back to Calafate
10.04.2011 - 11.04.2011 15 °C
Mirja and I were happy to leave Ushuaia and all its wind and clouds behind and head northwards. We flew to Calafate without any snags and prepared for out last days in Patagonia. First thing... Perito Moreno Glacier.
This is an giant glacier that drops down from the Hielo Sur Icecap in Chile, crosses into Argentina, then plunges down a mountain valley into Lago Argentina where massive chunks of ice crack and break off and fall into the lake to form iceburgs. We were very lucky with the weather- all blue skies and sunshine, se we could really see the blues of the glacier ice well. We did the touristy boat ride out on the lake to the face of the glacier. The boat goes to about 100 meters away from the glacier face- closer would put us at risk from flying ice that splinters off the glacier. I saw a video from a fellow traveler that showed blocks of ice about 15 stories tall falling off the glacier, so I waited with my video camera always ready to catch such a sight. We only saw smaller blocks drop into the lake, but was still good fun to see the big splashes and very loud rumbles.
After the boat ride the tour goes to a series of viewing platforms to see the glacier from above and from various angles. If there was a 24 hour TV channel showing glaciers cracking and breaking apart, I would spend all my time watching it. I stayed until the last possible minute (more than 3 hours in total) watching the glacier do its thing. Its too big to describe in words. The face of the glacier is over 3km wide and its about 60meters tall on average. You constantly hear cracks and rumbles and scan the face to try to find the blocks of ice falling into the lake. Maybe I will start this TV show when I get back home.
After we returned from the glacier tour, it was time to get ready for Torres del Paine. This is the most famous national park in Chile and we are heading there for 5 days to hike. We rented a tent because I do not trust tarptent in extreme cold and wind. Instead of the normal transport there we are taking a tour from Calafate which goes directly to the park and saves us a day of travel. It should all be good fun if we do not freeze or get blown away, but always an adventure.