a few minutes before 3am.  And the guys downstairs were cleaning the lower lobby, so they had the radio going...which included a speaker at the foot of my bed.  Great.

I had to be up at 6am, so I knew I was in for a rough one tomorrow.

 

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My bed in the corner of El Chill…
My bed in the corner of "El Chill…
A broader view of my bed in upper …
A broader view of my bed in upper…
El Calafate
photo by: Vlindeke