Live #63, El Calafate, Argentina
08/03/2015 After 126 days of hot climates starting in Mexico last year, it was now finally time to head down all the way to the southern tip of Argentina to enjoy the crisp air of Patagonia during fall season. I booked a flight from Bogotá to El Calafate with a short stop over in Buenos Aires. Finally arriving, huge mountain ranges in the background looked majestically and I couldn’t wait to get out there!
I originally had a long stop over in Buenos Aires, but thanks to the very nice lady in charge of Aerolineas Argentinas, I was booked onto an earlier flight to El Calafate and only had to wait at the Buenos Aires airport from 03:35 to 07:45, touching down in El Calafate with some turbulence at 11:05. As usual, I was not able to sleep on the plane and instead spent half an hour observing some pretty amazing display of thunderstorms below us. Finally setting foot in Patagonia felt a bit strange after all the hot, humid and tropical places I’ve been before. It was also much more expensive, paying 170$AR for a return shuttle airport-city for instance. The landscape was pretty flat and dry, with light blue lagoons scattered around town. After checking in to my hostel, I started to explore a bit and walked to Laguna Niméz. You have to pay to get in, but you can also just walk along the fence towards the lake and since the area is pretty small, you can actually see all the wildlife from there as well. At least for me it was okay and I was more focused on the awesome mountain range in the distance 🙂
After buying a used isolation mat for about 3€ from a guy who just returned from his hikes in El Chaltén, I was now trying to get there myself. Public transportation in Patagonia is very expensive and I wanted to try hitch hiking here. Unfortunately, I had to walk about 30 minutes from town to actually get to a good spot for hitch hiking just at the big round about near the police station. Two other guys been there as well and I didn’t even notice them at first because I stayed in front of the station while they waited behind it. There were barely any cars coming and after half an hour, I decided to stop the next bus at 13:15 – too bad the driver didn’t stop. After all, I am not in Guatemala and their chicken buses anymore 🙂 Soon after my isolation mat nearly flew away in the strong Patagonian winds and I could barely catch it again, so I decided to walk back to town and wait for the evening bus. It’s not that I couldn’t afford it, unlike the other guys on the street. One of them apparently waited for 2 days already to get a ride and when I passed him in the bus about 5 hours later, he was still waiting there. Soon after I would arrive in the Patagonia’s trekking mecca of El Chaltén and writing about all the amazing hikes there will take me a few live updates for sure 🙂
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