December 31 was the hottest day of 2007. Stu and I woke up this morning sweating and thinking of going to the movies.
Instead, we're going south to Patagonia. We're spending the night in Río Gallegos before we head off on a four-hour bus ride to El Calafate, near Los Glaciares National Park.
We're going because we found a cheap last-minute ticket down south and a not-too-expensive ticket back to Buenos Aires. We debated for a while before we decided to bite the bullet and go. Like Stu said, who knows how much longer there'll be glaciers to see.
When I booked our hostel in Calafate today, the woman said she was pretty sure she had a room and that we should definitely stop by. She said that if by some chance she didn't have a room, she would find one for us.
That's very nice of her, but it's hard to imagine a worse bargaining position than being homeless in high season in a town of 7,000. So I can already see this getting interesting.
Basically, traveling in the summer here is really asking for it. I think it's fair to say that getting around Argentina is a lot tougher than Stu had imagined. It might even be fair to say that everything here is a lot tougher than he imagined.
The other day I asked him outright if he could see why I have a love/hate relationship with this place. He's already seen enough to be able to answer yes.
I don't want to curse this trip before it's even started. I'm excited to go. I could not ask for a better travel companion. And what better way to start the year than to unexpectedly end the day 2000km from where you started?
Truth be told, I'm barely recovered from my last trip. I'm still sore from the horseback riding. But at least now I can look at a photo of horseshoes without wincing.