I’ll admit it. I am a lazy blogger. It seems it always happen this way. I start out with great intentions, keeping friends and family updated as to our whereabouts, but toward the end of every trip, I run out of steam. Then, re-entry into our world takes a few weeks. So here we are, back home, reliving our wonderful time in Patagonia via photos.
Our last several days have not been recorded, so let’s start there. If you recall the map from the Punta Arenas post, you’ll remember that we had some very long travel days.
With a bus like this, however, you travel in comfort, and you really get to experience the countryside. There were only 12 travelers (plus guides) on a bus that could carry over 40 passengers! With multiple interesting stops along the way, time passed quickly.
On our way to cross the border back into Argentina, we stopped to pay tribute to Gauchito Gil.
Here’s his story: Gil joined the Argentinian army to fight against Paraguay. He returned to his village as a hero, but soon after, the Argentine Civil War broke out. He refused to fight against his countrymen, so he deserted. He was found in the forest, by the police, who tortured him and hung him upside down from a tree. As a policeman was about to kill him, Gil said, “your son is very ill. If you give me a proper burial and pray to me, your son will live. If not, he will die.” Despite the prediction, the policeman cut Gil’s throat. When he arrived home, the policeman discovered his son was indeed very ill, so he heeded Gil’s prophecy–gave him the proper burial, said a prayer or two, and (wait for it–dramatic pause) the son was CURED!
SO, today’s travelers offer a beer or some other tribute to Gil, as an extra insurance policy for a safe trip. As you can see, we were no exception. Hey, why not.
In addition to educational stops along the way, our guides kept boredom at bay by entertaining and feeding us. Laura, our guia excelente, donned that costume before she served us a wonderful treat. Yeah, I forgot what it is called, but I certainly remember the wonderful taste.
We were not without our national Geographic moments. As we drive the highways and by ways, we noticed several eagles and other large birds of prey sitting on fence posts. Were they watching the cars go by, as an avian form of TV? No, they had figured out that it was just a matter of time before some tasty road kill would make their grocery shopping much easier. Take a look.
Before we knew it we were in El Calafate, Argentina. The main purpose of our 2 night stay here was to view the Perito Moreno Glacier in the National Park.
We certainly did that, both from a ship and from land. It was quite a majestic sight. The experience wasn’t just visual, however. It was also auditory. We could actually hear the glacier groan and thunder, as parts of it crashed off into the sea below.
While in El Calafate, we stayed at the Kauyatun, a gorgeous hotel reincarnated from a former sheep ranch. Best of all, it is within walking distance of El Calafate’s charming center.
Our trip ended in Buenos Aires, where we had our farewell dinner, then flights home the next afternoon.
Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when you have such an interesting, caring, informed, fantastic guide like Laura. We all truly appreciated how hard she worked to make this trip extra special for all of us. Her energy was amazing!
We also felt so fortunate to be a part of an extraordinarily compatible group. Our hope is that this will not be the last time we see these wonderful, smiling faces!