We entered Argentina on a snowy day and of course did not miss the opportunity to have another one of those laughter filled snow fights. Our first destination was El Calafate, another place we had heard so much about. We had been given a hostal contact from our ‘jam lady’ in Puerto Natales and it turned out to be a great one! The average price all around was 40-50 pesos a night, but the place we went to charged no more than 20! We were elated! When we realised the house was very warm all day long and we could sleep in our T-shirts at night (again something we had not done in a veeery long time) we were that much happier! Plus, they had the cutest little girl running around the house all the time, she had this big black hair and looked exactly like a doll. Boca joked that she was my long lost brunette daughter… Well, I could have definitely taken her home haha!
It was Silviu’s birthday that very day, so we celebrated by going to a pizza buffet place for dinner. We figured out later that pizza and pasta were very popular (and may we say delicious) throughout Argentina thanks to the pronounced European influence. Anyway, that night all you can eat pizza for 35 pesos (9 USD) was not bad news at all we thought! J They had the most delicious empanadas too (a type of pastry typical to the region) and must say a very good house red they served in a pinguin shaped jug. Too cool! Daniella and Selis were still with us, as our paths did not seem to feel the need to part just as yet. We were enjoying each other’s company more and more and we were all delighted we were still interested in the same things.
The next day we went to see the Perito Moreno, the mighty glacier everyone had been talking about (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perito_Moreno_Glacier). It’ on the Lake Argentino and it’s 5 km wide; the average height above the surface of the water is 74m and the total ice depth is 170m. We had never seen anyhting like it before, and even though it was one of the most expensive endeavours to date, it had to be done! We paid 100 pesos (25USD) for the bus ticket there (and because it was low season we had the whole big bus to ourselves, 7 people in total), another 100 pesos to enter the park, and another 50 pesos for a boat ride that would take us as near as 200 meters from the huge ice cube. In the end we did agree it was all worth it!
Of course the weather decided to be very funny again and it rained so heavily the entire time that we had to wear our raincoats continuously. Some of us didn’t have any, so we had to improvise and Daniella found herself inside a big pierced bag, looking much like a Christmas tree – it did all work out nicely in the end!
There were a lot of viewing points for the glacier and we walked for 2 hours in the rain gazing at it in awe from different angles. It was so incredibly blue, we could not believe it was made of ice alone! We were told that it had to do with the concentration of the ice and the more dense the ice, the more blue the glacier. We kept wanting to take lots of pictures but unfortunately we did not find the rain to be very camera friendly, so we had to hide it under our coats all the time.
Apparently the best time to see the glacier is during the summer, as even thought it’s smaller you can hear it crack and see chunks of it falling – we saw it on tape and it was quite a spectacle indeed! During the 2 hours we were there we heard it crack a few times and saw some pieces collapsing as well – only small pieces, but we thought it was totally cool anyway! All in all we thought it was the second most awesome thing we had done, afer climbing the Villarica Volcano https://threebackpacks.wordpress.com/tag/villarica-volcano/ in Chile.