Glaciers and Poobreath the dog ...
Trip Start Sep 21, 2009
83Trip End Apr 10, 2010
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Anyway, day one over and into day two ... very very windy and the wind is very cold as it finds its birthplace in the Andes and is particularly strong between November to March (summer and the 'windy season'). We took a walk, fighting the biting wind, to the Argentine lake, the largest in Argentina and one of the largest in South America
We also discovered that in terms of clothing we weren't as underprepared as we'd expected - layering works! We picked up another canine friend, after being ditched by Ricardo in Ilha Grande, who we named 'Poo-breath' because he stopped to eat poo by the pavement. There are a lot of stray dogs around here. At one point we were surrounded and hoping that they wouldn't turn vicious. They seemed more interested in sniffing Poo-breathīs bottom, although at one point they looked like they might bundle him in vicious gangster stylee. Other than the walk we didnīt do much - we hadn't had much sleep on the journey from Buenos Aires. We did however treat ourselves to some gorgeous food in a restaurant located on a hill with a view of the town - beautiful. I had a steak while Gem had Patagonian Lamb with roast vegetables - possibly the best steak I've ever had
So, day 3 (today) ... We went on an hour and a half bus journey to one of the most famous glaciers in the world located in the glacier national park - although to be honest I'm not sure I know any glaciers by name so famous doesn't necessarily mean much (this one's called Perito Moreno). It was amazing though - recommended to us by Rachel Deadman. There were audible gasps as our coach rounded the corner and we got our first glimpse. Once off the coach we viewed the glacier wall from various platforms, stopping to gawk and mutter such phrases as, 'Wow!'. This thing is huge - really tall, very long, HUGE! And we're not sure our pictures do it justice. It's area is about 257km squared (bigger than Buenos Aires) but only a quarter the size of some of it's neighbours. It's supposed to be the only glacier in the world that currently grows at the same rate it melts. We tried various tricks to get the light reading right on our camera so apologies if some of the pics are a little dark - we were trying to avoid producing over-exposed pictures of white blobs. I'm not sure the camera catches the blue of the ice either - apparently created by 10 years of compressed snow. While we were watching a huge slab fell from the glacier wall and the effect was immense - big wave, loud noise - you could literally feel the bass - like at a gig or something
After the gawking of the viewing platforms we were taken by boat to the other side of the lake from where we could gain trekking access to glacier. We were kitted out with 'cramp-ons' - spikes for your shoes - and were led onto the ice. We were taught this rather smooth and sophisticated walking technique which made us look like muppets carrying watermelons between our knees. Nevermind - the experience was amazing. We had to navigate over 30 metre crevices and past very strange and towering ice formations. At the end of the trek we were all given glasses of whisky over glacier ice. I took a photo of Gem holding hers, after which she told me 'it's making me gag' - not because it was bad whisky, but because Gem couldn't remember if she liked whisky or not. As it turned out she didn't. So I got hers too.
Bye for now.