Tuesday, February 20, 2007

El Calafate, Glaciers, Lakes and Bariloche!

Seems Í´ve been a little slack on the blogging but I am planning not to let it slip too long again though to be honest I did want to wait until we did a couple more journeys before going into detail! So here we are - in beautiful Bariloche. Its sort of the ski / mountain destination of the western border of Argentina. Seriously, this country is absolutely stunning, it has such a diverse scenery, immense bouts of empty land and then pockets of quaint colourful little villages changing each time we pass through a border.

We had a lovely time in Puerto Madryn, the hostel we stayed in (the second time) was awesome as it was chilled out and had more travellers. Its turning into an amusing little scenario when we try to explain where Sri Lanka is, and then the people who sort of run the hostels have always asked me to write their names in Sinhalese, which to me is amusing and also rather stressful as I have realised they all planned to get tattoo´s with what I write so I had to make sure I got it right. Imagine, they´d be walking around with the translation of monkey balls on their ankles.

The journey from Puerto Madryn to El Calafate (where the Perito Moreno glacier is) was long though manageable... but I won´t bore with details. Though I decided that it was probably the best valentines´day ever cause before the bus ride Lee and I strolled through the lovely beach front and got ourselves some yummy food and then chilled out in the garden area of our hostel where a Dutch woman who was a fellow travller pulled out her keyboard (I kid you not, she is carrying a rather large keyboard around with her on travels up to Peru and Bolivia, says it´s because she misses playing her piano!!!) anyway she started playing some lovely music and it was just perfect... until she started playing weird electro classics.

El Calafate was absolutely beautiful, and rather a relief to see different landscapes from the flat endless plains of nothingness that we were used to till then. It´s a quaint town right in a valley amongst towering snow capped mountains...all the shops, cafes and restaurants were mainly out of wood... just beautiful. We saw the glacier, and honestly there is little point in trying to describe it - it was an awesome, overwhelming and breathtaking sight. We saw a piece of ice the size of a 3 storey building just crack and smash into the lake with a thunderous noise... it was amazing and even got a clap and cheer from the crowd watching.
While watching the icy blue glacier, you can distinctly hear it cracking and melting under the strong sun rays and it sounds like thunder. Phenomenal. Will post pictures.

We stayed in a wooden cosy little cabin, called Las Cabiñitas de Familias... had lovely English lavender growing outside.

But Argentina is bloody windy! It is a damned thing - honestly there have been moments that I have wanted to physically punch the wind while it blew bits of sand, rock and bird feathers into my mouth. Lee acts as if he was on a smooth sailing boat with a slight breeze in the air. I am yet to master how he does it. Till then I´ve got my boxing gloves out.

Bariloche is lovely, right on the side of a beautiful shimmering blue lake with a backdrop of mountains again - the hostel we´re staying in has a 24 hour bar, awesome rooms with lake views and loads and loads to do. Tomorrow we set off into the Parque Nacionale Huapi for 2 days and a night where we are going biking, trekking, snorkeling and rafting which should be fun, plus theré´s going to be a campfire and bbq! Man I love doing all this stuff.
Plus, we´re going paragliding and horse riding over the weekend - I am so excited about both those two as its what I´ve really wanted to do!

Thats it for now, too much blogging and not enough pictures to show - will post more once we´re back... We are both coming to the realisation that we don´t have to head off back to work or anything soon, its not a short holiday! Hurray for life trips.

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