We boarded the bus and later on had some very small meals that nearly led us to starve. Luckily we were sitting downstairs so there weren´t too many kulaks to bother us. We pulled in the next day to a hideous oil refinery town of Rio Gallegos, and from there hotfooted it onto a bus leaving to our desired destination of El Calafate. We were very pleased when we got there and were met by a lady at the bus station who took us to her hostel (very nice and luxury for us and not at all the usual high high high Argentina prices.)
The next day we wandered into town over a troll´s bridge and booked our bus tickets to Ushuaia - oh dear, normal bus, 12 hours, day time. Not good. Feeling very depressed we booked two tours to see the nearby glaciers. We also went on a walk to the lake where 1000 dogs accompanied us, fighting, barking, sexing and scaring horses and cyclists. A kulak in a truck stopped to laugh at our predicament.
We also went to a really awful museum but had a voucher for a free cup of coffee, so it was kind of worth it. We did get to watch a good video of the glacier calving.
The following day we headed off on a tour of some glaciers on a very posh boat. It was a huge catamaran and we secured front row seats to see the sights. We got to pull up really close to some huge glaciers and watch some chunks of ice falling off. The best part of the boat trip, however, was watching all the crips forgetting there was a big step between the inside of the boat and the deck area. Many people went flying and slapped on the floor like dead fish. Even the workers on the boat were sniggering. The step was right in front of our seats so we got to stare and laugh like kulaks as well.
On the way back, a granja and granjad started to speak to us. It was a very painful stilted conversation and they kept pronouncing words wrong that made us want to laugh (they were from Buenos Aires). At the end of the trip we said goodbye, only for the door to remain locked for a couple of extra painful minutes as we all stared at each other in silence and generally felt uncomfortable.
The next day we went to visit the Perito Moreno glacier. Here´s Wikipedia:
The 250 km⊃2; ice formation, of 30 km in length, is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field located in the Andes system shared with Chile. This icefield is the world's third largest reserve of fresh water.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of only three Patagonian glaciers that are not retreating.
The terminus of the Perito Moreno Glacier is 5 km wide, with an average height of 60 meters above the surface of the water, with a total ice depth of 170 meters. It advances at a speed of up to 2 m per day (around 700 m per year), although it loses mass at approximately the same rate, meaning that aside from small variations, its terminus has not advanced or receded in the past 90 years. At its deepest part, the glacier has a depth of approximately 700 m.
So anyway, we had a nice time at this glacier, which we got to view from some platforms. We were meant to be able to see this glacier calve in front of our eyes, but we didn´t. We were very cross and then a chinese girl needed to go to the toilet (causing a scene in the process, we might add) so we had to leave the glacier and return in the minibus (we were unfortunately snacking in the minibus at the time, this is why we got caught up in the whole affair).
Eventually we made it back to El Calafate and prepared for our 2.30am departure the next day to Ushuaia. It had better be worth it!
Mark out of 10 = 7
Final thoughts: A nice little town. Nothing to do but at least we didn´t get robbed here.
Next time... Ushuaia.