Tag Archives | glaciers

Visiting Patagonia (El Calafate and Ushuaia)

Last week we had a chance to take our first trip in Argentina with my brother, John, and his girlfriend, Elizabeth, who were visiting from Michigan.  It was their first trip out of the U.S., so it was quite an experience for them – actually for all of us.  We flew from Buenos Aires to El Calafate where we spent 3 days and then flew to Ushuaia for 2 days before flying back. We booked the flights through Lan Airlines web site, but had the hotels and tours set up through Wade Alexander who runs the “Imagine Argentina” travel agency.  I’d definitely recommend him if you want to plan a trip.

El Calafate is a small town located on Lake Argentina and is an excellent starting point for exploring the glaciers. Most of the town is geared around tourism, and the main street is filled with shops and restaurants catering to that crowd.  On the first day, we took a bus out to the Perito Moreno glacier where we first hiked around it before boarding a ferry to the other side for lunch and a mini-trekking expedition on the glacier itself.  The views were amazing!  The next day, we took a six hour cruise across Lake Argentina to explore three other glaciers as well.  The photos below probably do more justice to this than anything I can describe.

In Ushuaia, we took a five hour cruise out of the city to see the sea lions, Ushuaia light house and visit a penguin colony.  The boat actually grounds itself on the beach near the penguins, so you can get a very close look. (Some other tours actually let you walk on the island, but the number of people per day is limited.)  The next day, we took the “Train at the End of the World” (too touristy) and then hiked in the national park which gave us a chance to see a lot of wildlife. (a condor, beaver dams, tons of birds, etc.) And, I also ate a lot of king crab while I was there, although it was not quite the bargain I had hoped for (AR$90 for a dinner of king crab).

It was definitely an amazing trip. The photos below capture some if it… 


Buenos Aires News: Edition 1

Welcome to the first of a weekly series highlighting some of what I consider to be the more interesting news from Buenos Aires and Argentina.  I find many new things every week and often want to blog about them, but realize that I don’t always have the time to get to them.  Hopefully, with these posts, I can just give a quick summary and you can read the ones that interest you.

Maradona rubbed from Yahoo! web by Argentinian judge [The Register]
Following a judge’s temporary restraining order, all searches for Diego Maradona, Argentina’s most (in)famous soccer player, on Yahoo! Argentina have been blocked.  Argentine judges have issued more than 100 search site restraining orders over the past two years in an attempt to expunge allegedly inappropriate references to some of the country’s most recognizable names. Most of these have been lead by one attorney who is effectively censoring the Internet.

Argentine Fans Hijack Public Buses To Go To Match [Reuters UK]
How much do Argentines love their soccer?  Let’s just say that things often get a little crazy when soccer is involved and this latest story is no exception.  On November 13, in two separate incidents, fans of an Argentine second division soccer team hijacked two public buses and ordered the drivers to take them to their team’s game.

Spare Change? There’s None in Buenos Aires [Time]
Time has a good article covering the shortage of coins in Buenos Aires and the problems it’s causing across the city.  Many stores have “No Change” signs up, large grocery stores routinely round-off the total in their favor.  So acute was the coin shortage, one day last month, that the Metrovias subway company was forced to open its turnstiles and let passengers ride for free after it ran out of change. Interesting article…

Argentina vetoes glacier law that curbed mining [Reuters]
Argentina’s president has vetoed a law that would have protected the country’s glaciers by restricting mining and oil drilling. The law, which was passed by Congress last month, was vetoed by President Cristina Fernandez. She issued a decree stating that governors in Andean provinces feared the glacier law could threaten economic development in their regions.

Al Jazeera focuses on Latin America [The Miami Herald]
The Buenos Aires office of Al Jazerra’s English service is dedicated to reporting the news from Latin America in a different way.

Brazil, Argentina Agree to Increase Import Taxes [Bloomberg]
As if imported good were not expensive enough here, Bloomberg is reporting that import taxes will be raised on various products including wine, peaches, canned foods, textiles, pasta and wooden furniture, from outside the Mercosur trading bloc.

Fiscal Crisis Gives Argentines Familiar Sinking Feeling [New York Times]
A growing number of Argentines are stockpiling dollars amid worries that their government’s economic policies have doomed them to yet another financial crisis.