My friend, Sam Allison, calls the ice floating on the top of your cocktail after letting it sit too long bruised cubes.
Sunday, Denise and I took a cruise on Lake Argentina to see a couple of the famous glaciers in El Calafate. On the boat ride to the glaciers we started to see pieces of ice floating by us. They ranged in sizes. The smaller ones were the size of cars and the larger ones as big as a 3-story building. They reminded me of a giant lake of God’s bruised cubes.
The town of El Calafate is a small town in Patagonia that seems to thrive on its tourists visiting the glaciers. We arrived Friday afternoon and the sun was as hot as the beaches of Rio with a cool breeze. It felt like autumn in New York, thanks Frank. Our room was very outdated, a cross between a log cabin and a motel in the 80s. We soon realized that the whole town was a bit outdated and this was not a bad thing because we didn’t come here for room service or 5-star dinning. We came here to see the glaciers. The view is breathtaking and there is a surreal sense that if you can picture heaven on earth it is here, all around you.
We were eating a box lunch at the the glaciers Saturday afternoon when Denise shared a memory of a vacation with her parents down at the Ozarks, a vacation spot not far from Kansas City. She said her dad, Frank, would stop by Scimeca’s, an Italian grocery store and pick up Italian meats and cheeses and a loaf of bread. He would combine his homemade Italian olive salad and they would eat it when they reached there halfway point. I remember my dad doing something similar on our lake outings. Our box lunch in the middle of nowhere made me realize that a sandwich, someone you love and a great destination make a timeless experience.
After 4 days in El Calafate, we took bus #2 to El Chalten and got a perfect sunrise while traveling along Lake Argentina for three hours. Once we arrived we went on our first hike which was 20 kilometers and took us seven hours. On our second day, yesterday, we hiked another 20 kilometers and saw Laguna Torre. Both hikes were filled with box lunches, crisp air, and water clean enough to drink and we did.
We spent two days in El Chalten hiking 26 miles and are ready for wine country. Last night we stayed in a hostel to save a little money. This morning we have bus #3 taking us back to El Calafate at 3 a.m, where there is an airport. We will then catch planes #11 and 12 to Mendoza.
Where we stayed in El Chalten, Argentina (Patagonia):
Rancho Grande Hostel (shared a room with 2 other guys – I don’t recommend it)