Had a fun first day exploring around this totally tourista town of El Calafate! Because it’s a jumping off point for seeing Glacier Moreno and hiking, people come here from all over. And it’s simply a stunning area! The town itself has dozens of artistic shops and restaurants, statuary, an Artisans Mall, parks and more.
There are even Silk performances and classes happening here!
And of course the big name brands in camping and outdoor gear!
The wood construction of these buildings is a total artwork in itself!
This was a highly artistically built building, and everything it housed was also stunningly gorgeous!
Across the street from the jewelry store was this glacier-like PolarBar!
Not too far down the street from the PolarBar was this restaurant sign …
… and when I turned and looked into the restaurant window, I was shocked to see the real McCoy!
On my walk back to my hostel I saw several more lovely restaurants …
… artistically decorated trees …
… an electric bike rental stand …
… and a long bridge fence with hundreds of Love Locks!
Just off the side of the park along the river was world-traveling vehicle that was Boon Docking! See the world map on the wall of the vehicle?
The Town Park had a large children’s playground, an old pioneer coach wagon, and a long metal switchback staircase ascending to the Town Council Chamber.
Nearby in the park were some rather friendly Ibis birds.
And wouldn’t you know it? Only two blocks from my hostel was this sinful bakery!
My biggest surprise of the day happened when I returned to my hostel and THERE WAS MY FRIEND – RAOUL – that I had met in the Hi Patagonia Hostel in Puerto Madryn! He had hitchhiked from Puerto Madryn all the way south to Rio Gallegos, and then north again all the way to El Calafate! He only had to wait 20 minutes for his first long ride, and 5 minutes for his second ride all the way here! Unbelievable! He’s staying at a different hostel but had come over to visit because I’d left him a note telling him I wanted to hear about his adventures! What a treat! Raoul, a new friend Ed that I had met earlier in the day, and I all sat around the table drinking beers, talking maps and destinations, and sharing delightful time together!
And it was Raoul that insisted I take the tour to the nearby Glacier Moreno. I had grown up with glaciers in my childhood and had experienced the majestic spring calving of the Lake George glacier break-up in Alaska when I was twelve, so I hadn’t thought I needed to see Glacier Moreno. But in the end I agreed – I am here, I should go see it! You only live once! And I am SOOOO grateful to Raoul for encouraging me to go, because it was STUNNING scenery, as you will see in the next post!