Saturday, January 17, 2009

Let´s play catchup

Now that I´m finally back in civilization (well, sort of. I´m still in a small town and surrounded by absolutely nothing on one side and the ocean on the other), I can finally provide a much-needed update to the happenings of the last week.


By the numbers

--Number of hours spent on buses in the last week: 50
--Kilometers traveled: Approx. 3,000 (about 2000 miles)

Bariloche

Bariloche is beautiful. It sits near the Andes, on Lake Nahuel Huapi. It´s surrounded by mountains. I enjoyed excellent views, a great 25 km bike ride and the best ice cream in the world--lots of it.

The scenery:

From Argentina


The deliciousness:

From Argentina



Across Patagonia

The southern chunk of Argentina is known as Patagonia. I don´t know what I expected, but I don´t think this was it. It´s barren. It´s flat. It goes on forEVER. There is so little life out here, the rare service station can charge 25 bucks a gallon for gas and $8.50 for a bottle of coke (or could if then wanted to).

From Argentina


No trees. Lots of ugly bushes. Some sheep. A few ostrich-type birds and some llamas. If the sheep are scared in Montana, they´re used to it here.


Getting around

Never have I traveled so well. There are several classes of bus available to travelers in Argentina. Semi cama (cama=bed) provides seats much like the economy seats in an airplane, except they recline further. Upgrade to coche cama for just a few dollars more and you have a business-class seat that reclines quite far. They´re only three across, and a hot meal and booze is included on the better fleets. I have not enjoyed the luxury of ¨cama total¨, which is a seat that folds into a flat bed.

The buses are, more often than not, of the double-decker variety.

From Argentina


And a view of coche cama:

From Argentina



Greyhound needs to get its shit together.


Brr

I experienced the coldest weather in nearly two years these last few days. I was in the deep, deep south of the country. So far south that the sky wasn´t totally dark until after 11 p.m. Why put up with such torture? To see the Perito Moreno glacier. Worth it? Yes, definitely, despite going on a horribly rainy and cloudy day.

The glacier is massive. Something like 20 miles long. It´s three miles wide at the bottom (I had to look that number up, and I couldn´t believe it--this thing´s huge!) It advances at about two meters a day, with about that much breaking off into the lake. We could hear the ice groan and pop as it moved forward, and huge exploding noises as chunks of ice crashed into the water. It was absolutely awe-inspiring, despite the horrible weather.

From Argentina



The section you see here is well over a mile long, along the water:

From Argentina



Today I´m in Puerto Madryn, on the east coast of the country. My hostel is seconds from the water. Tomorrow, I intend to go check out some wild life on the Peninsula Valdes, which is a protected area. After that, its up north and over to Uruguay.

Stay tuned for more about my stop on the way back home!

2 comments:

Steff said...

Gelato and glaciers. I see a chilly link here in the latest posting.

Anonymous said...

Great update, keep it up.