The World’s Worst Panorama 2023

The World's Worst Panorama 2023
Camera: SONY DSC-RX100M7 | Date: 22-02-2023 19:49 | Resolution: 24420 x 2802 | ISO: 1250 | Exp. bias: -0.7 EV | Exp. Time: 1/30s | Aperture: 4.5 | Focal Length: 9.0mm (~24.0mm)

Here’s my “group panorama” from Richard Bernabe’s Feb 2023 trip to Patagonia.

From the left: Gero, Nigel, Thomas, Karsten, Jörn, Lisa, Richard, Alejandro, Glenn, Alex, John, Pat, Yours Truly and JoAnne.

Please don’t study the stitching too carefully, or complain about the fact that Ale has become a hobbit – this is much, much easier on a round or square table than a very, very long thin one!

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Rainbows Rising

Rainbow over the Cascada Paine
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9 | Date: 21-02-2023 08:14 | Resolution: 5606 x 3504 | ISO: 200 | Exp. bias: 0 EV | Exp. Time: 1/320s | Aperture: 6.3 | Focal Length: 9.0mm | Lens: LEICA DG SUMMILUX 9/F1.7

After a very blustery night the forecast seemed to have been correct and the day dawned very wet and windy. We travelled to the first stop without much hope, and it appeared to be justified. As I said to Richard "to photograph the light on the mountains you first have to be able to see the mountains"!

We gave up the sunrise location and instead travelled to another waterfall, the very dramatic Cascada Paine. Even in poor light this would be a decent subject, but we were blessed, with good foreground light but also with the most amazing full arch rainbow, which persisted for as long as we were willing to photograph it.

Back at the hotel it initially looked like that might be the end of the day’s proceedings, and we settled in for a day of processing, and critiquing work we had already done. However just before lunch suddenly the sun emerged, even though the winds were still challenging, and we set out for an afternoon shoot.

The first stop was Grey Lake, of geographical interest because it’s one of the parts of the park’s lake system fed directly from a glacier, albeit one which is rapidly retreating and now a 16km boat ride from the lake proper. Indeed there was a small iceberg recently calved in the lake. However there were only limited photographic options.

On the way to dinner, however, we had a treat: a group of guanaco who were happily grazing alongside the road and who seemed content to pose for us against the mountain background.

Cooperative guananco
(Show Details)

After dinner the first stop was an overlook near the restaurant but looking back over the central plain of the park towards the mountains. Unusually there was very little cloud on the latter, and we were free to build graphic compositions based on bands of water, pampas, rock and sky. However there was a downside – the outlook is an animal rather than a human haunt, and we were dive-bombed by insects from the moment we arrived, the first time that’s been an issue on the whole trip. JoAnne had some repellent which she was happy to share, but I suspect it was for sharks not insects, at least judging by its relative ineffectiveness.

View of the Torres del Paine from above the Pueblito Serrano
(Show Details)

The last stop was the Weber Bridge. We all took the obligatory shot of the mountains with very little cloud, but then turned to watch a very dramatic lenticular cloud swirling, but not moving laterally, right above us, catching the sun in dramatic style.

Lenticular cloud above the Puente Weber
(Show Details)

The final day again dawned cloudy and very windy and I sat out the “sunrise” (with no sun) huddled up with a couple of others behind a rock in the lee of the wind. However on the way back to the hotel another amazing  rainbow developed above our hotel and embracing the mountains.

Rainbow above the Osteria Pehoe
(Show Details)

After breakfast we set off on the drive back to El Calafate as the first leg of various long journeys back home. The park had one final surprise for us: yet another rainbow over the Laguna Amarga, where we had photographed angry swirling clouds on the way in. It was so windy I was almost blown off my feet, but it was worth it for the final shoot.

Rainbow above the Laguna Amarga
(Show Details)

The drive back to the border didn’t seem as bad as on the way in – I suspect they had already opened a few more miles of the new road. However whereas the usual experience is that it takes a couple of hours to get into Chile, we had the reverse – Chilean customs had been efficient in both directions, but we arrived at the Argentinian border control point with a long line of buses in both directions, and it took over 2 hours to get through. It took another hour and a half to the stop at Esperanza, by which time they were out of empanadas and down to a few uninspiring sandwiches. I had received a lot of stick for having an “elevenses” empanada with my coffee at the Chilean border, but I emerged victorious!

After the final leg back to El Calafate we got together for the “last supper” and a good time was has by all. Tomorrow I have to start on stitching together “The World’s Worst Panorama 2023”.

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Have I Offended El Gauchito Gil?

Peaks of Cerro Almirante Nieto
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9 | Date: 20-02-2023 07:29 | Resolution: 4952 x 3301 | ISO: 800 | Exp. bias: -33/100 EV | Exp. Time: 1/80s | Aperture: 7.1 | Focal Length: 89.0mm | Lens: LUMIX G VARIO 35-100/F2.8

Today was slightly harder work. We had tricky start to the day. At the sunrise location the sunrise largely failed to materialise, but we did get light just on the peaks for a few minutes, and I got some good close-ups.

Magmatic inclusion at the top of Cerro Almirante Nieto catching the sunlight (Show Details)

We had then been promised a location where a female puma and her cubs were working their way through a recent kill within easy sight of the road. The score: dead guanacos 1, pumas nil!

The post-breakfast shoot was productive, walking up past a dramatic waterfall to a large space filled with trees which died in the major forest fire of 2011. These make great compositional elements, either as frames for the mountains, or as primary subjects in their own right, with mountains behind.

Tree in front of the mountains (Show Details)

Another lazy afternoon allowed me to catch up with my images and blog, although posting the latter was a painful process. The internet connection in Torres del Paine is not only slow, but also drops out every few minutes, causing anything which was part-way through to have to restart. When I’m back I’ll have to review my blog posting software and see if I can make it more resilient, although how I’ll test this I’m not quite sure.

I must have accidentally offended El Gauchito Gil (the Argentinian "Robin Hood" and protector of travellers), but I’m not quite sure how. However first my sandwich for lunch took almost an hour to arrive, then when we went for dinner I was served last, at which point the restaurant realised they’d got the order wrong and prepared one too many vegetarian risottos, one too few salmons. Fortunately it didn’t take them long to fix it, but I was then a bit peeved when despite their many "mea culpa"s, they insisted I break an additional large note when my available cash came up about 50p short. Not impressed.

Shot in its natural state by the famous wildlife photographer, Richard Bernabe

The plan was to get back to the hotel, then go to the other side of the island to shoot sunset. However as it was by then cloudy and blowing at about 50mph I took an executive decision and decamped to the bar. Much better!

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We’re Going on a Guanaco Hunt!

The Osteria Pehoe at dusk
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9 | Date: 19-02-2023 21:25 | Resolution: 5476 x 3422 | ISO: 1600 | Exp. bias: -33/100 EV | Exp. Time: 0.31s | Aperture: 7.1 | Focal Length: 12.0mm | Lens: LUMIX G VARIO 12-35/F2.8

Today was a lighter day, partly to allow everyone to recover from the long drive, and specifically to make sure Gustavo stays within his driving hour limits. We went up the road about 1 mile for sunrise, with a similar view to that from the hotel, but with our hotel and a couple of interesting land spits also in view. The light was great, pink "fire" on the clouds and the mountain tops.

Torres del Paine at sunrise (Show Details)

After breakfast (unfortunately as accurately described by Richard) we went on a guanaco hunt, looking for these charming Patagonian llamas in interesting situations, ideally with a mountain behind them or similar. They are relaxed, curious creatures, so as long as you are non-threatening you can approach moderately close without any problem. Between about four locations we all found several promising images.

Guananco-scape! (Show Details)

Over lunch we got thinking about the ideal guanaco image, and I came up with the idea of a guanaco on a paddle board on the lake in front of the mountains. I did mention beer was being taken, didn’t i? While none of us had such an image, Dall-E was very obliging: see This is Really Scary

After a couple of relatively lazy hours lunch was followed rather quickly by an early tea. One challenge with the Osteria Pehoe is their very fixed dining hours, which are not compatible with a sunset shoot at this time of year. As a result we had to drive 3/4 hour in each direction to another restaurant outside the park, eat, and then take photos at three locations on the way back. As this is likely to be the pattern for the next couple of days we’ll have to eat more lightly at lunch so we don’t explode.

The first stop on the way back furnished views of the mountains with amazing lenticular clouds above them.

Lenticular clouds over the Torres del Piane (Show Details)

The last stop was a short distance from the hotel, showing it on its island in context with the lake and mountains. The accommodation and dining may be a challenge, but they do have their compensations!

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This is Really Scary…

A photo of a guanaco on a paddle board on a lake in front of the Torres del Paine mountains (courtesy of Dall-E)

This morning’s subject was a “guanaco hunt”, capturing one or more of the charming Patagonia llamas in a nice pose, ideally in front of a mountain or similar.

Over lunch, as beer was consumed, we got talking about how we could improve the images we had captured. Looking at the wonderful view from the restaurant, I came up with the idea of a guanaco on a paddle board in front of the mountains.

Always up for a challenge I had my first go with Dall-E, the AI image generator. I gave it this simple prompt: “A photo of a guanaco on a paddle board on a lake in front of the Torres del Paine mountains”. Two of the four images it created were unusable, but the first was OK, the third was exactly what I had in mind. OK the guanaco’s legs are a bit odd, but the concept has been correctly interpreted and executed, and that’s the difficult part.

It really shouldn’t be that easy. Be afraid, be very afraid!

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It’s a Long Drive, to Torres del Paine (Almost works!)

View from the Osteria Pehoe
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9 | Date: 18-02-2023 19:41 | Resolution: 10015 x 3709 | ISO: 400 | Exp. bias: 0 EV | Exp. Time: 1/200s | Aperture: 8.0 | Focal Length: 12.0mm

After a very quick dawn shoot we assembled for the long drive from El Chalten to Torres del Paine in Chile. This involves driving about 100 miles East, the a couple of hundred South, past El Calafate where we started, then West over the border and into the Torres del Paine National Park.

Canyon of the Las Vueltas River (Show Details)

What you rapidly realise is that vast swathes of Patagonia are very empty, very flat and, let’s be frankm very boring near desert, with the odd fox or guanaco, maybe occasionally a few cattle. Our drive from El Chalten rapidly left behind the drama of the Mt. Fitzroy massif and turned into a steady plod. The first available stop was after 1.5 hours, the next more than a further 2. That’s not a choice – you can often see 5 or 10 miles in each direction and the only evidence of mankind is the road itself.

I’d be asleep at the wheel in minutes, hats off to our excellent driver Gustavo who seems to be happy doing this hour after hour.

About 4pm, after 7 hours on the (good) road we turned onto a gravel track towards the border, with the Torres del Paine just appearing in the distance. Rattling along at 20mph seemed at odds with the "main road" marking on my map, but I suppose it’s no different to southern Namibia.

We’ve been terrorised with stories of the border crossing taking multiple hours, but it wasn’t too bad – processed both sides, a coffee purchased and on our way in not much more than an hour. The main challenge is that after standing in various queues Chilean customs insist on scanning every item of luggage. It’s just sobering to remember that it used to be that way going from France to Belgium.

The road is nicely surfaced from the exact border point to a few miles from the Chilean customs, when we diverted onto a ghastly washboard which runs for a vast distance alongside what is obviously going to be a very nice new road when completed. Occasionally we were teased by crossing the new carriageway, then we were back on the washboard.

Distant views of Torres del Paine from the bus (Show Details)

The roads in the Park are much the same, and it took almost two hours to get to the hotel. Richard had been actively managing down expectations, and it is true that the Osteria Pahoe has seen better days. There is one compensation. The view.

Apparently tomorrow most of our shooting will be within walking distance. This could work…

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Water, Water, Tunch

The Cascada Cañadon de los Toros
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9 | Date: 17-02-2023 11:59 | Resolution: 6571 x 3696 | ISO: 200 | Exp. bias: 0 EV | Exp. Time: 1/13s | Aperture: 9.0 | Focal Length: 9.0mm

The day started with another visit to the canyon viewpoint, to see if we could get better light than on Wednesday. At first it looked like the Eastern sky was overcast and we wouldn’t get much, but suddenly about 1/2 before dawn it brightened up and gave us another show, but with a bit more cloud than yesterday.

It’s very interesting how photographs reflect a photographer’s outlook, and how different photographers seek different key characteristics for that purpose. I loved the cloudless sky yesterday morning and the strong geographic shapes in red and orange or blue which resulted from it. My companion for the same shoot didn’t and was much more enthusiastic about the small clouds on the mountains, which I regarded as “messing up” the underlying shapes. Chacun à son goût.

After breakfast we got on the bus and drove for well over an hour through the park to the Cascada Cañadon de los Toros, a small but dramatic cascade near the end of the navigable road. This was ideal for my style of shooting, lots of different views from tricky positions well-suited to hand-holding. However I discovered that I had to do slightly more hand-holding than recommended – the best lens for the job was my new 9mm f/1.7, but it takes 55mm filters and I only have a 58mm neutral density filter (to slow down the shutter speed and hence the water’s movement). The best shots therefore were taken at around 1/10s with my right hand holding the camera, and my left holding the ND filter. Thank the forces of light, or whoever’s responsible, for dual image stabilisation!

The Cascada Cañadon de los Toros (Show Details)

It was another long drive back, so we headed off for “lunch” at about 3pm. It amuses me that while we have a well-established term for late breakfast / early lunch, we have no equivalent term for “we missed lunch so let’s eat enough now to cover it and tea/dinner”. My vote is for “Tunch”. We had a very nice tunch of steak and beer.

At the end of the day we had a short hike up to the Mirador los Condores. The light wasn’t great, but we did get some nice views of the town, and one very dramatic lenticular cloud above one of the peaks.

Lenticular cloud above the El Chalten Massif (Show Details)

Tomorrow, we move on to Chile.

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It’s a Mystery, It’s a Mystery, I’m Just Searching for a Clue

The Mt. Fitzroy massif at dawn
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9 | Date: 16-02-2023 07:09 | Resolution: 5017 x 3136 | ISO: 400 | Exp. bias: -33/100 EV | Exp. Time: 1/125s | Aperture: 7.1 | Focal Length: 54.0mm | Lens: LUMIX G VARIO 35-100/F2.8

Richard’s plan for this morning was a hike of 1.5-2 hours in each direction, with a significant vertical element. With my hip and knees complaining a bit I took the better part of valour and with Nigel opted for the alternative, shooting from an overlook encompassing both the mountains and town. Before dawn we were rewarded with the mountains glowing pink balanced by the lights of El Chaltén.

Pre-dawn glow over Mt. Fitzroy, with the lights of El Chalten (Show Details)

As the sun rose the scene changed with bright reds and oranges creeping down each peak until the whole range was bathed in fiery colours.

Mt. Fitzroy at dawn (Show Details)

After breakfast 1 of 2 we took the bus up to the trail head to meet the rest of the group on their return. It became apparent that the walk had been longer and harder than expected, with several who yesterday were bouncing around now moving as stiffly as myself, so I definitely made the right call. While I was waiting I stalked a rabbit through the grass. The latest “animal aware” adjustments to Panasonic auto-focus really are very good:

Patagonian rabbit! (Show Details)

Breakfast 2 of 2 was at the Wafelria, which is exactly what it sounds like. Apparently it’s now a tradition for after the hike. At least some of the group had already worked off the calories…

Argentinian finances continue to be a mystery to me. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue to be a mystery to the Argentinian Finance Ministry! There are two exchange rates, the official one, and the "other official one", for tourists.

If you exchange cash, US$ say, you can easily get almost twice as many Pesos as at the airport change desks. Any tourist-facing business can do this, so you can pay for a meal with a $20 bill and get almost as many Pesos in change as if you had changed it at an official bureau. So far not so unusual, especially if you are old enough to have travelled to Eastern Europe before the fall of communism.

But in these days of electronic money it gets weirder. Pay a hotel or restaurant bill with a card and it initially goes through at the primary rate, which feels somewhere between "about right" and "a bit expensive" by UK standards.

Then a few days later a second transaction turns up on your card account, a rebate of nearly 50% to correct it to the tourist rate, and suddenly things feel very cheap. I assume this is an attempt to prevent the Peso just being replaced by a hard currency such as the dollar, but I’m not sure I see it ending well. At least I can stop worrying about my purchases here.

Photographic trips are hard. I spent the afternoon at “Pangea”, drinking beer and writing my blog, then stopped so I could go and get an early dinner at La Cervezeria, which as the name implies also involved drinking beer. I had to stop before I needed stabilisation, let alone my images!

The sunset shoot started off looking very unpromising, but suddenly just at the right time there were some odd breaks in the cloud and we got a handful of great shots. It really is worth sticking with it until the light is completely gone in such a location.

Sunset fire (Show Details)
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Mixed Fortunes

Peaks above El Chalten at sunrise
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9 | Date: 15-02-2023 06:32 | Resolution: 5195 x 2078 | ISO: 200 | Exp. bias: -33/100 EV | Exp. Time: 1.6s | Aperture: 7.1 | Focal Length: 56.0mm | Lens: LUMIX G VARIO 35-100/F2.8

We started the day about an hour before sunrise back at the overlook of Mt Fitzroy and the Las Vueltas river. On the positive side, yesterday’s wind didn’t re-materialise. On a more negative one, neither did much of the warm light on the mountains we’d been promised. We got some pre-dawn glow, but then around sunrise the mountain was covered by cloud, even though when we looked in other directions several were getting a great sunrise. That’s the way the cookie crumbles… At least it’s not a difficult location to revisit if time allows before we move on.

Canyon below El Chalten at sunrise (Show Details)

After breakfast we explored further into the park, around the side of Mt Fitzroy. At two separate locations we were able to experiment with both direct shots and reflections in water, however the reflections were disrupted a bit by the gentle breeze, and protective of her modesty the top of Mt Fitzroy remained cloaked in a tiny band of cloud.

Reflections (Show Details)

We had a great lunch – Argentinian steaks really are enormous – and a quiet afternoon including a critique session. I offered up a few of my shots and happily accepted the feedback. I also included the one taken above the glacier by the Argentinian lady, just to see how long it would be before the suggestion “crop off that ugly bit at the right-hand side”. About 10s…

We had two evening locations, first a waterfall for which the main challenge was getting a reasonable composition without appearing in everyone else’s and then a shot up the river towards the mountains from a raised outlook.

River delta above El Chalten (Show Details)
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Onwards and Upwards (A Little…)

Welcome to El Chalten
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9 | Date: 14-02-2023 12:15 | Resolution: 5234 x 3271 | ISO: 200 | Exp. bias: 0 EV | Exp. Time: 1/400s | Aperture: 6.3 | Focal Length: 35.0mm | Lens: LUMIX G VARIO 35-100/F2.8

We spent the morning of the second full day driving from El Calafate to El Chalten, which will be our base for four days. The road was remarkably flat, mainly straight and moderately boring for much of the time, but as we closed on El Chalten some very high mountains, particularly 3405m Mt Fitzroy, started to loom large over us. If Richard can deliver on his form from previous trips here these should be the focal points of some very dramatic images.

View of Mt Fitzroy from the bus (Show Details)

El Chalten is one of those tourist bases which is expanding almost as you watch it, and very busy. Richard and Alejandro, the local guide, had plans for lunch at a venue they usually use, but Plan A failed because there was no space. Plans B to about E also failed in rapid sequence. We did eventually get a nice lunch, but perched on very precarious bar stools and at about 3pm.

Mt Fitzroy (Show Details)

After lunch we went to case the joint for tomorrow’s dawn shoot, as it’s a somewhat precarious and very, very windy location overlooking the river as well as Mt Fitzroy. I’m a big bloke but I was struggling to stay upright. How we’ll get on in dawn light if the wind is as bad, or worse, tomorrow morning, remains to be seen. We are already down one hat as a group.

Mt Fitzroy and the Las Vueltas river (Show Details)

We had a short break for tea. I decided to “just get a sandwich” and ended up with a toastie about the size of my head with about 400g of meat in it. I managed half, with another bite after sunset.

As Richard promised, the sunset shoot was at a quieter location, but the primary subject, long exposures of reflections on water, really didn’t appeal. However turning around I was treated to some great patterns of light as the sun set on the mountains.

Sunset on the mountains (Show Details)

First dawn start tomorrow. Wish us luck!

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Where’s Wally?

Perito Moreno Glacier
Camera: Panasonic DC-G9 | Date: 13-02-2023 11:52 | Resolution: 12642 x 3498 | ISO: 400 | Exp. bias: 0 EV | Exp. Time: 1/1000s | Aperture: 8.0 | Focal Length: 18.0mm

The first day of the tour proper was spent on a trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier, a 250km2 ice formation, one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice Field between Argentina and Chile. It is one of the most readily accessible for tourism, and as such is a major draw. Aside from the natural wonder, it has an unusual human history, as the area became one of the first national parks globally following their invention in the USA and Canada.

The hill opposite the front of the glacier is threaded through with a series of metal walkways and platforms so you can observe the glacier from multiple angles. All the steps weren’t ideal for my knees, but I got some great views, both panoramas of the whole glacier and details of the ice.

Detail of blue glacial ice, Perito Moreno Glacier (Show Details)

I have discovered that this tour is not running on “Rangers Rules” (Leave No Man Behind). I had gone slightly further down the trail to get a shot, and ended up back at the agreed meeting point shortly before the agreed time, with no sign of anyone else. After 15 minutes I discovered that they were all already in the cafe without me. From here on it’s every man for himself!

The glacier is very dynamic, advancing around 2.5m per day. This means that there’s a fairly continuous calving process, and during our visit several large lumps of ice fell off into the water, usually with no warning. This adds to the photographic challenge – can you have your camera in hand with appropriate settings to capture the event. Today I was lucky – a small piece fell off and alerted me, and I realised that a much larger slab was likely to follow. I didn’t have my camera out, and it was a race to get it ready. In the end I just made it, but without being zoomed in or in high speed mode, I just had to prod away at the shutter release while the collapse happened, but I’m really pleased with a couple of the frames.

Glacial calving (Show Details)

When I’m at a tourist location I’m always happy to do a swap and take a photo of someone on their camera, in return for the equivalent to record myself at the scene. While this has never resulted in anything really bad happening, the results on my side seem to vary between the odd and the hilarious. Today was no exception: I took a straightforward picture of a couple of South American ladies, and handed one of them my camera. Unsatisfied with a straight equivalent she started off up the steps to “get it all in”. I call the result “Where’s Wally?”

Where’s Wally? (Show Details)

Back at base we split into a couple of groups with different designs on dinner style and timing. With the four Germans and Glenn I headed to La Fabbrica, a “Cervezaria” or as we call them in Britain, a pub. We had a highly entertaining evening with a young waitress who was determined to teach us a least a little Spanish. The food was good, the beer better and the company excellent.

The Festival of the Lake continues. I really liked the headline act of the night, essentially a “folk rock” group, but I would have preferred if they finished slightly earlier than about half past midnight when I was trying to get to sleep. Oh well…

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Suitable for 6 Year Old Boys of All Ages

Who let the Giganotosaurus in?
Camera: SONY DSC-RX100M7 | Date: 12-02-2023 11:35 | Resolution: 3648 x 3648 | ISO: 1000 | Exp. bias: -0.3 EV | Exp. Time: 1/30s | Aperture: 4.5 | Focal Length: 11.3mm (~30.0mm)

On the first night in El Calafate we had an excellent but very large steak dinner, and once my digestive system had settled down I got a reasonable night’s sleep (cheat!)

At breakfast it transpired we’d been joined by the German contingent, all four of them, who’d taken a very early flight from Buenos Aires. As they were now in the position of being sleep deprived with nowhere to go and lie down, naturally we all decamped down to the lake to look at the flamingos. As we got within 20m of the water the temperature dropped, the wind whipped up, and I rapidly and publicly recanted all my rude comments about the clothing recommendations, and wished myself speedily back at the hotel to get a more substantial hat.

The flamingos were not terribly cooperative posing for us. We wondered if the issue might be they were all feeding, but on closer inspection it became apparent that they all had their heads tucked under their wings to get out of the cold blast. Completely understandable.

Flamingos at the Reserva La Nimez (Show Details)

Hotel revisited and hats exchanged, I set out for the El Calafate natural history museum, the Centro de Interpretación Histórica. Although relatively small, only really three large rooms, they have an excellent display of South American dinosaur skeletons, and a fun reconstruction of a giganotosaurus’ head. There’s an obvious selfie, although you have the challenge of getting the camera far enough away, and dealing with the low light in the room. Fortunately I had in my pocket the estimable Sony RX100 mk7, the only camera I still own with both on-camera flash and self timer, and it worked beautifully!

Austroraptor (front) and Carnotaurus (Show Details)

When I came out of the museum, about 1km from our hotel and El Calafate’s central park, they were warming up for “The Festival of the Lakes”, an annual music festival. I could hear everything clearly, which didn’t bode well for an early night at our hotel, over the road from the venue.

Back on the main street I bumped by accident into the Germans, who had by this stage been joined by the Texan contingent, and we had an excellent lunch of pizza and beer. A man’s gotta chew what a man’s gotta chew.

By 6pm the entire party had assembled and we had an excellent meal together. Back to the hotel and the Americans sat down to watch the Superbowl, complete with detailed Spanish narration. Meanwhile behind the festival was getting going at an even higher level of volume. The only solution, and one which worked, was lots of red wine!

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