We Climbed on a Glacier! :-)
First, we fly the 1715 miles (2761 km) from Buenos Aires to cool El Calafate. Our plane was delayed, but due to our extreme southern setting we still had plenty of daylight to explore this new(ish) and tiny town of around 10,000. It is situated on the southern shores of Argentino Lake, the largest body of fresh water in all of Argentina. It's also home to flamingos, which seems very odd to me. The lake itself is within the borders of Los Glaciers National Park, the second largest National Park in Argentina and the largest Ice Cap outside of Antarctica and Greenland.
|Views of Lake Argentino|
|The beautiful Andes|
|Sunshine turning the water a very vivid blue|
|We did not try our hand at this, but probably should have. In our defense, we were beat from a 7 hour bus trip back from Chile when we discovered this gem up the street from our hotel.|
Day Two: Let's Get GOING!
|We can see ice! Must be getting closer!|
First glimpses are incredible and bring to mind Superman's Fortress of Solitude, if you're old enough to remember that!
|This stuff is Heisenberg Blue, for this generation! LOL|
|This shelf looms up to 250 feet above the surface of the lake, and extends northward over 400 miles|
|Currently, there is an ice bridge to the land. When it collapses, it's called a rupture. It has been on an approximate two year cycle of building up and falling. Lucky to get to see it, but would have been cooler had it collapsed while we were there!|
|The complete immensity is overwhelming!|
|Next we take a half hour trek out to the glacier and the outfitting shacks, where we will be fitted for crampons and head out onto the ice!|
|I have to keep stopping to take photos, though, as it is just soooo amazing.|
|And did I mention it is BLUE? So VERY VERY BLUE!|
|Cute kitty hanging around, posing for photos.|
|Crampons ON and ready to GO!|
|This is what the surface looks like!|
|From our highest vantage point, looking down the wall|
|After a couple hours, we descend and walk back to "camp" for lunch. Views are still incredible and the light has changed a bit, making things a little warmer.|
|Back on the boat, back on the bus to the other side of the glacier to see the expanse of this thing. Incredible! Heading back to El Calafate for the night. Tomorrow Chalten!|
And a shout out to Say Hueque, the company I chose to book our Patagonian adventure. I based this decision on all the great reviews they received on numerous tourist boards all around the internet, their EXTREMELY fair pricing, and the fact they are six blocks from our apartment (very scientific, I know). Their staff, including Vera and Carolina, were with us throughout the entire planning process and were also in touch with us as we traveled, including advising us of flight changes. Very professional. You do NOT need to use a tour company to do what we did, but I will say we were able to see and do a LOT more than we would have booking everything individually or tried to do it on our own. Many of the tours and buses were booked up for days on end for last minute travelers, so even if you don't use a tour company, try to get your activities and transport booked early.