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Patagonia

The region...not the clothing company!

My next stop was El Calafate, Argentina which is located in southern Patagonia. The landscape is extremely rugged and barren but beautiful with all the snow covered mountains as a backdrop. El Calafate is the kickoff point for visiting Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. The first thing I noticed from the bus window as we dropped down into El Calafate was all the glaciers floating in Lago Argentino. They looked like huge boats on the water.
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Took a tour to Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier is advancing at the rate of 2 meters a day making all kinds of grinding, crashing, smashing noises. It is 3.5 miles across, 10 miles deep and 15 stories high. It is hard to take a picture that puts it all is perspective.
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Stood for three hours watching chunks the size of houses and city blocks fall off into the water. It was like waiting for water to boil, as soon as you looked away a chunk fell. By the time you hear the splash it is too late. Took a quick boat ride along the face of the glacier for some more photos.
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Visited another part of the park for a long day of hiking, 30 kilometers. Spectacular scenery all along the way and possibly the best hike I have ever done in terms of views. The clouds were moving in and out of the peaks throughout the day giving a mystical feel to the area. The water is so pure in the park you can just dip your bottle and drink directly from the creeks, no need to filter.

Fitz Roy
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Cerro Torre
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Next up for me was Ushuaia, Argentina. Ushuaia is on Tierra del Fuego and bills itself as the southernmost city in the world. ¨The End of the World as We Know¨ by REM kept running through my head the whole time I was in Ushuaia, driving me crazy!
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It has a beautiful harbor surrounded by mountains.
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A couple from Tierra del Fuego Nacional Parque.
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Had to get one of Flat Stanley at the end of the world since he started out with me at the Equator.
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Ruta 3, is a national highway that run north and south in Argentina ending in Ushuaia (obviously). I started my travels in Argentina at La Quinca 5,171 kilometers away. That´s 3,213 miles, further than New York to San Francisco. No wonder my ass is sore!
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I decided to fly from Ushuaia to Puerto Madryn. The four hour flight was only $100 USD more than the 32 hour bus ride, no brainer for me. Puerto Madryn is on the Atlantic coast of northern patagonia.
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It´s an ok town but everyone comes to see the right whales in the bay. This time of the year the whales give birth in the harbor. They then spend several weeks teaching their young how to swim, turn and manuever in the water. They mother swims in a big circle outside the baby nudging and demonstrating how to move. Pretty amazing stuff. The best thing is that you can see it all from the public pier because the whales are swimming right below you and around you.
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The Road Goes on Forever (or at least for 5,171 kilometers in Argentina)
Tim

Posted by timtheis 15:15

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