Last Wednesday was a travel day, leaving Puerto Natales, Chile and heading to El Calafate, Argentina. We got up early and boarded the bus. Our Tour Director, Marcos, was very concerned about the boarder crossing. Apparently in he past he has had some bad experiences. You actually go through two separate boarder checkpoints, one to leave Chile and one a couple of miles up the road to enter Argentina. Leaving Chile was no problem. Actually, the entry into Argentina wasn’t too bad. A bit more bureaucracy and a little slower but no big hang ups. Stacy and I did get called off the bus at the last minute because there was a question about our Argentine reciprocity document but I think the boarder agent typed the number in incorrectly. After a few minutes of discussion among our driver, Tour Director and the agent we were on our way.
The drive to El Calafate was a long one–about 5 hours. We drove through he steppe and it was pretty desolate. The countryside looked a lot like eastern California or Eastern Washington.
Calafate itself reminded me of Bishop California or St George Utah. Trees and grass in town but pretty dry out of town. We stayed in a beautiful hotel, Los Sauces Casa, that is owned by the President of Argentina. Her summer home is right next door. Beautiful grounds with exotic birds and trees spread out in cottages over several acres.
We went to the Glacerium in Calafate, which is a neat interpretive glacier museum in town. First-rate exhibits! The highlight was a surprise trip to the ice bar in the basement–I am sure you will see pictures.
We were pretty exhausted after a long day of driving and a big late lunch, so Stacy and I had a glass of wine and went into town for an ice cream cone for dinner.