18:45 - I had a long night...couldn't fall asleep. At 4am I was still reading 'This thing of darkness'...at 5 I must have finally drifted off but the reception chap at 6am was shouting and knocking on people's doors...not really sure why but I would have happily killed him. At 7.30 I got up to get ready and have breakfast before meeting the rest of the group at 8 for our excursion to the Petito Moreno Glacier. After Toby had been dismissive about anyone doing the mini ice trek and pushing for everyone to do just the boat viewing and the platforms yesterday, I had gone to look at pictures of the trek and had felt hard done by, by not having being forceful enough in insisting I wanted to do it. The pictures were pretty awesome. But having missed out on a proper night's sleep, i suddenly felt grateful I didn't have to do it. We drove for about an hour to get to the entrance of the national park and Leo (our guide for the day) spoke pretty much the whole time. About history, flowers, animals, glacier formation...I just wanted to sleep :-). The spectacle of the glacier up close is pretty special and during the boat trip that takes you close to the face on the Lago Argentino side, a big block fell off into the water with a roar :-). Somehow I managed to catch a shot of it (as you can imagine there were a lot if people in front of me and it was bit easy). Of course one tend to over photograph but what can you do...I did delete most of my efforts. We also webt to the platforms in front of the glacier and were left to wonder around and have lunch (we'd all bought stuff at the supermarket yesterday so we ate on the benches). The sun started to filter through so it was an enjoyable experience. However we were left there for 3 hours when really an hour would have sufficed!!! At least as far as i was concerned (and a few others), but Sunitta waned to stay all day. To pass the time me and the terrible trio (Tina, Peter and Karen) went to the bar for a hot chocolate and sat chatting for a while. I attempted to destroy my camera by knocking it off the chair but luckily the filter broke into a thousand pieces but the lens was unscathed. What would you do without my pictures??? I did manage to buy some postcards from the shop next door. The bus eventually came back to pick us up. We were back at the hotel by 4 but alas too late for me to go to the post office for stamps as it was closed by then. I guess I will try again in Chalten. At least I had a little time to relax before dinner and we are not rushing from one thing to the next. I got a chance to catch up with emails and call my little sister and I got to speak to my 2 nieces and nephew. I did make them promise to be good but I doubt they'll remember in an hour or so...Even Cristian (my little brother) and his girlfriend Nicky called :-).
Well, I've got to get ready for dinner now, it's the last night for 2 of our companions: Peter and Sue. Tomorrow morning they leave us and join a 10 day cruise of Antartica. Lateeeeer...
23:00 - Dinner was a non event. The place looked nice enough and the waitresses were very kind but after waiting an hour and a half and seeing everyone else get served before us, we got cold and crappy food delivered to our table. Good enough of course to feel our bellies but nothing to write home about. Some of the highlights of the conversation tonight: arranged marriages (Sunitta's experience of it), Peter being the Clooney type (according to Sunitta he's macho and handsome), Tina being like Julia Roberts (still the world according to Sunitta), and to cap it all off they had to make me feel included so I am now Tallulah from Bugsy Malone (Jodie Foster). Hilarious...
The good news for tomorrow is that we no longer have a 7.15 pick up by a public bus but we have a private transfer at 8.30 :-)))))) to El Chalten to partake of walks to Cerro Torre and Mount Fitzroy. I have a feeling that someone like Luisetta Arecchi would appreciate all this walking way more than me!!!