20th October 2015 by emmadurnford

20th October 2015

Sadly we left our hotel with the stunning views. I also discovered that there is a hotel dog (met very briefly on our dark arrival) - a massive black hairy one who sleeps outside and is rather originally called ‘Black’. He was snoring in a flower bed outside of the reception (they all sleep outside despite the cold temperatures) but woke up for a pat and a scratch.

The taxi arrived on time and only in Argentina would you get such a warm welcome and be given an excellent hand wrapped chocolate to “have with a coffee at the airport”. Surprisingly the traffic seemed rather slow along the lakeside although the driver was confident we’d arrive in plenty of time for our domestic flight check in. I think he felt the tension as we tried to look casual and ignore the crawling cars. He turned on his favorite songs which seemed to be mostly Engelbert Humpledink and sang along loudly. I joined in to give an air of complacency about the traffic... Colin did as well after I glared at him for checking his watch again and huffing!

We did make the airport with plenty of time and despite worries about excess baggage there were no charges and the check-in chap changed our seats to give us a better view of the Andes when we took off (emergency exit seats so loads of legroom for the hour and a half journey).

As we came into land at El Calafate we discovered the temperature was 0 degrees and it was snowing. The town does seem rather like it has been in an earthquake or has been recently exposed by a glacier. The pavements are all broken and there are large piles of rocks and mud everywhere. The last time we saw anything like this was when we visited Christchurch in New Zealand after a major earthquake. I have no idea if this is what it is normally like as the internet is pretty bad so I cannot ‘google’ and find out. Luckily I always carry my torch as street lights seem to be lacking on the steep 15 minute uphill walk back this evening through the wastelands of of the town.

The hotel is ‘interesting’ although we have a large room with distant views towards the glacial lake which is nice. As it was snowing or rather sleeting all afternoon the camera stayed in the warmth and comfort of our room so todays shot is was taken as we came in to land at El Calafate airport to learn that most of the other days flights had been cancelled because of the weather so we were actually very lucky to have made it in..
I like the way this shows the contours of the plane, and the land in the distance. What interesting adventures you are having--hope you have some warm clothes with you.
October 22nd, 2015  
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