We had to get up at dawn to prepare for the final leg of our trip, and leave before the other “eco-campers” got up. As we took the last bumpy ride out of the park, we saw the sun rise over the spires – a breathtaking farewell, and then onward to El Calafate. We were so sad to leave Patagonia and it’s truly an experience we will never forget, but we were excited to experience what Argentina had in store for us. As we got ready to board the bus (situated in a quaint little station off a dirt road) to cross the border into Argentina, we almost didn’t make it across the border since we couldn’t find out temporary visas!! But after a few panicky moments, we found what we needed and boarded the bus to El Calafate. The town was such a gem, and we would remark a few times that it was so much like Bar Harbor, Maine – with the quaint little shops and delicious smell of food everywhere you went. The town was so bright, clean and colorful that we immediately felt right at home. We checked into our cozy hotel – Hosteria La Estepa, right outside the town at the top of a hill, and were taken to our “honeymoon” suite. It was a simple room but very cozy, bright and best of all, remote. Almost immediately, Jay spotted flamingos grazing right outside our window – not a sight we were very used to seeing! After settling in, we hit the town to explore. We talked to a few friendly locals, and got their recommendations for dinner, and ended up at a traditional Argentinian “parilla” – specializing in various types of grilled meats. Our “dinner for two” was enough meat to feed a small village (!) but it was so delicious. We shared some laughs with our waitress when we discovered she was a vegetarian. After dinner, we headed right to bed knowing that we needed to rest up for yet another big day – this time, we were going to WALK on a glacier.
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