El Calafate - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

January 11, 2023 to January 12, 2023

El Calafate

Wednesday 11th January 2023

Our alarms all went off at five o'clock this morning and we were on the bicycles by a quarter past six.  By far the earliest start we have had on this trip.  With it being so early there was no wind of which to speak although by the time we had crested the hill out of the low valley of the Rio Santa Cruz it had started to blow from the south west.

We had left a few minutes before the three amigos and just as they caught up to us a Humbolt's Pug-nosed Skunk decided to show itself.  One of my favourite wildlife sightings on this trip so far. 

The sun had yet to rise so there wasn't much light with which to work. The slow shutter speed resulted in the image being a bit soft.
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Bill ShaneyfeltHog nosed skunk. Really neat, though overly aromatic critters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humboldt%27s_hog-nosed_skunk
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2 weeks ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Bill ShaneyfeltThanks for the link Bill. We made sure to keep our distance!
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1 week ago

From the junction onwards the youngsters disappeared into the distance and we were left to make our way to El Calafate alone.  The route was gentle and quite pleasant until we approached the airport when the traffic picked up and became really unpleasant.  Just before that we had been talking about how much better the Argentinian drivers had become but now they were as bad as we had remembered them to be.

We arrived in El Calafate soon after nine and started looking fir accommodation.   To cut a long story short, after more than two and a half hours of cycling around we ended up at Los Dos Pinos, a very big and really basic but overpriced hostel but which, in El Calafate in high season terms, turned out to be be as good as we could get.  We were both knackered from the efforts over the past few days and weren't in any condition to try and find anything better.

Ten thousand pesos, about seventy $US.
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Thursday 12th January 2023

We have started to recover and will get back on the road again tomorrow.  El Chalten is not a town that I am able to enjoy and we both want to leave as soon as is sensible.  The ride from El Chalten had been mostly so enjoyable and being back in a touristy town is such a come down.  While El Calafate caters for foreign tourists, El Calafate does the same for locals but on a bigger scale.  However, the advantage that it gets from having a local target market is that it seems a bit more relaxed and appears to take itself less seriously.  Nonetheless,  we can't wait to get out to more remote places again.  

Today's ride: 48 km (30 miles)
Total: 5,477 km (3,401 miles)

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Elspeth JarmanWow!!!! The skunk!! That was worth rolling out early for, nice one!

Know what you mean about getting back into the wilds. Envious you are still in Patagonia. I can feel a third trip coming on haha!
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2 weeks ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Elspeth JarmanWait until you read about what we saw a few day's later!
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1 week ago