January 10, 2013 - El Calafate in and of itself has no real appeal, except that it is drastically warmer than El Chalten due to its location. The main reason tourists flock to this place is the proximity to the Perito Moreno Glacier.
It took us a while before we realized this place had been so trampled by tourists that $20 for a dorm bed seemed like a good deal, if you could find one. We reverted to our new tactic, which was to totally avoid any accommodation which had been infected by either Trip Advisor or Lonely Planet. To that end, we found it was best to ride the city grid and stop at the small mom & pop hostals. In short order, we scored a decent place for less than half the tourist price.
The next day, we rode to the Perito Moreno glacier. I never suspected I'd spend $20 or so to simply look at a glacier from a distance, but it certainly was worth it.
The glacier constantly moves, and standing there and looking at it, you could hear the occasional explosion, with huge building-sized pieces tumbling down and crashing into the water, the thundering sound delayed due to the distance.
Depending on the angle of view, the light changed dramatically.
Our next stop was Puerto Natales, Chile, the jumping off point for Torres Del Paine.
Given that the weather had yet again taken a turn for the worse, we decided to skip riding three hundred and fifty kilometers of gravel roads to potentially see a nice mountain view for $38 each. Did I mention that this part of the world was not cheap? Our bikes and bodies were in South America, but our minds were already in Asia, the crossing with Brad and Sheena firming up as the days went on. We were a day or two away from hitting Ushuaia, the lowest point you can ride to in the Americas.