Hosteria La Estepa, El Calafate, Argentina

This hotel is 1.5k outside town so about a 30 minute walk but also only about £3 in a taxi. It also has the advantage that if you book a tour there’s a good chance that you will be picked up last and dropped off first.The view over the lake is beautiful especially from the upstairs lounge. The staff were wonderful and did everything they could to help.

We actually liked being a little out of town as on a clear night the there was less light noise and the stars appeared brighter.

The room was great and the shower very good, if there was one thing that I missed it was the ability to make tea or coffee in the room.

Having said that Hosteria La Estepa would be my first choice if I returned to El Calafate.

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Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand

This will never look the same on different days, today the low cloud cover gave it a brooding dark appearance. I’m told it can seem brilliant and shiny when in direct sunlight.

The closest view is about a thirty minute walk each way from the car park. This will be different in different seasons and dependent on the weather. It is not an easy walk; quite steep and lots of loose scree. However it is not without attractions; through the steep cliffs that the glacier has carved out over the centuries.

Glaciers are not pretty things, looking dirty and rough, but one can’t help but be in awe of something that can clear mountains out its way. It is also interesting to see how much it has receded since 1750.


  

Trans Alpine Express, Christchurch to Greymouth 

Today we took the Trans Alpine Express from Christchurch to Greymouth. It leaves at 8.15 am each day and takes a little under 5 hours. It was a dull, grey, rainy day and still the views were spectacular. On gorgeous sunny days I can only imagine that they will be even better.

The seats are comfortable and the carriages bright. The windows curve round the edge of the roof to let in extra light. There is a commentary that talks you through the history of the train line and there are two carriages that have open sides to allow better photographs.

A kia came and sat on the engine while we stopped at Adams Peak.

Greymouth is about a two hour drive from Franz Joseph glacier and there are coaches that meet the train. We hired a car.