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Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » Lynette’s Birthday in Argentina, Mar 5-6, 2008 (LAS)

Lynette’s Birthday in Argentina, Mar 5-6, 2008 (LAS)


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After a great trip through TdP, we jumped on a crowded and uncomfortable mini-bus across the border into Argentina.  Not a great way to start Lynette’s birthday, but who can say that they have a passport stamp from Argentina on their birthday!

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We arrived in El Calefate just in time for car rental places to be closing, so we hung out and ate a slow lunch and arranged some hostel stays for a couple of nights that we’d need later in the week.  Finally, the car rental place opened and we didn’t waste much time getting groceries and heading for the Perito Moreno Glacier, about 80km from town (it’s said to be one of the biggest advancing glaciers in the world).

This is where the story gets a bit interesting.  On the way in, we were talking to the park ranger about how late the park was open.  He said that it doesn’t really close, as long as we leave the overlook by midnight.  Being overly cautious, and a bit dumb, I press him on the issue of staying the night in the park (which he was kind of hinting at, but we also knew was not formally allowed), at which point he said, “well, you can’t sleep in your car or anything”.  Great, now we couldn’t even get away with playing ignorant.

At any rate, we drive to the overlook and get a nice view of it as the sun was setting, giving a nice show of colors in the sky above the glacier.  We cooked Lynette’s Birthday dinner on the overlook using our camp stove (we had fajita quesadillas, not too bad).

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Back in the parking lot, we ran into a guy and his son from Oregon, along with a couple from Germany/Brazil.  They were all planning on staying the night in the park, so we decided safety in numbers and followed them down a side road and proceded to get comfortable in the car.

Well, at about 5am, we were woken up by a horn honking and headlights in our face.  We both knew immediately what was going on, and in what I think was less than a second, Lynette had jumped from the back seat into the drivers seat, fastened her seatbelt and started the car.  The ranger came over and told us that camping was not allowed and we had to go back to El Calefate.

Well, we had no intention of doing that, so we just drove out of the park, parked the car a bit down the road and waited about an hour before returning to the overlook.  By the time we got there, there were quite a few people already there, so we were able to blend in with the crowd.  It was a bit of a nerve-wracking experience, but it was the only way to not go over the 200km limit of the car.

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080306d_elcalefate-39.jpg 080306d_elcalefate-43.jpg (a piece of the glacier calving)
We enjoyed the views of the glacier at sunrise, went for a hot drink, then went back down to the observation point one last time before heading back to El Calefate to return the car.  We stayed in a cute guesthouse that night before catching the afternoon bus to El Chalten the next day.

-JRS

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