Saturday, February 25, 2012

First trip snafu

Every trip has its snafu. i hope i had mine and got it out of the way, but i am not holding my breath. i arrived to el calafate by plane with no hostel arrangements since i was hoping to catch a bus straight to puerto natales from the airport. i arrived, but my bag did not.

a few thoughts came in my head during my 24 hrs in el calafate:

1) ALWAYS build in a buffer time to your trip schedule

Luckily, i did this so i was not stressed about missing my bus and was resigned to spending the next 1.5 hours at the airport trying to figure out who can help me with my missing bag.

2) Bring a version of the Lonely Planet with you

I unfortunately did not bring this with me because i hate adding on the weight. next time, i really should just photo copy the pages of the places i am going to.

Luckily, there was a Spanish couple left in the airport who told me where they were staying so i had an address to give the airport lost and found office. This same couple rented a car and drove me in to town. nice.

3) ALWAYS have low expectations while travelling

Unfortunately, the hostel that the spanish couple were staying in was full. so was the hostel next door. so was the place next door. apparently, there was a festival in town to celebrate the baptism of the lake. since it was a 3 day weekend, every nearby Argentinean was in town on holiday.

as i walked to the tourist information center, i set my expectations reallly low. if worse came to worse, i have a sleeping bag and could probably convince one of the hostels to let me sleep in their lobby. The tourist center said there was one more place left in town with beds. it was shared accommodation. fine with me. she could not make reservations and it was first come first serve. so i beelined ´across´ town and i managed to secure the last bad in this not so fine establishment. but hey, it was a bed. AND my bags arrived at not too bad of a travel snafu after all.

4) ALWAYS travel with earplugs

earplugs will come in to handy when the drunk 20yr old Argentineans roll into bed around 330am and snore as if a steam train is perpetually stuck on the tracks under your bed. Earplugs don´t do so much in this circumstance, but at least they provide a partial protective barrier to the noise. THese same earplugs will also come into handy on a 5 hour bus ride to puerto natales where i unfortunately experienced a Guinness book of world records from the most obnoxious and egotistical american guy who talked for 5 hours straight - constant vowels and constants flowing from his lips. I did not think it was humanly possible to go on for that length of time, but trust me it is...however, i am getting ahead of myself here.

NEXT STOP: 5 hour bus ride to Puerto Natales and starting my 5 day hike in patagonia - w trek hike in torres del paine.


  1. oh jeannie! so sorry to hear about your snafus in el calafate. we were stuck in el calafate when the entire southern region of chile decided to go on strike last year, which made all of the buses to Natales delayed by weeks. we thought about crossing the boarder on foot, but instead wasted time in Ushuaia, waiting for the border to open. That resulted in a 12 hour bus ride with 100 Israelis, who were just as horrible as el gringo you encountered. but you'll love Natales, and the pizza place on the square. and the W. absolutely stunning and worth every snafu! Enjoy. Even though rough patches. So jealous!

  2. For 2, you can just get a kindle and download the lonely planet. :)

  3. @julie - haha, crossing the border on foot. i would have paid you to take a video of you attempting that :) you{re right the w was a---mazing..and i cant eat pizza but i found a gluten-free cafe in natales. awesome!

    @karen - you{re so tech saavy ;)