Though we were sad to be leaving our friends in Puerto Natales and the beautiful scenery of Chile behind, we were happily not leaving Patagonia yet. Just a 5 hour bus ride and a border crossing later and we arrived at El Calafate – the heart of Argentina’s Patagonia.

As we got on our bus early that morning, we connected with Bern, a friend from Boulder that is also doing a bit of world traveling. Ted and Bern had been emailing and trying to meet up for several days, and finally we ended up on the same bus headed in the same direction. Bern is originally from Austria, but Ted and I met him through our Ultimate frisbee league in Colorado. I didn’t know Bern all that well beforehand, but we got to do a bit of traveling with him and I can now vouch that he is one of the most likable people on the planet.

Upon arriving in Calafate, we headed to a coffee shop to discuss our next move. Halfway through our coffee we met another American couple who had just arrived to town. Dave and Jesse are from New York City and are also doing an around the world trip over the course of the year. Little did we know this coffee meeting would turn into a week of travel together in Argentina, and a rendezvous months later in South Africa.

The THING to do out of Calafate is to take a day trip to the Perito Moreno glacier. It is one of the biggest glaciers in the world that you can access by road and therefore it is one giant tourist attraction.

Perito Moreno Glacier

Sarah, Bern, Jesse, and Dave

Perito Moreno

The drive to the glacier is just over an hour. Ted and I had a slightly different schedule from our newly-formed group, thanks to another travel-industry hook-up (thanks Simon!). We stayed at a ridiculously fancy lodge with direct views to the glacier – the only accommodation within Parque Nacional de los Glaciers! We quickly dropped off our backpacks and met up with the others in time for a boat ride that goes right up to the face of the glacier. Stunning and awe-inspiring views. We lucked out with a beautiful day and were able to see many different shades of blue and green within the ice. We spent the rest of the day walking the boardwalks, taking pictures and hoping to see big chunks of ice calve into the water.

The boat gives some perspective

Quintessential glacier photo

Goes on forever

As Bern, Dave and Jesse headed back to Calafate, Ted and I wandered back to our luxurious hotel where we continued to enjoy the view and the delicious dinner that was included with our stay. Woohoo!

View from our room

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