A Travellerspoint blog

Perito Moreno Glacier

back to Calafate

sunny 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.

Posted by ichbinmatt 09:49 Archived in Argentina Tagged glacier calafate perito moreno Comments (0)

Feuerland

Am Ende der Welt

all seasons in one day 5 °C

Mit reichlich Verspaetung bin ich dennoch gut in Ushuaia angekommen. 3,5 Flugstunden aber doch eine ganze Welt entfernt von Buenos Aires. Es ist sehr kalt hier, am ersten Morgen hat es zum Fruehstueck geschneit, aber die Wolken und der Regen wechseln sich auch mit Sonnenschein und blauem Himmel ab, allerdings immer mit viel Wind.
Es war sehr schoen Matt endlich wieder zu sehen. An seinem Bart- und Kopfhaar konnte ich erkennen, dass doch sehr lange war!!
Den ersten Tag haben wir eine kleine Wanderung zum Gletscher unternommen, der leider zugeschneit war und daher kein besonderes Bild bot. Aber die Landschaft und die Berge sind wunderschoen hier und es war super sich nach den langen Fluegen endlich draussen zu bewegen.
Gestern haben wir einen Ausflug auf die Pinguininsel gemacht, diese liegt etwa 1,5 Stunden entfernt und wir konnten aus naechster Naehe drei verschiedene Pinguinarten beobachten. Definitiv ein Highlight.
Morgen geht es weiter nach El Calafate, in das Herz Patagoniens.

Posted by xmirjax 14:16 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

Ushuaia

El Fin del Mundo

semi-overcast 4 °C

I am in Tierra del Fuego- as far south as man can go without taking a boat to Antarctica, surely as far south as I will ever go. The journey here has been filled with mishaps and hardships, but the good news is that I have met Mirja and we officially kick off our year of world travel from here.

I bussed down from El Calafate on Sunday, a journey that started at 3am, crossed into Chilean territory, crossed a straight by ferry boat at Punta Delgado and then crossed again into Argentina to arrive at Ushuaia at 9pm. Now another complete page is used in my passport thanks to the obsessive stamping that Argentines and Chileans do at every border crossing.

Unfortuneatly, I got sick almost immdeately upon arrival in Ushuaia and did little else than sleep and read and drink tea while I waited for Mirja to arrive at the airport. While I rested I managed to pick up some bed bugs, so I had that to deal with and of course had to change hostels to get out of the infected bed. So the two days before Mirja arrived were not so relaxing.

Meeting Mirja was very welcome and I was just recovering from the head cold and bedbugs, so it was double good. We have gotten lucky with the weather as it has not rained much lately, and even had some sunshine. We took advantage of the good weather to climb up to the glacier above town.

Yesterday we took a tour to the local penguin colony which was incredibly impressive. We took a boat out to the island where the penguins nest, and walk around, just a few meters from all the birds. We even saw parts of the colony returning from hunting in the sea. They swim a bit like dolphins by always jumping in small arcs in and out of the water. They look so graceful until they get out of the water and waddle around like little fat children. There are normally two types of penguins on the island- Magellanic and Gentoo, but recently one King penguin also has taken up residence on the island. He is about twice the size of the others and is more colorful, so he really looks like some sort of penguin leader as he walks around the colony. Nobody knows why he hangs out there, but I think its for the special status he gets from the human visitors. So we walk around the tiny island with a guide who tells us about the penguins and shows us the burrows they dig for nesting. The babies all left earlier in the summer, so we only saw adults. We even saw two sea lions swim up to the island, but no kill this time.

Tomorrow we fly back to El Calafate for a final week and a half in Patagonia. Fall is in full swing here. The leaves are all brilliant reds and yellows and the temps are dropping fast. It even snowed a bit yesterday, so I am glad to be headed to warmer environs soon. I think Mirja caught my illness from me, so she has the same head cold I had just a few days ago. I am sure she will be back up and healthy for the glaciers and hiking in Calafate and Torres del Paine.

Posted by ichbinmatt 14:04 Archived in Argentina Tagged del tierra ushuaia fuego Comments (0)

Auf der Durchreise in Buenos Aires

sunny 20 °C

Nach zwei 9,5 Stunden Fluege (von Duesseldorf nach Atlanta und von Atlanta nach Buenos Aires, mit einem 7-stuendigen Aufenthalt am Flughafen von Atlanta), bin ich gestern gut in Buenos Aires angekommen. Blauer Himmel, die Sonne scheint, ca. 20 °C, perfektes Urlaubswetter.
Allerdings geht es heute weiter nach Patagonien um Matt in Ushuaia zu treffen. Dort faengt dann auch unsere gemeinsame Reise an.
Eins habe ich schon am ersten Tag gelernt: Zeit ist hier relativ. Wenn es heisst, dass der Bus vom internationalen Flughafen zum Flughafen fuer Innlandsfluege 45 Minuten dauert, dann sind es in Wirklichkeit 2 Stunden. Eine 3-minuetige Taxifahrt, dauert tatsaechlich 10-15 Minuten.
Andere Dinge sind auch relativ: Wenn man an einem Cola- Automaten auf ein Wasser drueckt darf man sich anscheinend nicht wundern wenn eine Cola rauskommt... Wasser war wohl ausverkauft!

Posted by xmirjax 09:05 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Los geht's

Die Reise beginnt

semi-overcast 22 °C

Jetzt ist es endlich soweit: die Reise geht los.
Der Umzug ist vollbracht, die letzten Arbeitstermine erledigt. Mein Rucksack ist gepackt und morgen geht es auf in Richtung Feuerland mit Zwischenstopps in Atlanta und Buenos Aires. Hoffentlich geht als plangemäß so dass ich Matt am 05. oder 6. April in Ushuaia treffe.
Die Reise führt uns zunächst durch Südamerika, aus dem Süden Argentinies bis in den Norden Kolumbiens.
Bald wieder mehr, dann aus der Südspitze Südamerikas!

Posted by xmirjax 10:44 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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