After trekking in El Chalten, we took a bus back to El Calafate. El Calafate kind of sucks but unfortunately it's a major hub in Patagonia and is a gateway to the southern part of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (El Chalten serves the northern and free part of the park) and you usually have to go there to transfer to other places you want to travel to.
Originally we were going to start in Brazil. I was very excited by this prospect. I wanted a big beginnning. The food, the culture and the sheer size and diversity of Brazil make it worthy of a bombastic start. But things changed. Plans got tweaked. Brazil got pushed. I was okay with it. After all, I'm a roll with the punches kind of gal (most of the time). So Laurent figured out a new route (that's his department, by the way). The new route is perfect. I think it solves the Brazil visa issue (more on that later) and it hits all the places we want to be at almost the right times of the year. The only thing I was originally slightly disappointed with was the start. Uruguay. Really? We're going to start there? In this stangely named country? It seemed fine as an after thought, a fourth or fifth stop but our first destination?! Who the heck goes to Uruguay? People from all around the world go to Brazil but who plans a trip to Uruguay?! Well, apparently we do. And you should too. I am a new convert to Uruguay's awesomeness. Yes, it really is! And hopefully I'll convince you why.