K9 Capers – Puerto Natales to El Calafate

May, 2011

El Calafate is to be the next stopover for the main reason of visiting the incredible Perito Moreno Glacier. Everyone must see this amazing and still advancing glacier, in their lifetime!

Travel

The bus trip from Ushuaia (5 hours, CH$12,000) with Cootra across the Argentinian border revealed more of the same flat golden plains dotted by tuffs of scrub.

With only a brief stop at Turbo to drop-off and pick up more passengers, we were on our way again. Turbo appeared small, deserted, and dismal, so, glad to push on to El Calafate.

Accommodation

Arrived at a civilised hour for once and not in the middle of the night. Found Las Cabaῆitas (AR$200 Dbl) relatively easy in the daylight. It is always comforting to have the first night’s accommodation booked when arriving in a new town but especially when walking around with a 17kg backpack.

This ‘A’ frame friendly timber cabin is very cosy and a cute abode. The owners are lovely and the hostel boasts a warm and friendly family-feel.

Breakfast is included in the room’s price. A lovely morning surprise is that a different home-baked cake as part of breakfast arrives each morning, which is a welcomed and very kind touch. Not to mention the cakes are wonderful and the aroma or warmly baked cake wafting through the cabin is divine!

The town

El Calafate is geared up for tourists with loads of cafes, restaurants (cheap and expensive), and also shops offering loads of snow gear. Of course, it snows a lot in this region. Stumbled upon a store, which sold second-hand snow gear and bought thick snow jackets and pants. Coming from a month in Morocco, we weren’t geared up for this bitter cold weather. At least the sun shone threw several times during our stay.

I even managed to find (“Lucky” brand) Black & White film here but alas, the film was out-of-date so I didn’t buy any. I am still lugging a 35mm film camera, which is heavy but also my DSLR Canon camera. It isn’t that easy to find film here and especially B&W film. Sadly, although I left Australia with many rolls, I only have a couple left so need to buy another stash somewhere.

Almost everywhere in this town takes credit cards, so this gives you an idea that it is quite a touristy town.

Chile:Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales

Dog Update

It was in El Calafate that typcially 4 to 5 dogs would follow us for hours all over town. Packs of them; it was embarrassing!

To paint the picture, we had one stray follow us around town for kilometres. On venturing into a shop, this stray sat curled up at the door waiting for us to come out again. We did and he continued to follow us once more.

It is in El Calafate that we observed a dog walking down the road, pass a local, then turning around, started following us instead…why do they follow foreigners and not locals?

After the incredible moon walking on ice experience on Perito Merino, it was time to leave El Calafate and experience the Southern Patagonian Fjords…on a Navimag Ferry for a few days.

I hope that the sea and weather are kind to us as once on the ferry, there is no getting off or turning back.

Visit my Argentina Gallery for more images. More posts on Argentina at Image Earth Travel.

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