Patagonia: El Calafate and Glaciers

Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier

 

I recently returned from a 10-day trip to Patagonia. The trip was through Epic Destinations with Ian Plant as our photographer leader. There were 15 of us who joined Ian, including a co-leader photographer from Arizona, George Stocking, a guide and 11 other photographers.

Patagonia is a region located at the southern end of South America shared by Argentina and Chile.  Andes Mountains run south through the two countries like a spine and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are very close together in that part of the continent. Click on the word “Patagonia” at the beginning of this paragraph for a map. Patagonia is an an area dominated by grasslands and deserts. Trees are scarce.

Why Patagonia you ask? It is a remote area not heavily photographed as yet. Why did I choose Ian Plant? His photographs are phenomenal. Just Google him and see for yourself.

Jorge Newbery Airport
Jorge Newbery Airport, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

I flew into Buenos Aires, Argentina, a busy, bustling city in the northern part of the country. From there another flight took me to El Calafate in the Patagonia region of Argentina. I met others in our group at the airport so we could share a taxi to the hotel, Patagonia Queen.

Getting money was interesting. My credit card did not work in the bank ATM. I panicked because I had very little other money and I knew I could not expect to use a credit card everywhere. Cash would be needed. Our leader, Ian, knew of another bank that I could try and it worked but not until after frantic calls to husband, Bob, to call the bank and get the card accepted for international banking. Whew! Just to be sure, I got up early and walked over in the dawn to the same bank and found people lined up, 20 strong at each bank in El Calafate. These people were obviously not going to take their money situation for granted.

Next morning we traveled to the Los Glaciares National Park by bus.  It’s the big tourist draw for the region because it is so magnificent! The colors are stunning.

Blue Glacier
Blue Glacier

A guide joined us for the trip to the Glacier, Alejandro, and he would be out guide for the rest of the trip.

Next, I’ll describe the adventures as we traveled to El Chalten, a mountain village on the border with Chile and wondered if we would ever see the sun again.

 

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