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Showing posts with the label patagonia

23/1/2018 Ferry from Puerto Raul Marin Balmaceda to Quellon

After our breakfast, we went to wait for our ferry. In the ferry office Naviera Austral they told us to be there one hour in advance, so we came to the port at 10:40am. Few people already waiting.   We waited until 2pm. We saw few dolphins, some of them even jumped above the sea.  After the ferry to Quellon arrived, we got in, left our rucksacks in a luggage storing area (they take their time to put them in, they give you a sticker like at the airport and they never use the sticker later) and then we looked for our seats. Someone sitting on them. So we found another ones.  It was lovely sunny and not windy weather, so shortly after we sat in the main area, we went upstairs to the upper deck to sit there in the sun. We stayed there all the time, playing games, slept, etc. Also as we were sitting there, I could see Aimee (we met in Coyhaique) going to the upper deck as well. So cool coincidence. They took this ferry from Puerto Chacabuca a day ago. We had a nice chat. 

22/1/2018 Bus from La Junta to Puerto Raul Marin Balmaceda

We got to the plaza at 6:50am. The white minibus is leaving at 7am. Already many people waiting outside and a lady loading the back of the minibus with all the luggage. We gave her our rucksacks and paid 2500 clp per each of us to get to Raul Marin Balmaceda. Some people came late and didn’t fit to the bus. Now also inside of the bus is full of rucksacks and one Asian guy got an extra spot sitting on a rucksack next to the door. 16 people + one driver + one extra seat in the floor.   It’s sunny and me met many cyclist on the way to Raul Marin Balmaceda. The road is very bumpy unpaved dirt road and it is very hot and humid inside of the  bus. Also the driver is playing some crazy shit and loud music and I’m feeling sick.  At 8:45am we are getting on a ferry to cross the river Río Palena and around 9:15am we got off at a supermarket in the middle of the Raul Marin Balmaceda village. There we bought some simple breakfast and walked to find our accommodation. We couldn’t find it

21/1/2018 Bus from Coyhaique to La Junta

Right after 11am, we got to coffee Holzar. This time just for a coffee, as we had some bread left from yesterday. Around 12, Annie, Andres, Vagia joined us. When the waiter came to ask us where we all are from, and we said República Checa, a young guy sitting nearby came over to our table.   Michal, his name. A Czech guy from Sydney, enterprise IT consultant who is trying to run a camp site with his Czech wife for climbers about 2 hours away from here. We all had a chat together and then we went to catch our bus.  The bus left at 14:00, full mostly with locals. It’s Sunday and we bought the bus tickets in the bus terminal on Friday afternoon for 10000 clp each.  On the way, the bus stopped around 15:30 for refreshments at Mañihuales.  Around 17:15 serpentines close to Puyuhuapi, 18:00 stop at camping Valle Los Coihues. All the way dirt unpaved road and time to time we met cars or other buses. There were also some roadworks. At 19:00 we stopped at Puyhuapi for 10 minutes an

20/1/2018 a lazy day in Coyhaique

  Not much to say really. Jochen and Chiara left to catch their flight. For the breakfast, we found a nice coffee place called Holzer. Had good breakfast with coffee for about 4900 pesos each. I decided to buy ferry tickets to get from Raul Marin Balmaceda to Quellon. I bought the ferry tickets online using Naviera Austral website, 7300 pesos each. For some reason, I didnt get any confirmation email, but I took a screenshot with the transaction number. It was 11:30am and I didn’t have any email, so checked if they have an office here. Naviera Austral has got an office in Coyhaique and closes at 12:30 on Saturday and is closed on Sunday. I went there and put what I needed to a translator and came back with the ferry tickets. Quite a lot of people were in their office, I had to wait for about 20 minutes in the queue.   Then we went to withdraw money - found one bank which charges fee only 4000 pesos for the withdrawal - ServiEstado. So we took 300000 pesos out to have a stash for

19/1/2018 Bus From Puerto Rio Tranquilo to Coyhaique

We had some simple breakfast on our cabana (not that simple like in hostels), packed and Annie came to pick us up. We all then went to a bus stop an at 9am bought tickets to Coyhaique for 10000 clp per person (there were last 6 tickets remaining to sell, we were 5 people). And we were waiting outside of the shop/coffee place.   The bus arrived at 10:20am. There were many people waiting for this bus. We put our rucksacks inside and the drive asked only some people for the ticket and some not. I don’t know why. Seemed so random. The bus then left at 11am.  The road was unpaved all the time, the views were there only sometimes due to forest and rocks. But around 13:30 we were passing through Cerro Castillo and it looked amazing. Massive Valley and mountains. I think after that the road became paved.  Just before reaching Coyhaique, Jochen and Chaira got off the bus for the Airport Balmaceda. Then we were slowed down by roadworks and we arrived to Coyhaique at 15:30.  On

18/1/2018 Puerto Río Tranquilo marble caves and glacier view and valley Exploradores

After breakfast, we went to the beach together with Chiara and Jochen and got there on time at 7:50am. No one was around the stall we bought the trip yesterday (20000 pesos per person, English guide, 3 hours long, caves at puerto Sanchez as well as marble cathedral, paid by MasterCard debit card).   Just before 8am, Annie came and send the retired couple from the USA. The guides cane to pick us up and we went to a boat parking place at the beach, put the floating vests on and sat in the boat. It is a small motor boat for about 15 people, it is 7 passengers and 3 guides including the driver. Once we left the coast, we could feel the strong wind and waves were building up. I’m sitting on the left side of the boat and one of the guides gave me a rain cover because the waves are a bit stronger. We see speeding up to the other side of the lake, cold water is splashing on me and soon we reach a small bay with an old shipwreck. We take few photos there and then we continue to the caves

17/1/2018 Bus from Los Antiguos to Puerto Rio Tranquilo Marble Caves

My alarm went off and I can see it’s nearly 7am. I feel a bit cold, Denisa is still sleeping in the other bed and Annie is already awaken in the opposite corner of the room. We have to get up and get ready for the minibus to Puerto Río Tranquilo. Simple breakfast and just before 8am we are awaiting Daniel to pick us up.   Daniel is arriving ten minutes after eight and I can see that his minibus is already nearly full. We loaded back seats with our backpacks and all 5 of us took the last remaining seats.  Same as in other border crossing, we first got off the bus at he Argentinian border and got the exit stamp. Then we drove 16km to the Chilean border. This time we had to unload our bags and provide completed customs form. We got Chile entry stamp and then put our rucksacks onto X-ray. Me and my wife were without any issues. On my customs form, I had checked that I have some animal/herb products (just in case - we had some sandwiches, and biscuits). We were done around 9:10am

16/1/2018 Arrival to Los Antiguos

...around 7:40am we stopped at a bus terminal in Perito Moreno. We though by this time we should be in Los Antiguos already. But we reached the bus terminal in Los Antiguos around 8:40am. The last part was on normal paved road.   I could see that the Chaitén travel bus is already in Los Antiguos. And another bus just reached after us.  The Los Antiguos bus terminal is similar size to that one in El Chalten. Has toilets inside and few travel offices. It is Tuesday, but most of the offices are closed. Since about 3 full buses just arrived here, it’s is quite busy, on the floor with people sitting and in the toilets too. We are waiting to get it more quiet here and asking about how to get to Chile Chico.  We were told that there no service to go to Chile Chico anymore. The travel office is closed. And the only way is to walk or to hitchhike. It is nearly 20km from here to Chile Chico center and of it 16km between the border controls. As we are standing here, a Scottish woma

15/1/2018 bus from El Chalten to Los Antiguos

I feel awful after the heavy drinking. And we have to pack and last till the evening to get a bus to Los Antiguos.   I stayed in the hostal lobby pretty much the whole day. We spoke with another Czech couple traveling the world and Denisa went for a hike to Mirador del Torre.  Around 18:00 we left the hostal and stopped in a small coffee place. The bus Cal-Tur is scheduled for 7:30pm, we got to the bus terminal at 7 and the bus left at 7:50pm. There were another 2 buses (Marga Taqsa, Chaitén travel) leaving around the same time. We had no seats numbers and the bus was full. Around 15 loud girls from probably Israel held many places to their group, so we could not sit together with my wife. It is a normal bus and there is a small toilet with a big sticker saying “the toilet is for liquids only”. And a big sticker at front, saying “please don’t take your shoes off”.  At 21:20 we stopped in a village called Tres Lagos and people could go to buy some drink or food to a supe

14/1/2018 El Chaltén lazy Sunday

After the long hike yesterday, we wanted to have quiet day. So didn’t do much, only the small viewpoints at the ranger station - Mirador de los cóndores and Mirador de las aguilas. Started at 2pm. Because we bought some bread and cheese yesterday, we didn’t have to spend any money for lunch today and ate in our room.   The two short hikes to the viewpoints take about 30 minutes each. From Mirador de los cóndores is nice view of the Fitz Roy mountain and view of the village. On the way to Mirador de las aguilas, we met few cows with kettles and an angry bull walking towards us and making very loud noise. We got scared and went off the path far from that noisy animal.  The second viewpoint was not so interesting, so we went back to the hostal, where I could see a message from Rainer already drinking at B&B burger place. So we joined them, had burgers (135 pesos each) and fries (55 pesos) and 4 beers (total 240 pesos in happy hour). And then we continued to another place (

13/1/2018 El Chalten hike to Fitz Roy

It’s 9pm and I’m ready to fall asleep. My phone says I walked 30km today and did 40000 steps. Obviously it’s not true, it usually over-counts by something like 2 kms... We got up at 7:30 in the morning, had our breakfast and headed to the trailhead for the Fitz Roy Lago de los tres. The mount Fitz Roy is 3359 m height (or 3405 m) and it is visible from pretty much all El Chalten. The trail is supposed to be 10 km long. But our hostal is about 1.5 km from the trailhead and I forgot my jumper in the room, so had to go all the way back to take it with me.  So I think we started hiking at 9:30am at the end. The trail is quite busy, we met people coming back and also quite a few people were faster than us. The day was sunny and mostly not windy. Only some parts were windy. First 3 km going up the hill, then mostly stable, and the last 1 km was really steep. There is many places where we could take water from the river or streams and drink it, and many spots from where we could ta

12/1/2018 from El Calafate to El Chalten

Early wake up, 6am, packing last bits we left out from the evening and we are ready at 6:45. Going to get our food from the fridge and the door to the kitchen are locked. They are supposed to be open from 7am. What a pity! No breakfast, no lunch. Okay. Maybe the pickup will be late, so we can still get it. And yes! Pickup is not coming. 7:10am and I’m nervous. Did they forgot about us? So I dialled the bus company office and asked if they are coming. Yes, they are, I was told. 7:20, bus arrived, but the kitchen is still locked! With our food in the fridge. In a meantime another two people tried to get into the kitchen.  The bus tickets we bought: Marga Taqsa, 480 pesos each, pickup at our hostel. The bus left the terminal nearly at 8am. It’s really cold on the bus, air con blowing freezing cold by the window seat. Views from the bus are nice and we reached El Chalten at 10:10 - first stop in a national park centre, got information about trails and the weather and then the bus con

11/1/2018 Perito Moreno Glacier mini trekking

I’m not sure if I mentioned, but in this hostel Las Carretas, the breakfast is very basic. We rather just have coffee and then we use their kettle to boil water for our porridge. So we did today, porridge and then waited for a bus to pick us up at the hostel.   They (Hielo&Ventura) arrived almost on time. We continued to pickup more people on the way and soon the bus was full. The scenery on the way to the national park reminded us USA somewhere around Utah or Arizona. Perfectly suitable for shooting of westerns as well. Wide valleys, hills, no trees, no buildings, no roads. Apart of farm houses (estancias) which are lonely in between fields in a good distance from the main road. Often they have trees planted closely to the houses. We could also enjoy views of Lago Argentino lake and some other lake. Around 10:30am we reached a gate to the Los Glaciares National Park. Two guys from the park boarded the bus and asked about our nationality, we paid 500 pesos each (you can pay

10/1/2018 El Calafate

Doing nothing. We just picked our laundry up, dropped it in our hostel and hanged up bits which needed to dry. Then we went to withdraw some cash - found that Banco Santa Cruz charges only 115 pesos for 3000 pesos withdrawal.   Bought two wooden rings, had a coffee with a shot of cognac (95 pesos) and fernet with coke (100 pesos) and pancakes with dulce de leche (120 pesos) in Borges & Alvarez. Then we changed our Hialo glacier trekking pickup to our hostel (instead of their office) and bought bus tickets to El Chalten (Marga Taqsa office in the centre, 480 pesos per person one way, pickup at our hostel at 6:50am). Then we shopped in la anonima for dinner and cooked something simple at the hostel. 

9/1/2018 Bus from Puerto Natales to El Calafate

We got up early, “cooked” porridge for breakfast and went to the bus terminal to catch our bus at 7:30 (Cootra Ltda, 17000 Chilean pesos per person, tickets bought at the bus terminal one day in advance). Our seats were downstairs. The way to the border is quite short and soon we got off the bus to get an exit stamp from Chilean border. Straight after leaving the migrations office, our driver gave us a customs declaration form for Argentina (the same one as you get on a plane to Argentina). We filled the form in during the way to the Argentinian border and there we got an enter stamp into our passport. Then we waited about 1.5 hours. Someone lost their passport or had an issue with their passport and we were waiting (the whole bus) to get it resolved. After the 90 minutes (around 11am) we finally left (without that person).  At 3pm we reached El Calafate and asked for a map of the town and then walked from the bus terminal to the centre to book Perito Moreno Glaciar trip. We

8/1/2018 leaving Torres and back in Puerto Natales

The rain didn’t stop. And the rain didn’t stop until 2pm. We didn’t sleep, as Denisa discovered some sort of claustrophobic issue inside of the tent and woke up freaked out almost immediately after she felt asleep. Getting out and in to the tent while it was raining at night made our tent and thing more wet. Towards the morning, high condensation of humidity in our tent started making our sleeping bags wet too. One the rain slowed down, we got up and tried to cook porridge. The water from the camp was dirty (apparently drinkable), but the boiling didn’t make it less dirty and anyway, it just started raining more heavy again.  Fed up, throwing the cooking gear next to the tent and going to the central building to cover and have breakfast there. Two coffees and two muffins 8000 pesos quite expensive, but doesn’t matter. We waited here until 12:30 and then went back to pack our tent and things. My jacket was dry again and we successfully packed everything during light rain and wait

7/1/2018 From Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine

Getting up at 6am, packing last bits and having breakfast in our hostal. The bus leaves at 7:20am from the bus terminal. For us it’s easy to get to, as we are staying in hostal Alcazar near the bus station.   Yesterday we bought two tickets with company Buses Gómez, departure at 7:20am from Puerto Natales and price 15000 pesos open return ticket for one person.  The bus left on time and we got A4 form to fill in with our details. It is a declaration form for the national park Torres del Paine. At 8:10am we get on slightly worst roar surface and continue to the park. At 8:45 a dirt road came along. And we could enjoy views of the Torres towers. In about 45 minutes we got to the park entrance, waited queue to get tickets and at 9:45 we were done.  Then we continued to Pudeto stop. The most of the people got off the first stop - Laguna Amarga. We got off the bus at Pudeto at 10:30 and at 11am we started to walk to Mirador Cuernos viewpoint. Very nice sunny weather all the w

6/1/2018 Puerto Natales

Lazy day. Woke up a bit late and went downstairs to try the breakfast provided by our hostal. Very simple one. Each seat has one plate with 3 toast bread slices and each table has two slices of salami (or ham) per two people. Not impressed,  but it’s enough to eat something.  After the breakfast we went to the bay for a long walk and then to the tourist information centre where we asked for a map of Puerto Natales and Torres del Paine. Also we asked about bus tickets to Torres and we were told it’s better to get them a day before we want to go to Torres. So we walked to the bust station on the other side of the town centre and bought two bus tickets to Torres del Paine. Company we chose: Buses Gomez, one return ticket 15000 pesos (bought two) and we could pay using a payment card. Departure from the bus station at 7:20 am and open return.  After that we could just relax and buy last bits we wanted. But since we were hungry, we stopped for lunch in Mesita Grande pizzería

5/1/2018 Bus from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales

After yesterday dinner and wine, I’m a bit down and observing small neck pain. We woke up late and had breakfast around 9:30am. Then we packed our rucksacks and Denisa prepared food for the way to Puerto Natales. I asked the hostel owner if I can print our bus tickets (bought online couple of days ago on website. The tickets we bought are Bus-Sur company and each ticket costed 8000 Chilean pesos. The bus leaves at 12:30 noon and it should arrive at 15:45 to Puerto Natales.  Before noon, we left the hostel to the Bus-Sur bus station which is on Av Christobal Colon, very close to Hernando de Magallanes. We got our bags labelled and sat on the bus. Most of the people didn’t have their tickets printed like we had. They had a receipt from the bus station till. I don’t know if they bought directly here or got the receipt here back of an online payment.  Now I’m on the bus. It’s cold here and I need to take some painkiller to get rid of my headache. Note that they check

4/1/2018 Punta Arenas and Isla Magdalena penguins

Breakfast in the Hostel Keoken is really nice and around 10am we walked short distance to the centre.   I forgot to mention, we had a private room and a private bathroom and all was very clean and comfortable in the   hostel.   The town is clean and nice and feels so much better than Ushuaia. We can also see a Bata shoe shop (Czech brand) on the street. Firstly we are going to get tickets for the Isla Magdalena to see penguins. We found Comapa travel agency which sells one ticket for 50000 pesos. And we are lucky, there are only 3 spaces left for today. We paid by Revolut payment card and very shortly after us, another couple asked about the tickets too, so we were very lucky. We could speak English here without any problem.  Then we wanted to withdraw some Chilean pesos from a cash machine and tried our Visa debit card in Banko Credit de Chile and for 150000 pesos, the cash machine asked fee 6500 pesos. So we tried Santander and for 150000 pesos the fee was 5000. So we used