The moment my husband and I arrive in El Calafate, an oasis town in Southern Patagonia’s desert, we know that our decision to travel to Argentina’s outback wilderness was right. It is exotic and exciting. Birds dig their webbed feet into the sand to keep from being blown away. Clouds swirl past the snow-capped Andean peaks. We came to explore remote hiking trails, gawk at wind-hewn icebergs, and walk on Perito Moreno – one of the southern hemisphere’s few advancing glaciers.
“That’s Cristina’s place,” announces our driver. He points to sprawling bungalows and an enormous villa. They are surprisingly lavish in this frontier town of slapdash clapboard buildings with corrugated metal roofs.
“Who’s she?” I ask.
“The President. She vacations here. Owns the hotel.”
Los Sauces belongs to Argentina’s first elected female leader, the glamorous and tough Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. I hadn’t realized that our accommodations and her private…
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