After 28 hours of travelling (Vienna/Frankfurt/Buenos Aires/el Calafate) we finally arrived at our destination in El Calafate. This is the starting point for our Patagonian adventure and the reason I have been carrying around all this photographic equipment with me!
By the time we checked in to our hotel, it was around 4pm. Unlike where we had come from, the sun sets here at 10:30pm, not 4:30pm! All this daylight is doing my head in!
Craig has been thrown with the time difference and jet lag, so he decided to take it easy in the room. I headed out to the lake area to wander around the birdlife. It was SOOOOO good to be in open space with wildlife and no one to bump into you as you walked along. The variety of birds was staggering but I couldn’t really get close enough to take any decent shots (although I have attached the flamingos in the distance).
After making enquiries at Reception, apparently there is a bird area in the opposite direction to where I went so, I will definitely make sure I go there on our return in a few days.
The next morning, we were away bright and early for our transfer to El Chalten. At our first break, I asked the driver if it was possible for me to sit in the front – luckily, he agreed. I spent the 3-hour trip with the perfect bird’s eye view!
This country is stunning but as Craig said, it’s very much like the South Island of New Zealand.
El Chalten has grown from tourism and still looks like a work in progress. The trekking season starts at the end of October and things are starting to get busy – I would hate to be here later as I think the trails would be really crowded.
After having a quick lunch while waiting until our room was available, we finally checked in and headed out for what is described as an easy walk to the Chorrillo del Santo waterfalls. This is a 8km round trip, with an additional 1.5km back into town and our hotel. But it still takes 3 hours!
The starting point also includes the path leading up to Mount Fitz Roy – let’s just say that looking up, we have agreed we won’t be taking that route any time soon.
Returning home, I sat down in the restaurant area to start to edit my photos and write this entry. As I was sitting there, I noticed the senior person from reception and a waitress taking photos of a table setting with wine. They seemed to be struggling with getting a decent shot so, I offered to help, explaining that my shots may not be any better.
As few quick pics, some editing and I emailed them across. Paula, the lady from reception, was so happy she came back and offered me the glass of wine that I had been photographing. I’ll be paid in Patagonian red any day!!
Later that night, I told Paula I was more than happy to take more shots if she needed anything. A few minutes later she informed me that they needed another photo for their Instagram account, this time with a different wine and preferably with people in the background. I happily obliged. Maybe I should move into product photography!!