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Argentina Part III – End of the World

Date: 25 December 2010

Day: Saturday

Location: El Calafate, Patagonia


- Today is our 3rd Bangladeshi wedding anniversary.

- I realised that in all the Spanish speaking countries across the world, no matter how your accent is and however many mistakes you make while speaking Spanish, they don’t care and they understand you. It is a bit like London in that sense. In the US, if you don’t speak with an American accent, they usually ask you to repeat yourself a few times.

- Because today is Christmas day, Buenos Aires was like a ghost town, empty and abandoned.

In one of his books, Paul Theroux wrote that the traveller is the laziest and most selfish person who simply waits to come across excitement and events. What we experienced with F. today was an example to this theory.

We left sunny and warm Buenos Aires for the region of glaciers and lakes, Patagonia. However, there was a change in our flight. Instead of directly flying to El Calafate, after 4 hours of flying, our plane landed in Ushuaia. The clouds were so thick that the long landing was a nightmare for me. Now, it is a rule; if I have to fly again, I must take sedatives.

After landing in Ushuaia, we looked around and saw a land similar to Wales, covered in mountains and snow. As we didn’t know where we were, we quickly looked at the map and realised that we were at El Fin Del Mundo (End of the World). We were at the most southern part of Argentina, the last piece of land of the Americas continent facing the South Atlantic Ocean (The Antarctica Sea) and the Antarctic continent in the beyond. We had already passed El Calafate.

At any rate, it felt like we crossed many countries during this morning’s flight. The weather at the end of the world was very cold and rainy. But there was no snow. We wanted to take pictures but we were not allowed to leave the plane and take pictures. Then our flight took off to go back to Buenos Aires and after a shaky and windy landing, dropped us off at El Calafate.

It was as if we suddenly found ourselves on Mars. On our way to the town from the airport, on the famous Route 40, there was no other car or human being. We were surrounded by yellow and arid mountains. A little while later, we could see the beautiful blue of Lago Argentino and the snowy summits of the mountains in the beyond.

Then we reached El Calafate where the hawks can be observed in the sky. We couldn’t figure out whether we were in a skiing resort in Switzerland full of chalets or in the US, in Vermont. It is an incredibly charming and beautiful place. If it weren’t in such a far corner of the world, I could have considered spending my retirement here.

We settled in room 109 at Sierra Nevada hotel and our room has views to the lake and the mountains. It is very light, comfortable and nice. The sky and the cloud formations have a beauty that I have never seen before in my life.

Right now, it is 9:30 PM and the sun still hasn’t set. It is very light. It seems like we will spend a couple of white nights in the southern hemisphere, in the very south. The piece of land which impressed me and I love the most after Kenya and Egypt is definitely South America!

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