Brief Travel Journal Update – El Calafate, Patagonia
Windswept and hungry, Rachel and I dragged ourself into the tiny bus terminal at El Calafate, a lonely desert town in Patagonia, southern Argentina.
While flying, I spotted the airport we were due to land at as we began to descend – It was a single airstrip. Just as the plane was coming into land, a momentous gust of wind side-swiped it, throwing us back and forth and sending a sharp thrust of adrenaline through our tired bodies.
The wind persisted as we left the airport. Dust and twisted bramble circulated the car park, riding on the tidal wind.
We struggled to fight against it as we made our way towards the bus to town. I asked the driver if the wind was normally this strong. He shrugged and said ‘More or less’. It’s going to be interesting keeping my tripod still tomorrow.
We missed the 4.30 bus to El Chalten, our final destination in Argentina. We would have to wait two more hours for the next one.
El Chalten is even more rural. A town of around 500 people, it was established barely 40 years ago and is surrounded by the intensely beautiful and sometimes unforgiving mountainous parts of Patagonia.
We’ll get there around 10:00pm tonight, in the pitch of night and the cold of autumn. Hopefully we’ll find some place open so we can eat.
After a night of rest, we’ll be ready to explore the landscape that I’ve waited so long to see.