Countries 5 Hotels 13 Cars 32
Flights 8:flying time 40.12 hours
Rickshaws 4 Buses 2 Elephant 1 Boat 1
Cog-wheel train 2 Cable cars 4 Subway 4 Ferry 2
Minibus 7 Coach 2 Catamaran 1
Today I was collected from my hotel in El Calafate and driven further south to Puerto Natales, in Chile. A four hour drive across some very barren country side, although in a way quite pretty too. The sun doesn’t rise here till 9am, these photos were taken from inside the minibus which was going at some speed. There was a heavy frost on the ground, and in places the roads were quite icy. We were climbing too, my ears were popping at one point.
I did see some mountains in the distance. It took three hours before we got to the Argentine border, where, what looks like a house, acts as the border control with one man and a computer. A five minute drive and we get to the Chilean border control, another house only this one looks slightly more official, I got my passport stamped and my luggage had to go through a scanner, then we were back on the road. An hour later and we arrived at the hotel. It looks quite ugly from the outside, however it is lovely inside, and it gets the prize for the best room key ever, it’s a little fat sheep, who has lost one of her legs.
Once I’ve checked in, my guide introduces himself and spends an hour talking to me about what I would like to do for the next three days, the excursions are included in the hotel package here, and it seems like they want to ensure I make the most of them. Once he is satisfied that I’m going to get the most out of the next few days he leaves me to have my lunch. The food is fab, seafood and quinoa, some of my favourites.
The hotel has lots of cosy seating areas, and at this time of year it’s low tourist season so there are not many people about, which I like, I also get the guide all to myself, in high season it’s eight people per guide. The only down side to coming in low season is the weather is cold and can be unpredictable, neither of which bother me in the slightest. I went for a brief walk after lunch along the lake side, the hotel is opposite a lake, and then as I have a very active few days coming up decided to have a relaxing afternoon enjoying the hotel facilities. For dinner I stuffed myself on the most yummy food in the hotel restaurant, and just managed to squeeze myself through the bedroom door to bed. Fabulous.