A Peaceful And Tranquil Day in El Calafate

I kept sneezing when I was cooking yesterday. Maybe my room mate had spread her cold to me. So I planned to take a good rest and stayed in the sun for the day.

I checked online to see the price of the plane ticket to Ushuaia. The low rate only applied to local Argentinians so I decided to go directly to the airline to buy it. After I left the hostel and was on my way to town, I realised it was their siesta (or lunch) time so the office was closed. Well, work life balance did exist there.

To fill this time gap, I headed to Largo Argentino. I thought the view would be good but it was only so so. So I went to Laguna Nimez. I heard there were flamingoes there. To enter into the park, I needed to pay 35 peso. I didn’t. I had seen flamingoes before and I wasn’t a bird fanatic so I decided to stroll around outside the park. I saw some flamingos far away. The weather was extremely good. The sun was shining. It was windy so it wasn’t that hot. The view was nice. It was very quiet. I could only hear the birds. I liked that tranquility.

The grass looked so beautiful, pink and soft. The bird looked so cute too.
Loved this place! The mountains and the lake and the grass! What a beautiful composition!
The birds appeared!!

I stayed there until the airline (Aerolineas Argentina) office opened, i.e. 3:30pm. The plane ticket cost 815 peso, much more expensive than the ones offered to local residents. But if I took the bus, it’d be more or less the same but it’d take 20+ hours to get there. So, flying was the way, like what the Argentinian backpacker suggested.

I went past a garden. One of these guys was an Argentinian explorer (Francisco Pascasio Moreno). He helped to solve the border issue between Argentina and Chile in his time (before 1919). His love for nature brought him to Patagonia. I like reading stories of explorers. I wish I could be one. Hey, most of them were/are male. How come?
The little town El Calafate
I found a church. A very simple one but I liked it. I was the only one when I went in.

I went back to the Laguna. I really like the tranquility there. I’m not a fan of birds but hearing them in the silence was good.

Flamingoes in the lake

I then went back to the hostel and cooked. Nothing exciting happened. It was a quiet day. It was a day full of blessing.

It had been more than 3 months after I left home. So fast! (As I read my journal now, I can see that I was getting used to this kind of backpacking lifestyle.) I had been in Argentina for more than one month! I decided to leave this expensive place after visiting a few more places and maybe Antarctica?

I took the plane from El Calafate to Ushuaia. It was quick and the view was amazing. I liked both El Calafate and El Chaltén.

View from the plane

Ushuaia was a bit disappointing to me. I liked El Calafate and El Chaltén more. 

I asked the hostel manager to check the last minute deal to Antarctica for me. They hadn’t got anything yet so I waited. I’d stay in their hostel for 3 nights because that gave me a free airport transfer which I had used and a good last minute deal.

I walked around town. There were many huts around. They all offered cruises around Ushuaia. But I guessed the ones offered by the hostel were good enough. I caught a cold from my room mate in El Calafate. That’s the bad thing about staying in a hostel with so many travellers crammed in one room – cold, snores, etc.)

Things were expensive in Ushuaia. Meat and vegetables were expensive. Fish, even Ushuaia is along the coast, was expensive. And I saw all these prices in supermarkets, not in restaurants.


One prominent improvement about myself was my Spanish. I had a room mate from Cordoba. We conversed in Spanish. Another person here in the hostel spoke to me in Spanish and I could understand him. Not 100% but good enough to get his meaning. I was so proud of myself.

Anyway, let’s see what awaited me next.

25 – 26 January 2013

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