I thought I was going to Calafate to see Glaciers and Icebergs but after electing to stay in a Calafate Estancia, I got so much more out of this region! During our Argentina tour we stayed in the Estancia Alta Vista and arrived in the afternoon greeted by a beautiful sheepdog named Queen. We went in April, and even though the Calafate region doesn’t have a lot of trees, this Estancia did have quite a few! And they were changing color because April is their fall!
We checked into two rooms, as we had our two kids in tow, and found pretty antiques and beautifully decorated rooms very Argentinian in flare. I loved this look, it was not modern, an almost too popular style nowadays, instead it was like being invited into the home of a proper grandmother with the smell of fresh baked breads to complete the wonderful homey ambiance. We unpacked and then walked outside with the kids to see the horses. Queen came along as we walked the property which was lined with the trees all changing colors. As I was about to go back in Queen barked like she wanted me to come and see something. She took me down the driveway past the trees that were blocking my view of the most gorgeous sunset.
The next day we visited the Perito Moreno Glacier and hotel inspections (always part of my days traveling). As we drove down the dirt road we past by never-ending colorful fields of grasses used for cattle and sheep, a nice reminder that this is also a sustainable farming community. As we drove, our guide pointed out flamingos in the field and we begged the driver to stop. We needed to go across the field to see the FLAMINGOS, these were animals we were not expecting during our Patagonia tour!
Once back at the hotel, we went for a horseback ride with a local Gaucho. He did not speak English but he was a real, traditional Gaucho and took us on a ride to the working Estancia Alice next door. During our ride there was more fantastic scenery, it’s wonderfully endless in Patagonia, and we are so happy the families of the region are still working these farms.
Had we been visit in December, we could have watched them sheer the sheep, however we were happy with the mild April weather and instead we visited where they sheer the sheep and saw what tools they use.
After our ride we went home and cleaned up for dinner. During dinners in the Estancia you eat all together and there is no menu, you eat what they are serving. If you have dietary requirements you will need to let them know in advance. Before dinner we went for drinks in the sitting room and met a Gentleman there that had been on our Perito Moreno tour. Earlier in the day my husband and I had a minor spat as we were entering Perito Moreno glacier and as we were stopped we heard a huge crash that sounded like thunder. While we were having drinks with this man he told us that the sound was a result of a large piece of ice, about the size of a football field, coming crashing down from the glacier into the water below!
This is what we missed, and I am sure whatever it was that stopped us was not as important as what we missed! However, the man had a great camera and captured some great photos so we could see the glacier breaking, through the eyes of his photo lens. He was a very interesting gentleman who runs an English Language school in Quito; these types of comradery are some of the benefits of staying in a small estancia.
The next day our Argentina tour went on a cruise to visit the breathtaking Upsala Glacier. We saw the most magnificent icebergs, and it was great to arrive home to our estancia and know dinner would be waiting for us. We enjoyed a great dinner and retired early as we wanted to do a morning ride before we left on the flight. We rode to a special view point for our last view of Perito Morento Glacier and took our Christmas Card photo that year.