Glaciers, Deserts, Mountains - Latin America 2007 travel blog

The boat trip at the glacier

The scale of the glacier

Amazing blue ice

Mountain scenery

Moody scene

Rosy cheeked Catherine - cold actually!

Ice sculpture

Stunning

Different perspective

More mountain views

Holes in the ice

Good view of the Argentian flag

Side profile of the glacier

Another glacier view

After-shock of ice breaking away

The ripple effect

Simply breathtaking


Wow! Yes, what an amazing day. Better than we might have expected. We set off later than initially planned, in the hope that the other people who should have been on the trip could have made it, but alas no. So that meant it was just the driver (Gabby), the guide (Mercedes), Catherine and me.

As we drove by Lago Argentina (which allowed us to see where we'd gone wrong the day before!) we saw people ice-skating, with a place to hire skates from and everything. Fantastic, I thought. What a brilliant place to learn how to ice-skate. But sense took hold of me at a later stage as it dawned on me that if I couldn't even skate on a commercial rink, I certainly wouldn't be able to do it on a rough-and-ready lake; and something told me that Catherine wouldn't fancy waiting for me in El Calafate's A&E department, unless one of the hunks from the ER TV series had suddenly transferred there!

As we approached Perito Moreno Mercedes gave us some facts and figures about the lake, a bit of a geological understanding of how glaciers form, an explanation of how close we were to the Chilean border, etc. 6 kilometres away from our destination, we turned the corner only to see our first view. Pretty impressive even from there. It was clearly much bigger than the glacier we'd visited in the Canadian Rockies, We twisted and wended our way to Perito Moreno, then got out. Due to the change in timings, Mercedes arranged for us to go straight on to a boat trip to get close to the glacier. We were all togged up in our thermal long johns and various other layers of clothing, but even with that we were a bit chilled when the boat was heading out across the lake.

Although it might be a bit of a cliché, today and the following day's boat trip would be difficult to describe here. Naturally, we've taken loads of photo's, but one aspect of this glacier we found fascinating was the range of sounds - the running water (streams or rivers) and the cracking of ice within the glacier itself, and the breaking off of great lumps of ice and their crashing into the lake. We saw a few of those, some big chunks, but a lot were unfortunately out of view and we found it all but impossible to capture these on camera. Catherine managed to snap a few post-fall pictures which hopefully we'll get uploaded soon.

After the boat trip, we went for a walk along the side of the glacier, which allowed us to see from above the depth as well as the height of the ice. We could both have easily stayed there for at least another hour, waiting for that elusive moment of some massive great chunk of ice slipping off and creating some monumental wave. (Incidentally, when the ice cracks, it can cause lumps to snap off and zoom off into the air. Over the past 30 years some 32 people have been killed in this way - i.e. being that step too close.)

At the end of the day, what could we do but go back and take a dip into the pool, have a sauna and lie back in the Jacuzzi. Well, someone has to do it. This was followed by a meal in La Posta restaurant again. This time, serenaded by the Rolling Stones in concert - presumably a DVD of the band playing live sometime last year. This was followed by Eric Clapton live in Japan. Again, odd choices for a restaurant to be playing, but none of their diners seemed to mind. Except us!



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