La Gira Andina 2012 travel blog










A short day's driving along well made roads took us to Calafate. This part of the world is famed for its strong winds and we got to experience it again today. Apart from the buffeting and noise, that we are getting used to, I noticed that the steering wheel was decidedly not straight - for about an hour. Those tyres will have be working hard again!

Glorious sunshine greeted us in Calafate, a town that has become a major tourist destination due to the nearby Moreno glacier. Although we have a day off tomorrow to visit it, we decided along with some others to make ice whilst the sun shone - as it were. We did the usual boat trip across the lake to the face of the glacier and followed the superbly built walkways to see it from the peninsular opposite. Being in the southern hemisphere, this glacier is one of the few to be growing rather than shrinking and the path takes you impressively close.

To add to the beauty of the vast glacier, we were blessed with a lovely flying display from a pair of Condors. Fortunately both cameras had well charged batteries and plenty of memory. It will take a while to back up and sort the photos ... but we have a free day tomorrow now.

More fantastic Argentinian steak for supper. We are with David and Lorraine who are driving the world's most travelled Rover and Rosie and Stuart, who plans our routes. The wine list had a long list of wines that we did not know, so we chose by name: Don David - and jolly good it was too!

We set off one car short today as Charles and Jane's supremely reliable Mercedes had blown its head gasket driving into town last night. Given a bank holiday weekend and few driving days left, the decision was made not to attempt a repair, but to have the car transported directly to Ushuaia. They joined us by hire car in the evening and we were all pleased to see them back with us even without the familiar silver, open-top car that we had travelled so much with. How can a car that has driven up to base camp on Chimborazo volcano at 4863m and done the old wagon road of 365 bends with us have failed on an easy road in Southern Argentina? There is always that risk driving old cars on journeys like this. Very sad, but at least cars are repairable and no-one is hurt.

Share |