Glacial Southern Patagonia
Trip Start Mar 01, 2010
53Trip End Oct 08, 2010
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Where I stayed
El Calatafe is better than I'd been led to believe and thankfully still small enough to walk across in 10 or 20 mins, making trips to the supermarket, restaurants, and bus station to book onward tickets easy. It's quite touristy but still OK. Not much to do here except the glacier and a stop off for Torres Del Paine (Chile), which I'm planning on doing at the weekend. The hostel is good and cheap, and I met up with some friends I met in the first hostel (BA), second hostel (Bariloche) and third hostel (El Bolson)
Getting to really like bus journeys; much prefer them to flying. There's a sense of journey that you don't get on aeroplanes, and having time to read, contemplate and digest events is a luxury not afforded by a significant proportion of the western world from my experience. I find I can't read much or watch a lot of films and instead spend hours daydreaming and somehow the time just flies (and incidentailly this is where I find the time to update the blog).
The next paragraph should please my mother: I'm eating well and managing three square meals a day, and snacks. Although breakfast was hard to eat at first, I find my body quickly adapts. I'm eating far more regularly and healthily than I do at home and can only conclude that it's work that's been screwing with my schedule and making me thin . Not sure if I'm putting any weight on yet but have come up with something that should help: "The Empanada Challenge". An Empanada is a savoury snack not too dissimilar to a Cornish Pastie, that seem to come in 2 flavours, Jamon y Queso (Ham and Cheese) or Carne (meat - like mince beefy goodness). I've vowed to try to have one per day, and if I miss a day to make up for it the next
Wendesday: I've booked myself on a tour to see the Perito Moreno Glacier today. I really enjoyed climbing Fox Glacier in New Zealand with my brother last year so figured that if this was as good it would be worth the cost. Moreno juts out between Lago Moreno and Lago Idontknowwhatthisoneiscalled and engenders magnificent vistas as icebergs and icecubes are slowly but surely shed off. After initially being told that Perito Moreno is one of the worlds few advancing glaciers, I later discovered that it's currently in equilibrium but moving by as much as 2m every day, and is thankfully clean and dust free so good for trekking on. Still not exactly sure on the differences between Trekking and Hiking and no-one else seems to know either. It takes about 400 years for the ice to travel from the top to the edge, over 25km distance, and 25 meters fall every year. And the Patagonian Ice shelf is the third largest mass of ice in the world after Antarctica and Greenland.
After spending a couple of hours at the bottom taking in the view and making a couple of photographs, we head back onto the bus for a trek out onto the ice. Coincidentally bumped into Amardeep again, my old work collegue that I met up with in Buenos Aires.
I took a 20min boat ride across the lake and in front of the glacier - a good chance to take some great shots
Seems to be a lot of Germans and French out today. End up speaking to two nice German girls who are here for 5 months who I might see later on in my travels, and an interesting Austrian (aren't they always). The French, like the English, are their usual selves in not quite managing to interact with other races. It's funny: out of the Europeans, I feel I have a lot more in common with Germans, Spanish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegians, Austrians but not really the French - partly due, I suspect, to the fact I was lucky enough to work in a very international environment but with very few French. Not that I've got anything against the French, I just don't mix with many.
Bags packed for our trip into Chile for the epic Torres Del Paine 5 day trek around the infamous 'W' circuit. Going to be going off the radar for a few days and expect to be back on Wednesday. Peace... out.