Todays entry is going to be an eclectic mix of whatever I think of… Why? Well because I didn’t do anything exciting today. Mostly walking around town, eating and booking hotels. So rather than bore you with those details, i’ll try and provide you with some other short tales that have happened so far in my visit to Patagonia.
I probably didn’t mention the fact that my hotel is on the old El Calafate airport runway. Technically speaking if I had an aircraft of some kind and if i wanted to break a law, I could just fly straight on down the runway and park my plane next to the hotel. Cars do use it and the runways form a sort of wide boulevard. There is a bit of construction up here and other dirt roads connecting the buildings. The town actually seems to be a hive of building activity.
That is probably due to the exorbitant fees tourists get charged in Patagonia. The “Big Ice” trek I did yesterday was 650 pesos. Thats $180 of our aussie dollars. If they charged that for an all day expedition in Australia it would cost that much. Then I went to the supermarket and buy a 1 litre bottle of beer for 6 pesos ($1.67). Food is generally not too bad. I’ve been having dinner for around 50-60 pesos so less than $20 but not cheap like Asia or even Central America was. I have as a result had to check out prices for the rest of the country, as I’ve spent over a third of my budget for a quarter of the trip. Luckily up north it seems to be far cheaper. I can’t complain about my $40 a night hostel room in El Calafate as it is sensational, very warm at night and probably would get 4 star’s in Australia. It was actually an old Best Western that the hostel company bought out. Plus internet has been free wherever I go, thus the frequent and long blog posts.
To top off the excitement how about a photo of me in the ice cave. Actually a funny story with the ice cave was one guys startling discovery that the ice cave was in fact wet. This was after the guide explained how the ice caves are formed from the ice melting. His girlfriend or wife suitably told him off for stating the obvious.
OK so tomorrow i’m off to El chalten, in hopes of walking up to the base of Mt Fitz roy on Thursday. Thats an 22km trek with a lot of steep climbs. Hopefully I’m up for it, at least to get some good photos and then on the weekend i’ll be off for a more reduced pace visiting the wineries of Mendoza!