Wednesday, April 18, 2012

At Rio Gallegos

We went to Rio Gallegos for the sake of going to Puerto Natales, in Chile, where the famous W-track of Patagonia located. We heard comments saying that if you only got 3-5 days for hiking in Patagonia, the W-track is a must visit, as it carries all of the best landscape of Patagonia, including mountains, lake and glaciers (although the Argentine may not agree).

By road, we heard that Rio Gallegos is the gateway to Puerto Natales, however, when we get there, we found the bus going directly from Rio Gallegos to Puerto Natales does not run daily, only Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from two different company, Ar$100 each. However, alternatively, there is daily bus, at 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:30pm from several different company heading Rio Turbio (Ar$118, 4 hours), where there are many different companies offering frequent service to Puerto Natale (70km).

Due to the bus schedule, we spent a day going around town of Rio Gallegos.

Maria's first time in youth hostel dorm
It's a small town with only 3 buses running, Linear A, B and C. Not too frequent and we are told that it take at least an hour circulating the town, hence the hostel guy, Mikel recommended us to take a cab instead. 10mins taxi costing around Ar$20. Our budget travel however, got us walking.

Despite the chilly breeze from south pole, it was not difficult to get around town by walking, with a map.

a museum near the hospital having generous showings of fossil
The main street is on Roca and there are quite a number of museums, though many closed early or simply closed down.

The casa was a nice one though. It is a small house with the coal heater still in use. Inside was a collection of old town photos, Edison telephone, typewriter, sewing machine, soda water machine, coffee grinder, meat grinder and the stories of its past occupants. A cozy and well presented museum with entrance fee on voluntary basis.

On the seaside was the train museum that was already closed down, we managed to sneak in the wires and witness the train cemetery.

The best about Rio Gallegos for us is the succulent cordero (lamb), costing only Ar$30/kg in the carnicería, while lomo cost Ar$65 to 78/kg (and we are told that in Patagonia, cordero has better quality than beef)! We grilled the lamb rack for lunch and had pan fried lamb shank with stewed mixed vegetables with its bones for dinner. This is heaven! It's juicy, sweet and extremely tender!

the lovely dog in bus station

The next day, we headed for a bus to Rio Turbio at noon.

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