Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Chilling Out

Peurto Natales

Since the trek we have been in recovery mode and have had a very relaxed few days. We had two nights booked back at the amazing Erratic rock hostel so we could have a lazy day and plan the next step of our journey. 

It was really lovely hanging out in Peurto Natales around the warm stoves and sharing trekking stories. We ran into two American guys (Seth and Connor) who set out to do the 9 day circuit the day before us and it was fun comparing notes. We talked a lot about how hungry we were out there - though unlike them we didn't make it to the point of drinking hot pasta water. I'm definitely feeling a bit more like a hardcore traveller (let's just all pretend we didn't have a guide for the trek ok...)!

We have since head on to El Calafate, a random town over the border in Argentina which sort of seems like a stop over destination between national parks. The main attraction here is the Perito Moreno Glacier, which apparently (though we have had conflicting reports) is one of the few glaciers in the world which is not receding. 

The first sign we saw in Argentina

As soon as we arrived in town I wasn't as in love as I was with Peurto Natales. The place is nice, but a bit random and touristy (also lots of the roads aren't paved and I have crashed over myself a couple of times already which isn't filling me with joy). Once we made it to our hostel, we met Victoria (from London) and Micheal (from Switzerland) who are both awesome and have been travelling around for much longer than us. Micheal made us his signature dish of 'Swiss Mac&Cheese' for dinner (which was super yummy) and I had my first sample of Argentinian wine, which at £3 for a bottle was delicious (especially by the second bottle).

Micheal and the GIANT pot of Mac&Cheese

Today the four of us set out to see the infamous glacier. It was a beautiful, clear day and we got some awesome views from both the boat trip and the walkways. After 'the trek' this trip seems like such an organised touristy dream, as the walkways are all metal and they have nice viewing platforms with benches to sit on (there was even a lift at one point). We were lucky enough to see two huge bits of the glacier crash into the lake (which sent massive bits of ice flying in the air and made an almighty noise). Unfortunately this happened very early on, so all the other little bits that fell seemed very anticlimactic! The whole place was absolutely stunning though and definitely worth a visit. 

Tomorrow we head on to El Chatan, to do more walking (urghhh) so I think the relaxation may be over... wish me luck!
The gang at the Glacier
Boat ride to view the Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier


Location: El Calafate, Argentina 

Hostel: iKeuKen, a nice hostel with good social spaces and clean comfy rooms. Not a cosy as Erratic rock, but has a very cool atmosphere.

Naps since last post: 2 both on bus rides though so I'm not sure they really count. 

Profile pictures: possibly 1 or two.. Everyone loves a selfie in front of a glacier right? 

Minutes spent lost: about 15, looking for our hostel we ended up in random scrubland surrounded by dilapidated houses. 

Best discovery so far: 1 and a half litre bottles of vino tinto. 

Epiphany's: 0, I think I need to start some yoga or something.. Or I am never going to 'find myself'. 

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