Into Glacier Viedma

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Flag of Argentina  , Santa Cruz,
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We were up early for the first ice trekking session of the day on Viedma Glacier. This still meant that we were able to have breakfast at 8am, but obviously people here don't like getting up early.  Probably something to do with the cold!! The breakfast was amazing.  It may seem a strange thing to most people to get excited about but when you’ve had some of the breakfasts we’ve had over the last 14 months you’d understand that homemade brown bread that actually tastes of something is simply amazing….  We drove out to the launch point of the boats to the glacier – it’s an hour boat ride to the entry point across the huge Lago Viedma, and then did a 20 minutes clamber over rocks to get to the point where we walk onto the ice.  Before we did that we had to put on the crampons which I found sadly quite exciting as I had enjoyed being on the glacier so much the last time.  Kevin made it obvious to the guides that we had been on ice before by strapping on his own crampons whilst everyone stood there waiting for the guides to do it – great…now I have to look somewhat confident.  Then we were off!  It’s really interesting to watch people on crampons for the first time.  Not that I am an expert by any means having only worn them once but even this second time I was far more confident and stamping my feet into the ice to let the crampons do their stuff.  Everyone else however was doing exactly what I did first – tiptoeing on top of the ice like you would with normal shoes if it was icy.  That doesn’t work as you have to get those spikes right in there!  After about the 6th time the guide explained to them how to walk in the crampons though it got somewhat tedious and we started to wonder what language the people spoke.  We were in the Spanish speaking group as there were too many English speakers and we understood exactly what he was saying but the Spanish speakers not so much! The Viedma glacier is the biggest glacier in the region and is extremely impressive, with massive crevasses and seracs to entertain us for the 2 hours on the ice.  Having said that it was a little tame and in some ways I regretted the decision not to do the ice climb again, however we still got to see more of the glacier and learn something about it which was the aim of doing the trek .  As a novelty at the end of the trek before we headed back we got to drink some Baileys with glacier ice – needless to say Kevin and I had seconds and it was only about 10am! 

After this we did very little again.  Called our parents again to talk about 'the news', slept a little and walked around.  We bumped into Bella from our salt flat tour in Bolivia with her mum and had a nice chat in the blustery freezing weather.  After about 20 minutes we decided to meet up later on and we agreed to go to their hostel.  Well we went in the direction in what was now horrible weather and found a building with the name they mentioned outside but when we went inside it was an odd building with just 4 rooms and looked a bit weird.  No sign of Bella.  We knocked on one door but it wasn’t her so we went for dinner.  We found out a couple of days later that the huge building next door was of the same name and more likely where they were waiting for us – we didn’t even see it in the rain!! Sorry Bella. 

The next day we spent the day sorting out food and stuff for the trek.  In reality we could have done this the day before and left for the trek today but as I wanted to be in El Chalten on my birthday we were waiting until the 8th anyway so we took it easy!  All sorted and packed we went out to a Parrilla for some amazing steaks and some not so amazing red wine. Looking forward to a change from this luxury from tomorrow! 
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