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Where in the World Are We?

semi-overcast 20 °C

It seems as if the whole world has been turned on its head. Where on earth could we be when the grass is green and the gardens are blooming with roses, hydrangeas and hollyhocks?
Could we be in England? Maybe. There is certainly a very English teashop selling English pudding – known here as Budin...
But then there are the lavenders, the roses and the excellent restaurants offering such French delicacies as jugged hare and lamb's sweetbreads – maybe we are in Picardy or Provence...
But there again there are the many log cabins and A-frame houses just like those of rural Canada...
And then there's the weather. The warm sunny days stretch late into the evening and we imagine ourselves strolling alongside an alpine lake in Northern Italy as we stop for an ice-cream at a gelataria. Could this be Lake Lugano or Lake Como in July?...
And the wood-fired pizzas are as good as any we've ever enjoyed in Tuscany...
The small city of El Calafate may be in southern Patagonia but almost nothing here is particularly unusual to us - in fact it is all very familiar. The 'world' has come to this remote valley at the bottom of the Andes in recent times to witness one of nature's wonders and has brought with it all the trappings of international tourism: German bakeries, French restaurants, Italian pizzarias, and shop after shop filled with tourist trinkets and expensive jewelry on a main street that could be almost anywhere.

Patagonia has been a total surprise to us - maybe we are light-headed from walking around upside down – but anyone expecting wild, rustic and bracing could be disappointed. There's nothing here to frighten the horses: and there are horses. (and sheep and cattle), but no sign of llamas, guanacas or any other wildlife. But then there is the glacier...
This is Perito Moreno – this is what El Calafate is all about...
The glacier of Perito Moreno straddles the border between Chile and Argentina and is nearly twenty miles long. The face of the glacier is 250 feet high and is a Youtube star because of the spectacular way that huge chunks regularly break off and crash into the lake...
The Perito Moreno has to be seen to be believed. Photos simply cannot convey the enormity of this glacier or the power of nature that drives this gigantic river of ice. Unlike most of the world's glaciers, Perito Moreno is not significantly receding at present, but who knows what will happen in the future. This is one for the bucket list.
Now our week in Patagonia is at an end and we are heading back to summer and sophistication in Buenos Aires.

Posted by Hawkson 04:28 Archived in Argentina

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Lamb sweetbreads, yummy, yummy.
El Calafate is my idea of food heaven.
The glacier is beautiful as are your photos.
Gales force 7, minus 1/2 degrees, but sunny .

by Christine Lloyd

Love the way they've done my favourite pizza--huge anchovies with whole olives and chopped tomato topping.
I expect the gale force winds and 120 foot waves came in right after you left Cape Horn.

by R and B

Gorgeous on all accounts.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Wonderful pictures.

by keith and helen

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