January 19-24th Chile+Argentina

by - January 25, 2019


We ate breakfast at La Petite and then we headed back to Santiago.  We were in a mad search for a beer.  After many failed attempts we found a place serving sandwiches and Cristal beer.  After that they brought us to our truck so we could get on the road.  We had a 40 hour drive ahead of us to get to the end of the world.  We put four hours in and parked near a river.

We put in 7 hours on this day.  It was a truly gorgeous drive.  It finally feels like we are in Patagonia!  We stopped in Villa la Angostura and ate at Yeti Beer and More.  It had a great atmosphere, but just ok beer and food.  We found a great spot to park overlooking Rio Negro.  We took a short walk down to the rock beach to see the colorful sunset.  We relaxed and planned our route for the next few days.

We got back on the road around 8 AM.  We drove to Bariloche to get groceries.  Then we drove a couple hours and stopped in the town of Esquel for gas and lunch.  This is our first day experiencing the Patagonian winds.  We stopped to chase after an armadillo.  Somehow one of my shoes from the truck ended up halfway across the road.  Even though I lived in Texas for three years, this was both of our first live armadillo sitings.  We were on the road for a total of 13 hours.

We drove a total of 11 hours this day.  We stopped in every single town possible to fill up on gas.  We ran into the same cars at each station doing the same thing.  It was another crazy windy day.  We saw many turquoise lakes along the way.  We also saw many llamas and ostriches with their babies.  Oh and a fox.  We got to La Calafate around 7 PM and went right to Southern Spirit to book our boat tour to Perito Moreno Glacier for the next day.  Then we walked to La Tablita to get our fill of the famous spit-roasted Patagonian lamb.  It was super good!  We also enjoyed a bottle of wine.  Then we walked to La Zorra, a local brewery.  As we sat outside enjoying our beer in the cris air we realized it was already 10:30 PM.  It was still light out-it is hard to get used to this.  Then we drove to the beach and settled in.

We woke up at 7 AM and got ready for the day.  We stopped at Panaderia Don Luis to grab a sandwich for lunch on the tour.  We drove the 45 minutes to Puerto Bandera where our boat would launch.  We bought our ticket to get into Los Glacieres National Park.  The tour took us to two different short hikes on the way to the glacier.  They were beautiful, but we didn't enjoy the amount of people on the tour.  It got a little crowded and took away from the experience.  Then we got back on the boat and headed towards the glacier.  It took us up to the north face of the glacier.  It was breathtaking!  Then they dropped everyone off to walk to the outlooks overlooking the glacier.  We took the 20 minute uphill trail to beat the crowds.  It was still busy, but we enjoyed the different views of the glacier.  We even got to see a few ice chunks fall into the water.  We all piled back into the boat and headed back to the port.  When we arrived back into town one of the two gas stations was completely out of gas.  We got in line at the other.  We had read that these gas stations often run out of gas and we didn't want to delay our drive to Ushuaia.  After over an hour we got gas.  We filled up on wine and pasta at La Cocina and then parked at the same spot as the prior night.

We slept in because we were both feeling exhausted.  Then we picked up empanadas and coffee at Don Luis Panaderia.  We didn't get on the road until 11 AM.  We put in 6 hours and a border crossing when we arrived at the ferry to take us across the river.  We sat in line for 6 hours!  We assumed it was because of the strong winds.  We often only went 30 mph on the drive because the winds were so strong.  When you walked in the wind it almost blew you over.  Once we crossed we only went another 30 minutes to the next town.  We parked around 2 AM and headed to bed.

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