Blue Ice

Trip Start Jul 02, 2009
Trip End Jun 28, 2010

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Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Saturday, October 10, 2009

People wanting to experience the Perito Moreno glacier typically stay in El Calafate and I flew there from Ushuaia.  My luggage arrived on a later flight and had been efficiently delivered to my lodgings when I returned from dinner (cordero patagónico which was featuring in my diet with ever-increasing frequency).  Here are a couple of pics of El Calafate that I took from outside my lodgings.

I signed up for the Big Ice Tour which is all-day trip that goes out to the middle of the glacier.  There is an upper age limit of 45 for this trip so I had to lie about my age.  Here are a couple of pics of the glacier taken on the way in.

Although everybody was equipped with crampons (a novelty for me) only the guides were carrying ice axes.  This didn't stop me borrowing one to pose with for a couple of pictures.  I couldn't help thinking of the world's least famous assassin and his bizarre choice of weapon.

I'd skiied on glaciers in France but the Perito Moreno experience was very different and the crampons took some getting used to.


One thing you very quickly become aware of on the glacier is the intense blue color in crevasses and pools of melt on the surface.  I don't know what causes the blue color and didn't find any of the 'explanations' on the internet particularly enlightening. 

The last part of the tour was a trip to the viewing galleries.  On the trip back across the lake the boat in the left hand picture buried its bow and I saw water halfway up the windscreen.  A number of people fell over and I silently dubbed it 'El Belgranito' while taking careful note of the location of the exit.

The cruise the next day looked like a big mistake since it departed in a snowstorm.  However, the weather cleared although it never got particularly warm.  The icebergs were great although they reminded my of one of my all time least favorite movie characters (Rose DeWitt Bukater played by Kate Winslet).


Pack ice prevented the boat from approaching the Upsala glacier but we did get pretty close to the Spegazzini glacier.

I thought that I'd finish with a couple of food pics.  I just love the way that in Argentina you know exactly what animal is being cooked.  Amazingly there is actually a vegetarian restaurant in Calafate.  Poor old Perón must be turning in his grave.
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