Thursday, January 5, 2012

Birds Are Cool

Yes I said it outloud BIRDS ARE COOL!. You know you are getting older and maybe a little crazy when you start bird watching and really enjoy it. I can see my future old guy activities clearly. Metal Detector on the beach, Check. Bird Guide and Field Manuel, Check. High powered bonoculars for birdwatching and not leering, Check. Thermous of Single Malt and flash of wine, Check. Gorgeous woman beside me, Check.

El Calafate also has an emerging protected marshland beside the lake and that was worth a visit. Laguna Nimez Nature Reserve is a habitat full of sand dunes, marshes, Goose, Gucks, Lapwings and some preditory species.
I am all for Nature Reserves and I will say it again. Birds are cool. The walk around the lagoon took about 90 minutes depending on your speed. I only took a few pictures as I just wanted to enjoy the experience. It was a nice way to spend the mid morning.
Now back to my bus station experience of yesterday. For those that do not know there was a huge forest fire in Torres Del Paine National Park over the last couple of weeks. An Israeli national decided to heed the "no open fires" orders and then he tried to burn his toilet roll. BOOM goes the dynamite and the entire park went up in flames. He admitted to starting the fire but when he was arrested he said that he was innocent and it was lost in the spanish translation. Good Grief! 
Anyways google it and you will find all the stories. My favourite line came from his father. "He would not do this, he served in an army combat group and is more responsible for that". Ah, he was in a forward position within the Isreali Army and he would never do anything inappropriate. Got it!
So how does this affect my not going to El Chaltan and hike the Fitzroy. First its this damn chest cold. The decsion was easier now that everyone who now could not trek the W in Torres came to El Calafate on thier way to El Chaltan to hike the Fitzroy. The bus station yesterday was complete chaos. All travellers turned into lost and ignorent tourists. There were 7 large busses parked and ready to go. You could see everyone had thier tickets and vouchers but they were running around, bumping into each other, not giving a shit about anyone else and then stopping to take photos. The bus drivers were getting angry, the ticket agents were flustered, the tour leaders were almost in tears and our heros the Trekkers in full gear could give a rats ass. I was ashamed to be a part of the chaos so I walked to the end of the terminal and watched the maddmess unfold. It was a Saturday Night Live sketch just waiting to happen. Every tourist cliche possible

All buses were leaving at 8:00 and my microbus was leaving at 8:15 so I had a front row seat. A few others came over to where I was and we just smiled knowingly. There was no need for words.

So with the choice made I stayed an extra day in El Calafate. I had lunch with a few Filipino Aussies from the Antarctic trip who were in town, Kelvin and Don. Thier claim to fame is that they brought adult diapers on the Antarctic trip thinking that they were not going to be able to pee while landing. Funny funny stuff. They are good sports about it.

 I have been south for over a month now and its time to start putting some serious km behind me, the north is calling. Next stop is Bariloche, only a 30 hour bus ride away. For those keeping track that is Toronto to Miami. I could not find a flight as its high season and everything was booked so its Semi Cama for 30 hours. I think I am going to keep an hour by hour diary of the experience so stay tuned for that.

The wine country of Mendoza is creeping closer!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love your comments, make your words so vivid that they have the power of making my imagination feel as if I was there with you. *which I am sure you are happy that isn't the case*