A quick breakdown on El Calafate- it is essentially a tourist destination for Perito Moreno Glacier. That's not to say it's not a cool town- it was beautiful. Like Colonia Suiza, everything was made out of wood, and carved and built in such a way that you could really appreciate the fantastic architecture. And the leather- everything was made of leather or horns, and it was awesome. The gift shops in El Calafate really got me. If it didn't cost a gazillion dollars, my family would now being swimming in leather slippers and horn candlesticks holders.
We also stayed in an almost perfect hostel, known to the Israeli travelers simply as Eduardo's Place. Eduardo is the nicest old man ever, and he's always happy to help you with directions, things to do, or to give you a hat and gloves if the glacier-tour bus is going to pick you up in five minutes and you've left yours in New Jersey. He also had two puma heads in his freezer (really), which was surprising. It was a really fun hostel, super cheap, we met a bunch of great people, and I would highly recommend it, except for one thing- NEVER GO THERE! THEY HAVE BED BUGS! Just saying.
So yeah. We didn't stay in Calafate too long, just long enough to enjoy some awesome live music (which I'm sure Wes will cover later), the beautiful glacial lake (all glacial lake water is a very pale blue - where Parque Nacional Torres de Paine gets its name, Paine means 'pale blue' in Tehuelche, which was the indigenous group in southern Patagonia until white people killed them all), and we bought a ton of groceries for our trip to El Chalten-- where we are now!
So yeah. Sorry to give so much background- I've been getting really excited about the history of the area, and I want to share it with you all! You lucky recipients of my wisdom! And again- photos are forthcoming. I swear.