Today was a new day. This is usually a very moot and pointless expression, and I personally have a very over-the-top but negative attitude towards phrases of the kind. However, in this case I feel it appropriately describes and summarises our adventure over the last 12+ hours, based on the three main factors you look for when determining anything… Location, location, location.
Resentfully, the alarm burst into action at about 8 o’clock ( I can’t be exact because I have no understanding of time in the morning), and was met with the usual moans and groans from moi and a very lively leap out of bed from benj. Once I remembered why I had been awoke at such a ghastly hour, I slowly grew into something resembling a human being trudged towards the bathroom to get ready.
A few cornflakes later we left the hostel with no one in sight, and dragged ourselves to the Bluegreen office where an anonymous woman named Vickie was meeting us. If you think this sounds like a very weird situation, you might need to know Vickie is a friend of Leanne and was tasked with carting us across the border into Argentina and all the way to Calafate.
The journey over was a fairly comfortable one at first, even after the efforts of the plump Argentine military official who did his very best to intimidate us in to giving up our many weapons and illegal substances but we stood firm and all he got was a little apple. Would do him good to eat it. Our smooth journey was soon interrupted however, as Vickie accidentally took a turning which lead us off the beautiful smooth tarmac and onto a track consisting of huge piles of rubble and stones. Although this route was shorter in distance, I didn’t appreciate this mistake a great deal once my ass cramped up so painfully I had to resort to lunging over benj, something neither of us wanted to happen.
A few hours later though, I had forgotten all about my aches and pains, as the wildlife of Patagonia soon revealed itself for us all to see. My pictures provide the evidence of the many Condor’s, Guanoco’s, Niandu’s and even an armadillo we saw on the journey over, and the seizure of the skull of a dead Niandu and some feathers completed our spontaneous safari through Argentina. The journey didn’t end there however, featuring some astonishing views of dry desertous lands partnered with towering mountains, as well as a cool live photo which somehow captured our whole personalities in one snap.
The end of our journey brought us into a completely new environment to Natales, and revealed a newer and more developed town, complete with numerous restaurants and bars which almost resembled something of a strip, which also included two ice bars and a huge casino. This created a brighter and more modern feel than in Natales, however its a shame our hostel doesn’t quite replicate that and keep up with the trend. Nevertheless, we soon had the wifi, made ourselves at home and headed streaight back out into the town to consume some lunch and browse all of whatever Calafate had to offer.
After a poor showing from my chicken burger, and some essential time on the internet, we left for the hostel but were impeded by two merry ladies which happened to be Lian (eliots mum) and Vickie, accompanied by two beers. The lager lived up to the high standards of the Chilean Austral and set in motion a night of varying alcoholic intake.
The evening was spent at a lovely Argentine restaurant with Lean and Vickie, feasting on the traditional Patogian dish Pariyyada, and enjoying a few glasses of Chilean wine and ending with a proper Irish coffee. The conversation therefore inevetibly moved on to girls, and the two ‘mature’ adults on the table were pushing the three of us lads to go out and sample the Argentine nightlife. Two of us complied with the demands, and me and benj ended up at a bar that slightly reminded me of an english pub, with numerous ales on tap, bar stools and a grotty toilet to complete the image. Not being fans of ale, we stupidly chose the strongest they offered and were soon regretting that decision when the meat in our stomachs no longer wanted to be there. Cocktails were the answer to this, and after a couple very famine rounds we were eager to find a club.
We sought advice from many locals and decided there was only one option for a club and cautiously crept past the bouncers and headed straight for the bar. Initial views were very positive as the club had a DJ, extremely loud music and ridiculous lights, all the essential ingredients in a club back home. However, we soon realised there was no dance floor and strangely in its place were numerous tables. This left me very disappointed after looking forward to cutting some shapes for so long.
We attempted to wait it out, but by 3 o’clock the decision was made to head for home, marking the end of the new day, but in the same strange but utterly brilliant fashion.
Another animal shoutout goes to the armadillo, who surprised us all by parking himself right by the road and staying for a photo. There’s definitely something about the animals in this part of the world that makes them real divas when it comes to photos. Moreover his burrowing skills were demonstrated magnificently, enabling him to disappear from our sight in seconds. He was probably just showing off. Legend.