Back to Argentina

By Bryan • argentina, chile, patagonia, photography, travel • 17 Nov 2013

From Puerto Natales it is a quick hop to the Argentinian border where one is immediately reminded that the Falkland Islands (if you didn’t know) do indeed belong to Argentina (best to ignore that they were decisively defeated by the UK in 1982).  The 30th anniversary of that conflict was being ‘celebrated’ while I was in the region and Christina Kirchner was stirring the pot with very blatant op-ed pieces published in several UK newspapers. Luckily for the UK, a sizable modern force of Eurofighter Typhoons, Gurkhas, Royal Marines and guided missile destroyers + significant local desire to remain British performs admirably against blue signs, a 70’s era military and a terrible economy

Apparently a sizable chunk of supplies required to to sustain life on the Falklands are routed through Chile, creating yet another bone of contention between the two countries.  

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Politics aside, the road to El Calafate from Chile runs through yet another completely different geography.  Through endless pampas-like (although not quite the Pampas) terrain we were treated to some of the best sunsets I have ever experienced.  I can’t recall a Canadian equivalent to these landscapes, although images of American southwest come to mind.  One can make out what I believe to be the Torres del Paine Massif in several of the photos.

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El Calafate, home of the Calafate berry and gateway to Los Glaciers National Park.  Probably not as well known as the more northern Bariloche (home to several notorious Nazi’s), El Calafate is one of those up-and-coming outdoor mecca’s of the Argentina mountain scene.  Situated in the desert near the shore of Lake Aregentino, is not quite in the mountains yet…but pretty close.  Like Ushuaia, there is a heavy European influence on the architecture/design as well as a North American love of SUV’s.

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About an hour and half west of El Calafate is the mighty and utterly amazing Perito Moreno Glacier.  The world’s third largest source of fresh water, the glacier also holds the distinction of being an expanding ice sheet.  Simply unreal.

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6 Responses

  1. Andrew Morton

    “Like Ushuaia, there is a heavy European influence on the architecture/design as well as a North American love of SUV’s.”

    And fine coffee, too! (notes Illy coffee sign on one of the buildings)

    Absolutely gorgeous photos, as always!

  2. Illy…it’s not faux-European without Illy! The coffee culture is heavily influence by Europe…which is hardly surprising, but unfortunately all of the good beans are much, much farther north.

    How’s the new job going?

  3. Andrew Morton

    Well, I haven’t been fired yet, which is pretty cool. Seriously, though, it’s been going really well thus far. Enjoying it quite a lot, and have been picking things up faster than even my manager’s expectations, to say nothing of my own.

  4. Bryan

    Nice! How’s the transit these days in Kingston? Still have the old ‘classic’ buses? I used to always take the route that ran past my place on King Street…40ft bus…hardly anyone in it but myself and few others.

  5. Andrew Morton

    Alas, nope…all of the Classics have been retired, and the entire fleet is accessible now. Hell, even the Orions are due to be retired; in a year or two, our entire 40ft fleet will be New Flyers. (One of the Orions still has a canvas side rollsign that I’d like to keep and use as decor.)

    You’ll be pleased to know that not only does that 40ft Route 3 bus now roll by your old place 7 days a week, it’s even been complemented by express buses in both directions every 30 minutes (15 minutes at rush hour). There’s even an express stop more or less immediately beside your old house! (Beats poor Krystal; the express stop will be a block or two from her old place, and even then it’s not going in for another two years or so.) That express bus is a loop that runs (essentially) down Princess, Bayridge and Front/King (deviates in a couple of places, but those aren’t really relevant for this discussion). We’re working on the next batch of express routes now (including the one past the most dangerous Starbucks in town).

  6. Bryan

    heh heh heh – good to hear Kingston Transit is in good hands. I actually quite liked the classics…lots of foot room and a surprisingly smooth ride. Has the response been positive for the express routes?

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