Glacier is mint

Trip Start Mar 07, 2009
Trip End Apr 08, 2010

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Where I stayed
Las Carretas Hostel

Flag of Argentina  , Santa Cruz,
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

11th to 14th September 2009:

Took a 20hr bus trip to get here via Rio Gallegos, the bloke in the coffee shop at the bus station now recognizes us we have stopped there that many times. Chile customs was a lot less brutal this time, which was nice. Both buses fairly comfortable though the second one showed the same movie twice, was quite good though!
Arrived Calafate at 2230 and we headed to a couple of hostels to investigate prices, the HI was mega expensive and the bloke was an ass, pretending he only had 2 beds in a dorm when the website said there was about 20 dorms in the place. We trekked to another HI place to find it was shut so we resigned ourselves to spending the first night in a shared dorm in the first place, we had promised ourselves not to dorm it up on this trip, at least not while we are travel ling together. However we noticed a small hostel next door, walked straight past it before and there was a geezer in the door and he said 20 pesoīs each, we couldn'tīt believe it, half what we normally pay. It was a dorm but was en-suite and were promised exclusive rights for a few days at least so we snapped it up and crashed hard for the night.
Scoped out the place in the morning, tried top find the lake but although we could see it, could not find a path down and instead had lunch on the edge of a construction site with a couple of golden labradors that had latched on to us. Again this place full of dogs just swanning about all over, most of them seem well fed though. Abandoned lake walk idea as Ang had sore ankle so just got some ice cream, of course, and booked up a trip to the Perito Morino Glacier for the following day.
The glacier is one of the main tourist attractions of South America, canīt say Iīd ever heard of it but it was well worth the hype. It is the largest stable glacier in the world I think, except the poles maybe, and it is the size of a large city. About 2km across and 60m high above water, and 3 times that below. The panoramic view was excellent, particularly when a piece of the glacier broke off and plummeted into the lake which was quite a regular occurrence. The sound of the whole thing moving and cracking was bizarre as well, really loud. The best part of the trip though was when we got to walk on the ice. First we took a short boat ride across the lake, dodging icebergs as we went. Then having arrived on the far bank we were briefed in groups of about 15 by mountain guides and after a short hike were issued with crampons to attach to our boots, allowing us to walk safely on the ice. The feeling of being on the glacier was indescribable, I know I keep banging on about doing the best thing Iīve ever done every fortnight but this was very cool. Iīve put a couple of photoīs on so you can see but we walked about 1.5hrs up and down the slopes on the glacier, it is not flat on top but like a miniature mountain range with cracks or crevasses and sink holes full of drinkable, crystal clear water. Quite dangerous in places though as the holes led down into chamber full of ice cold water, didnīt want to fall down one of those! A nice touch at the end when there were tables set up with chocolates and scotch, with glacier ice of course. An expensive but great day, though I was bummed when I found out arsenal had lost again! Met a few English speaking people on the trek, 2 Irish girls we had met already in Ushuaia (small world) and an American, French & English student all wearing matching outfits, goons.
Went home to chow down on some pasta and got chatting with some Argies from Carlos Paz, a tiny village we really liked a few weeks back (even smaller world), one of them had grand designs about arranging tours around the continent for foreigners, we didnīt have the heart to tell him there were about 20 global organizations doing it already.
Next day realized I had been eaten alive by bed bugs, not good, probably because the heating in our room is about 100 degrees 24hrs a day. Booked bus tickets out, northern road is blocked until summer so we have to do mega loop, about 31 hrs to get to next destination, El Bolson.
Ate some grub and really got into a WW2 novel I had started a few days back, must find out more about this, canīt remember anything from school.
Had to get up on the 14th at 2am to catch a 3am bus, then 2 more buses over next 31 hrs, rubbish!
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