la tablita

Christmas in El Calafate, Argentina

Traveling From El Chaltén to El Calafate

Christmas was an interesting day. We caught the 9 am bus to El Calafate and arrived at our Hotel ACA near 12:30 to 1pm. The weather was terrible…a constant drizzle. I felt very sorry for the folks we left behind in our hotel lobby in El Chaltén.  They were waiting for their ride to Fitz Roy. They weren’t going to see a thing on their dreary hike. Continue reading “Christmas in El Calafate, Argentina”

lago viedma

Short Hikes Around El Chaltén, Argentina

After walking about 30 miles in the last two days, we considered an easy day of hiking today, especially given the crummy weather. We certainly weren’t going to be able to spot any tall granite peaks in the dreary, overcast skies, so we found some short hikes to enjoy just outside of town in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.

Morning Hike to Mirador de los Cóndores and Mirador de la Aguilas

Our morning hike took us to Mirador de los Cóndores and Mirador de las Aguilas. Both began at the same trailhead at the south part of town by the park office. We followed the trail up rolling hills with some flowers. As light drizzle fell, we heard a noise in the grass to the right of a trail. We were surprised to see an armadillo! Frightened, it scurried down the path and dug a hole in seconds. Continue reading “Short Hikes Around El Chaltén, Argentina”

laguna de los tres

Laguna De Los Tres…The Most Sought After Trek in El Chaltén

Hiking to Fitz Roy

Yesterday we confirmed the weather with the hotel staff. Based on a sophisticated forecast system, it was suggested that today would be the best day to hike the Laguna De Los Tres trail for the closest views of Fitz Roy massif. While the trailhead may be reached by walking to the edge of town for an out-and-back trek, it is also possible to take transportation to Hostería El Pilar. I highly recommend arranging a bus/shuttle ride a few days in advance for $125 Argentinian pesos. It provided us the opportunity to see the Hostería El Pilar and the associated trail as well as the Laguna De Los Tres trail. Continue reading “Laguna De Los Tres…The Most Sought After Trek in El Chaltén”

la cerveceria

El Chaltén…An Awesome Argentinian Town

Traveling to El Chaltén

We returned to the airport Saturday evening to take a flight to Buenos Aires. Things were rather uneventful until we landed in Buenos Aires late that night. We asked the information desk for the name of a hotel closest to the airport for our over night layover. It was suggested to go a new hotel, Hotel Aeroparque. After a visit to the ATM, we took a taxi that drove to a dark area by a parking garage and stopped. We looked at each other nervously and then David asked, “Where’s the hotel?” Continue reading “El Chaltén…An Awesome Argentinian Town”

martial glacier

Day Four – On the Way to Antarctica – Hiking Martial Glacier by Morning…Cruising the Beagle Channel by Night

As we began our breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant, an older lady passed by our table and asked, “Are you my roommates”? Puzzled, we quizzically looked up at her in silence. To which she added, “well are you on the boat?” We responded, “Yes, but we have our own room.” She replied, “Oh well, I haven’t met my roommates. Strange people are interesting.” Nicole and I weren’t exactly sure how to take that comment…were we strange? or interesting? and what made her think we signed up for a triple berth? Hmmm…I have promptly pegged her for the token, annoying shipmate…we shall see. Continue reading “Day Four – On the Way to Antarctica – Hiking Martial Glacier by Morning…Cruising the Beagle Channel by Night”

tierra del fuego national park

Day Three – On the Way to Antarctica via Tierra del Fuego National Park

Hiking Tierra del Fuego National Park

We started the day with our complimentary buffet breakfast, which I will politely say was not the greatest, despite the variety of choices…ham, cheese, bacon, eggs, cereal, and lots of pastries. Somehow I ended up with lemon milk in my frosted flakes, and we were served our coffee after we finished breakfast, but that’s ok. We weren’t hoping for a culinary delight. Just something to fill our stomachs before we ventured to the national park.

While I had been practicing my Spanish upon arrival in Argentina, trying to figure out how take a taxi from the hotel to town where you find a bus at a certain intersection that takes you the southern most National Park in World in Spanish was going to be a little much if I misinterpreted anything, so I resorted to English at the hotel reception. It’s a good thing…there were lots of tour company buses that transported hikers to Tierra del Fuego National Park from a parking lot by a gas station. Originally, I thought we were trying to get public transportation! Continue reading “Day Three – On the Way to Antarctica via Tierra del Fuego National Park”

18 Hour Layover in Buenos Aires

Traveling to Buenos Aires

Our trip started with our plane delayed two hours which was a slight bummer as we ‘have much time to spend in Buenos Aires on our way to Antarctica anyway! The good news is, my awesome friend Nicole upgraded me to business class for our overnight flight, and the seats fully reclined! The business class seating area on a 777 is more complicated than a car. There is a glove box and the tray table comes out from the arm rest and from the seat back in front of us and connects together. Lots of other gadgets as well.

Our flight attendant was amazing. It’s been a long time since someone on AA was so nice. I was ready to tip her! The jet lag took affect when we landed. I had read about an entry tax but it sounded like we could pay it through a simple process at immigration…not so! We got booted out of the line and sent to a computer. After filling out the entire form and selecting the “add to shopping cart” button, the form promptly disappeared. Then our user names were taken. After back-paging through several screens, we retrieved our sign in page; however, we didn’t have a form according to the computer, so we got to reenter all of our information again! This time we made sure to click the “pay” button further down the screen versus the “add to cart” button. The good news is, it was so frustrating, we will not forget that we have paid the $160 entry tax for ten years! Continue reading “18 Hour Layover in Buenos Aires”