Worth a stay at Fawlty Towers!
El Calafate Travel Blog› entry 85 of 98 › view all entries
I don’t think you ever forget the first time you hear that roar. Huge columns of ice, up to 75 metres high, , creaking, breaking and tumbling down into the clear water below. . The sight of a 30 km long glacier wedged in the mountain valley, the blueness of the glacial ice. Mother nature at her most impressive. I was told not to bother with Perito Moreno glacier as apparently ‘I will see enough of these, many times the size’, when I get to Antarctica. Yes, that is right, you read this correctly, in a moment of craziness, seizing the moment, living the dream, blowing my budget, whatever you want to call it, I had booked myself onto an expedition to the Antarctic!!
Let me go back a bit to explain how I ended up here in the first place. Well, I had firstly been inspired by a lady I met in Peru who had just returned from an incredible boat journey to Antarctica.
From Salta I flew to Buenos Aires and stopped over for one night.
The flight down to Ushuaia was an exciting one. The landscape changed dramatically, the Atlantic ocean, then the vast dry plains of Argentina giving way to lush mountains of Patagonia and finally the dramatic landscape on the island of Tierra del Fuego. There I stood at the end of the world, looking out across the beagle channel towards the mystical white continent. Do I don’t I, do I don’t I??? Please someone help me, do i blow my budget on Antarctica? Will I ever get a chance to do this again? The beagle channel was named after the ship that my hero, Charles Darwin, sailed around the world on his epic voyage. This place had a special feeling about it, of past explorers, of adventure into the unknown. SOD IT I AM NOT GOING TO MISS THIS FOR THE WORLD! And with that, a surge of inspiration, I booked myself onto a ship leaving in one week, the same ship as Angela and Simon from my guest house.
Soooooo then, a few days to kill, and less time now to explore Patagonia than I had originally hoped. I found a reasonable flight leaving for El Calafate near to Los Glaciares National Park, and off I went to discover some famous glaciers. A nice ‘warm-up’ for my upcoming adventure I guess! As I had decided all this so last minute and it happened to be peak of the peak season, I ended up in the only bed available in El Calafate, in Fawlty Towers. Slightly out of town, in the middle of nowhere, gale-force winds howling through gaps in the windows, OAPs sitting in the floral print reception getting drunk on sherry!! The only saving grace was the incredible view from my room across a beautiful lake filled with flamingos, wild horses playing nearby, a very typical Patagonia scene.
On my second day, I froze my bits off on a boat through the icy waters of the national park.