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December 25, 2015

Christmas was an interesting day. We caught the 9 am bus to El Calafate and arrived at our ACA Hotel near 12:30 to 1pm. The weather was terrible…a constant drizzle. I felt very sorry for the folks in our hotel lobby in El Chaltén waiting for their ride to Fitz Roy. They weren’t going to see a thing.

IMG_3587 hotel aca

In El Calafate, we donned our rain gear and headed out for lunch. We tried to visit popular restaurant but it was closed. In fact, many places seemed to be closed until the evening. We did manage to get some pizza which is rather popular in Argentina, and it was quite good.

IMG_3585 pizza el calafate

After lunch, we walked away from town toward the lake, Lago Argentino. We jumped over puddles and small streams on the sides of the streets until we reached a sidewalk the winds along the lake. Work out stations were positioned every hundred feet or so. After the short stroll, we returned to town. We walked farther down the main street, and we found it to be very touristy with several more restaurants open. I think every third store front was a chocolate shop.

By 6 pm, it appeared the Christmas celebration for locals was over. The casino opened along with every shop. We walked to the far end of town for dinner. Fodor’s suggested that the locals go to La Tablita for special occasions, so we decided to try it for Christmas dinner. The lamb was fantastic, as were the desserts. Though pricey, we really enjoyed this dinner, and we got to use a credit card!

Our bus to Puerto Natales, Chile was picking us up at the hotel at 5:30 am the following morning, so we headed back to the hotel to turn in early. In our opinion, we didn’t find El Calafate that exciting despite it being a popular tourist destination in particular to see Glaciar Perito Moreno. Perhaps it was the weather or Christmas, but honestly we felt it was a bit too touristy for us and that most of the excursions available were for the less active who hiked on occasion. I’m glad we spent our time in El Chaltén. ETB

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