Thursday, March 14, 2013

Aerolingus Argentinas and El Calafate

We leave the hotel by 7 after a quick breakfast. The only people in the dining room are a group from India. We are flying Aerolingus to El Calafate today and I have read about their horrible on time record and service, so we hope that our flight leaves on time. We have only a one hour layover between flights.  We end up in line behind the group of people from India. They are with a tour group, and are from Australia, also going to El Calafate via BA. We chat with them and all agree that it is silly to have to fly all the way back to BA and then flying back south to El Calafate since El Calafate is only a few hours south of Bariloche.  Security rejects Ray´s fly rod and wants him to check it in.  Knowing that fly rods get lost when checked in separately, we come up with the great idea of wrapping green plastic over my suitcase with his rod holder secured to the side.  Hopefully it will make the journey safely.

The flight is completely full and we arrive in BA on time only to find that our connecting flight has been DELAYED from 11:30 until 2:30.   We manage to pass the time watching the baggage carts on the tarmac, and identifying my suitcase. Ray stands watch over his fishing rod.  This flight is also full, delayed by almost another hour on the tarmac due to congestion.  Sure is congested, suddenly all the planes at the airport are taking off, all before ours.

We fly over very flat and brown terrain, with a single river flowing southward and land at the small airport in El Calafate.  The ride by cab to town is 30 min. long and we wonder why they built the airport so far away from this tiny town.  Were they expecting super growth?  The Hertz office in town is a small place and the cars are soooo old, old Chevys, ours has many dings and scrapes, and the knob to the air vent is missing.  It is basically again a tin box on wheels.  Isn´t there any quality control with Hertz franchises? The Hosteria Roble Sur is outside of town, on a hill overlooking the lake and quite nice.  We eat at a local Argentinian restaurant serving traditional stew and lamb pie.

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