Patagonia!

Los Glaciares National Park

Drive to Helsingfors through Los Glaciares National Park. Lake Viedma graces the foreground with the famed climbing peaks of Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre rising in the distance. © Carl Amoth

La Leona and Sunsets at 11:00 p.m.! Yes, we are at the bottom of the world!

Bev

Bev blogging at Helsingfors

Believe it or not, they actually DO have Internet at Helsingfors. You can’t always count on the accuracy of information in Argentina. It’s actually quite surprising since we are literally in the middle of nowhere, yet simultaneously in one of the most beautiful locations I have ever been. Helsingfors in situated in the northern part of the immense (4459 km²) Los Glaciares National Park—and it seems we (and the several other guests and staff) have the whole park to ourselves. Simply incredible!

We left BA early Monday morning for a 3-hour flight to El Calafate. From El Calafate, it was then a 3-hour drive to Helsingfors Ranch, but we had a very delightful guide, Natalia and our driver Juan.

At La Leona, Patagonia, Argentina

We stopped in La Leona Ranch for lunch—yes, Empanadas once again, this time with a lovely glass of Malbec. It wouldn’t be a day in Patagonia without Empanadas! A bit of trivia about Le Leona Ranch: In 1905, “tres gringos” lodged here for almost a month. They were none other than Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid and his wife Ethel Place. After robbing the Bank of London and Tarapacá in Río Gallegos, they made a “technical stop” here during their journey from Argentina to Chile.

When we reached Helsingfors, our guide Diego greeted us and showed us to our gorgeous room. Not a phone or a TV in site! It is a little primitive but very easy to disconnect from the “real world.” We walked around a bit, Carl took some photos and then we sat in the Lodge Living room by the fire visiting with some German tourists. They are doing 4 WEEKS in Patagonia!

Dinner is served any time after 8:00 and we headed into the dining room about 8:30. Then about 8:45, after appetizer, but before main course, Carl gets up and excuses himself saying “I’ll be right back.” Now, understand that I have been watching him for the past fifteen minutes staring out the window and watching what the sun is doing on the mountains… knowing that he wants to go shooting. Well, the entrees show up, I SLOWLY eat mine. Still no Carl. Our Server, Lupe, asks me if I want her to take his plate and keep it warm. Yes. I finish my meal. Still no Carl. 45 MINUTES later there he is, rushing in, only to get his plate of chicken, wolf it down and head out again.

Tree

One of the photos I made during dinner. © Carl Amoth

I must admit that the opportunities were too hard to resist, but, let’s just say we came to an agreement, via a “conversation” that in the future, he would be a bit more considerate about leaving me stranded by myself at dinner. The thing is, the sun doesn’t set here until about 11:00, so sunset pictures are quite late.

We just finished a morning Zodiac boat ride on the Lake Viedma, and the Moyano arm of the lake which took us very close the a Glacier. We had the MOST beautiful weather. No wind, which is unheard of, and not a cloud in the sky. Even the guides were shocked. Said they never get this type of weather. Our German friends have waited three days for the weather to improve so they could go out on the lake. They said it is “honeymoon weather!”

Well, it is off to our Asado (BBQ) lunch and then a hiking adventure this afternoon. We hike to Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon) tomorrow!

More later!
Ciao!
Bev

The lupine-rich entry to Helsingfors.

The lupine-rich entry to Helsingfors. © Carl Amoth

 

Zodiac boat ride on Lake Viedma

Having fun on the Zodiac boat ride on Lake Viedma. © Carl Amoth

 

Zodiac boat ride on Lake Viedma

Carl; Diego, The Zodiac Boat Captain

 

Lake Viedma and the Patagonian Andes, Los Glaciares National Park. © Carl Amoth

 

Horses grazing near Helsingfors

Horses grazing near Helsingfors. © Carl Amoth

 

Shaft of light from the setting sun. Lake Viedma, Los Glaciares National Park. © Carl Amoth

 

The last rays of the sun illuminating Mt. Fitz Roy, Los Glaciares National Park. © Carl Amoth

 

Destination Details

 

Los Glaciares National Park

 

Estancia Helsingfors

Web: http://www.helsingfors.com.ar
Phone: Lodge: +54 11-52770195, Reservations: +54 (9)2966-675753
Email: info@helsingfors.com.ar
Map: Google Map

La Leona Roadhouse and Country Lodge

Web: www.hoteldecampolaleona.com.ar/home.html
Phone: ++54-11-5032-3416
Email: parador@hoteldecampolaleona.com.ar
Map: Google Map

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One Comment

  1. Tori
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Permalink | Reply

    typical carl 😉the pictures are beautiful, though. looks like you guys had a marvelous time!

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