All the E's! And all the eeee's for how the wind sounded absolutely whipping across us here in Argentina.
I mentioned our stay in the Argentinian side of Patagonia here, but wanted to share a bit more about our home base stay, because it was a destination just as much as our glacier walks and hikes were. In fact, the presence of our remote lodge, Eolo, remains one of our very favorite stays ever, anywhere in the world.
The lodge's van picked us up at the El Calafate airport, and thanks to a flight delay, it was already around 8:30pm. But because of the low latitude, the sun was spreading thin still across the glacial lakes. Even our first glimpses of the glacial water, in this late light, seemed to glow teal from within.
We would stay at Eolo, a 17-room lodge about 30 minutes from the town of Calafate, for the next 4 nights. The lodge was situated on a bluff looking down toward the Andes and Lago Argentina, the huge lake that the famous Perito Moreno glacier feeds.
The scenery was so vast, the main movements were the clouds hurrying by. This was the view right out of our room. If we looked closely, we could see pink flamingos in the small lakes.
Can you see the little Eolo there?
Eolo means god of the wind, and I tell you what: the winds were fierce, strong and utterly new to us in intensity.
The fact that the horses outside could stand still was a testament to their sheer mass.
The word estancia would become familiar over our time in Patagonia, and basically meant a ranch, or plot of land. The estancia on which Eolo is housed was also huge, and the singularly uninterrupted views show this.
Eolo is shaped like a rectangle, with rooms on the perimeter, and a windless courtyard in the middle. One of our most surprisingly delightful times was getting back from our rainy day on the glaciers to relax in the sauna, with breaks in the crisp courtyard.
The lodge included all meals, and food was served in a common dining room (which we didn't photo), but the food was so fresh and delicious. They even remembered our water preferences each time we sat down! The entire operation was run seamlessly, and was a stellar experience in every way.
We spent a bit of time walking the course fields, filled with thistly and dry grasses, watching the cattle, rabbits, armadillo (when we could spot them) and birds fill the panorama of the land and sky.
Pure peace. Nothing was in a hurry, nothing worried about the wind. Everything in its place.
I also talked Walker into going on our first horseback ride of the trip, guided by the lodge's lovely Lucy.
It had been many, many (we're talking 20+) years since we had been on horses, and Electra and Saroman were two steady horses for our first ride.
Our path just made a wide loop down from Eolo and up the hills behind it.
Lucy pointed out the animals, birds, and buildings we passed. I just remember her excitement over seeing an armadillo, and I loved how she must see them daily, and still, they bring joy.
And the winds! You can see I have both my hat and my hood up. And I sure wished I had brought gloves, even though the sun was shining when we left.
As you can see, Walker's horse was a bit more sluggish, and so Lucy and I kept getting ahead of him.
About 90 minutes after leave, I came back shaking with chill from the winds, which must've been over 45mph. I sat by the radiator 30 minutes before the chattering stopped.
But these views--the land like a muted rainbow in the evening twilight--were completely worth it
If there was any stress our entire stay, it was that Walker wanted to be out shooting photos while simultaneously wanting to eat his dinner, which shared the view. He sneaked out before dessert a few times, and we'd watch him in the distance, fighting the wind with his tripod.
But look at these evening views!
I love the strips of light that came through mountain passes, across the land.
What an exquisite treat to be so deep into nature, no cars for miles, the wind blowing any stressful thoughts away.