Anthony on the Gringo Trail 2005 travel blog

South Face of Glacier Moreno from Trek Refugio

Looking out of glacier ice cave

Lunch, al fresco

Lunch view

Typical glacial pond

Stream on glacier

More glacial topography

Glacier from the lateral moraine on way out

Glacier mini-trekkers

Last view of glacial wall from boat

Bad news first. I woke up with a terrible cold, which has only got worse during the day, not helped by rain, sleet and cold I am sure. And unlikely to be further helped by hanging around a snowbound Patagonian bus station till 3 am waitng for a bus to drive me across the wind-blasted steppe. Don't know where I got this from, but can't help feeling it is in some way because Erica also has one.

On the other hand, the good news was another day with Galcier Moreno, definitely one of the highlights of this trip, probably along with Iguazu Falls. Nature always seems to be top in the end. So back to the National Park again, and this time to the South Side of the glacier. First a boat across with more views of the awesomely huge and weirdly blue glacier, and then six of us and two guides walk off around the side, picking up crampons, harnesses, etc on the way. Then an hour and a half climbing up besides the glacier on the lateral moraine, carefully skirting a dangerous looking wild bull. Then on with the crampons, etc, and off we go to roam around the middle of the glacier for four hours, loud cracking noises in the background. Hard work in crampons and on that kind of terrain, but fantastic stuff. There is a whole different world on top of the glacier, of caves, rivers, tunnels, very deep holes, ponds, lakes, crevasses, islands, etc. And most of all that incredible blue that I can't easily describe and don't seem to have quite caught on camera. The weather was a bit inhospitable though, wind, sleet and snow, though luckily not all at once. Nevertheless I got quite wet on the walk back down the moraine, which I can't imagine will help my cold much. And then the boat back across the lake, much closer to the glacier face than yesterday, and with a big shot of whisky with glacier ice - several hundred years old - to round the day off before returning to El Calafate. Cool.

And another nice dinner, involving lamb in a calafete sauce. I had this because they say here that if you eat some of the calafete berries that the town is named after, you will come back here, and I would like to. And now off to pick up my rucksack from the hotel and spend hours in the bus station till my 3 a.m. bus. Wish I could have planned enough in advance to get a flight. Back late on the 20th, when hopefully I will have crawled into Bariloche, centre of Argentina's Lake District. Hasta luego.

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