From Chilean Patagonia to Argentine Patagonia

April 3, 2011 1 comment

It was fun for the children, the idea of crossing a border by road after so many airport immigration points during our round the world. However, it was a bit abstract for all us to understand where Chile ends and where Argentina starts!

This is what the Argentine border looks like 3,000km south of Buenos Aires

From Torres del Paine in Chile to El Calafate in Argentina, it’s an easy road of about 4hours. However, a  good 45 minutes is waisted at both immigration checkpoints. Bureaucracy looks so out of place in this immense Patagonian land.

You might have heard of the long rivalry between Chile and Argentina. Well, El Calafate is a bit the equivalent of Puerto Natales in Chile ie. the start point for many outdoor expeditions to the natural park of El Chalten, and also the world-famous glacier of Perito Moreno (1h30 away). I can’t really compare Patagonia on each side of the border because we stayed in the wilderness in Chile, while we stayed in the city of El Calafate in Argentina (the place went from 2,000 to 15,000 inhabitants in 7 years!), two different experiences. And we did not go trekking in Argentina, we only took a day trip to see the Perito Moreno glacier: it was freezing cold, and I did not enjoy the very touristy experience, by bus, with tons of other people squeezed in this immense land on the paths, in the cafeteria or in the bus. Oh well…s happens!

Ok, I am cheating a bit. These photos are from the Grey Glacier in Chile..I was too cold to take out my camera in Perito Moreno. same, same

At least, it was wonderfully warm and cozy to retreat to our little family apartment in town, at Los Ponchos, owned by an antique lover and filled with beautiful wooden pieces from Patagonia and elsewhere.

The view from our apartment on Lago Argentino, El Calafate

And we shared a parilla at Don Pichon with our new friends the Bideau family. With their 2 lovely girls Lea and Alice, they are going around the world for 12 months. Now, I am jealous!

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