12th March: Patagonia (El Calafate to Laguna Verde in Chile)

The battery in our hired 4wd showed signs of weakness the day before and in the morning the engine didn’t turn over. The car wasn’t new and it appeared to be the original battery. We got the hire company to change the battery; just as well it happened in El Calafate rather than in the middle of nowhere.

That sorted out, we took off on the long drive towards Chilé. On the way we saw lots of Guanaco (a kind of llama) and many kinds of birds including some flamingos.

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Flamingos by the roadside

Due to confusion in reading the map, we accidentally took a “short cut”, shorter in distance but longer in driving time though a much more interesting road. Here are some flamingoes and ducks by the roadside, still in Argentina.

Google Maps location (green arrow)

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Here we are well inside Chilé, part of the way along a side road to our destination for the night. In the left background is Monte Almirante Nieto and behind to the left the Torres del Paine (the Towers of Paine)

Google maps location (i.e. arrow shows where I took the photos, looking north-ish)

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We stopped for the night at Hosteria Mirador del Payne at Lago Verde, a working estancia with a spectacular mountain backdrop just outside Torres del Paine National Park.

At the bottom of the image to the right are a couple of gauchos with their horses and dogs, getting in the sheep for the night. (You may need to click on the image to see that).

Below are a couple more views around the estancia.

We had a wonderful meal and it was very quiet and laid-back. We were in fact the only guests.

Google maps location (green arrow).

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