Day 13: Lago Grey to El Calafate

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Boat ride from Refugio Grey to Hosteria Grey 

We woke up at 8, packed, ate breakfast downstairs (lots of toast, but no eggs this time) and waited outside for our boat, which was supposed to arrive at 9:30. We had a hell of a time organizing transportation back to Argentina, and each transfer depended on everything running on time, so we were stressed out when our boat still hadn’t arrived at 10 a.m. We were supposed to take a boat across Lago Grey (with a tour of the glacier on the way), catch a bus from there to a point in the park called Administración, catch a charter bus from there back to El Calafate, Argentina. At 10:10, our boat, which looked like a little old-fashioned tug boat, anchored about 50 yards from the shore and sent a dinghy to get us. After unloading the lifejackets, the people in the dinghy drove it to a point on the shore closer to the refugio to drop off supplies, then came back to get us once we were suited up. We took the dinghy to the tug boat, did a tour of the ice bergs and glacier, rode across the lake, took another dinghy to a dock on the shore, hiked up the beach and up a road to a shuttle bus, then took the shuttle bus to Hosteria Grey, where we waited for a second bus to take us to Administración. The bus was too full for us, so after having some tea, a pickup truck took just Martin and I 20 minutes down the road to Administración, where we waited another hour and a half for our charter bus. There was nothing to do at Administración except watch a nature video of the local wildlife eating each other (which was pretty interesting), so we spent most of our time outside fighting over a cute stray cat who kept our legs warm while we sat shivering in the cold (it was warmer outside the building than in.) Our bus finally showed up around 3:45 and we arrived back in El Calafate at 9:30 p.m. The large charter buses are incredibly comfortable (just like Greyhounds in the U.S.), so the time passed quickly as I finished the third novel I had brought on the trip and Martin took pictures of every guanaco (llama) we passed. We had dinner that night at Casmiro Biguá’s less fancy restaurant, which is also delicious, and I had lamb and grilled vegetables. I’ll write more about the food in Argentina in a separate post.

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