Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Big Ice

Hello everyone!
    Sorry about the long wait, I didn´t have anything to write about for a few days, and of course the whirlwind of adventures we´ve been having picked me up and landed me right now in El Bolson. But first, I have to tel you about the Glacier: Perito Moreno.

     I was stuck in El Calafate for a few days because of bad weather. It was an overly-touristy town with not much to do unless you wanted to see the Glacier. I booked a tour to go walking on the glacier but for the most part just waited for the two days of bad weather to go by. Luckily the hostel we were staying in had a lots of people, and I got along with quite a few of them. There were nightly asados (all you can eat BBQs) and we always managed to stay up talking way into the night.

   Finally the day came to see the glacier, we started driving out on the bus long before the sun had risen (even though El Calafate is the closest town to the glacier, it was still over an hour away) Finally we drove around a corner and there it was... even from far away you could understand how massive the glacier really was. It was impossible to see the end of it and its walls seemed like a giant impenetrable fortress. We stopped a little to stare, but quickly got on the bus to get much closer.

    From the shore of the lake, we took a boat to get to the other side and right to the edge of the glacier, it was on this ride that the true size of the glacier became apparent. It felt like the sides of the wall would soon cover the entire sky. The glacier was unbelievably massive and went up for what felt like 200 feet above the water (and of course we found out it was even deeper than it was higher).

     After a quick natural history lesson (interrupted by a huge wall of the glacier falling into the ocean!), we finally got to put on the crampons (ice pick shoes) and get on the glacier. The walk was incredible. I had always thought a glacier would just look like a lot of white ice, but only when you´re right on the thing itself do you realize how incredibly blue it is. I was expecting amazing shapes, but not such vibrant colors! We continued walking around see more of the mind-altering landscapes, and even got to look down a hole that went all the way through the glacier. You could hear water running through it (our guides explained there are many streams and currents of water moving within the glacier, one of the reasons it calves so easily). The tour ended with a shot of cheap whisky in glacial ice, but is free so no complaints. Overall, it was an excellent experience, and well worth it.

      On our way back on the boat, we got the opportunity to see a Condor flying overhead (I find out just today that they´re the largest flying animal in the world!) It was so huge that even Carl saw it even though he was on a totally different part of the glacier. It was quite a sight.

    Afterwards we got a chance to experience the grandness of the glacier from the view points. I almost wished I had seen this first, I would have appreciated the ice trekking even more! It´s hard to put into words how unbelievably incredible this glacier was. Luckily, I finally got some of my pictures off my camera so you can see this one! I stood there for a full hour, taking in the majesty of its form. It was hard to break myself away from staring, hoping I would see another piece of the glacier fall off before I left.

Note: Sorry guys, I tried to post pictures on this blog but the internet is just so slow! I will try to have a picture update when I have a fast computer, but until then, I recommend you look up pictures of this glacier, they are quite incredible!

p.s. another update coming soon!

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