El Calafate: the place everybody has in mind when they picture Patagonia. In reality, Patagonia encompasses the southern half of Argentina and Chile. The land area measures 1.043 million km² and is, to the guanacos’ delight, mostly flat.
I watched the terrain pass underneath me from 30,000 feet for the duration of the one hour and forty-five minute flight from Trelew to El Calafate. Other than blue ribbons of sharply bending rivers, I spied with my little eye a whole lot of earth-toned nothingness. It was the desert, the world’s 8th largest and the least-talked-about!
When Mélissa enthusiastically proposed the idea of snorkeling with the sea lions, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I wasn’t into forced wild animal encounters. I’ve never held a koala or pet a tiger. Posing with animals isn’t fooling anybody into thinking you’re Tarzan: we know you’re just another tourist with money.
In my last post, I mentioned being slightly disappointed about our time in Punta Delgada with the all-female herd of elephant seals.
The biggest disappointment of my trip to Patagonia, however, would have to be awarded to the Argentinean croissant.
What made this so painful was how all these cafés had been hyped about offering it on their menus. “Medialunas!” Their sandwich boards would exclaim. They were such a popular menu item that they were often sold out. We had to try three different cafés before we got our croissant.
The title of my last post was “Suffering for adventure.” My trip may have started with hours of discomfort on a plane, but I had also escaped Montréal‘s first major snowfall of the winter.
It was -20°C (-4°F) the morning we left Montréal. When we touched down in Trelew, Argentina 24 hours later, it was 37°C (98°F). A temperature difference of 57 degrees… WHAT?!
I had checked the weather the day before and made myself fully prepared with shorts and a tank top stowed in my carry-on. While my Montréal pals were traipsing through thigh-deep snow, I was getting my sweat on!
My elbows and scarred up knees were exposed for the majority of our time on the Valdes Peninsula. I was showing off my articulation the day we visited the seemingly inarticulate Magellanic penguins at the Punta Tombo rookery, 250 or so kilometres south of the peninsula.
Tomorrow I start my 24-hour 3-flight journey to Trelew, Argentina. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. It’s a great relief that this time my travelling pal, Mélissa, will be on the same flights as me. I am counting on her to be entertaining enough to compensate for the absence of captioned movies on these flights. I’ve had to endure many entertainment-deprived flights including the 15 and a half-hour haul from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia. Don’t be surprised if, by the time we land in Trelew, Mélissa will have a head full of micro-braids because I’ll need something to do while she watches Super Troopers 2 back to back to back to back…. to back.
I’ve been housebound (apartmentbound?) for nearly two weeks now. It started with a tendinitis flare-up which coincided with some shitty weather that made it unpleasant to go out for a mood-lifting walk. After a week of keeping my right wrist in a brace and taking anti-inflammatories, I started to develop a cough, resulting in an overlap of sickness and injury. At the same time, the weather improved, but I’ve been too sick to go outside.
You know who really understands what it’s like to be trapped inside? These two:
Having the cats around have kept me from turning into a triple threat: sick, injured, AND depressed.
The upside of getting sick while recovering from an injury is that I already had a doctor’s note excusing me from work. But because I had spent all my paid sick days back in June to recover from my bike accident, I’ve earned $0 over the past two weeks. To put it in context, THAT’S NOTHING.