Dont Mention The War!
Trip Start Jun 15, 2004
105Trip End Jun 15, 2005
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Caught the 7.30 bus to El Calafate, and quickly arrive at the border between Chile and Argentina, through immigration on the Chilean side, and then, the first thing you see on the Argentinian side is a large sign, with a map of the Falklands, saying¨"Los Malvinas Son Argentina". Managed to get through immigration without being jailed, and then the long journey, through the equally bleak landscape of Argentinian Patagonia, to El Calafate.
El Calafate, again spread out on the banks of a lake, is a little more touristy, and follow a Canadian guy I´d met to a hostel who had a reservation at a really nice hostel, if a little pricey, overlooking the town and lake.
March 23rd 2005
Purpose of the visit to El Calafate was to see the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the worlds few advancing glaciers, appx 80km away from the town.
The good roads turn to gravel, and then we begin to see the first sighting of the glacier, with the lake in front. From a distance, it is hard to gain a perspective of the size of the glacier - we are told its 50m high from the lake, but its not floating - its up to 100m deep below the waterline as well, and backs all the way up the mountain and beyond.
Do a walk around to see different angles of it, and get closer, taking millions of pictures as well, occassionally hearing the ice crack and a piece fall off into the water - though never when you are ready to take a picture!
Go to the official viewing walkways, where you are quite close, and it is truly amazing - its hard to grasp or describe the magnitude of the glacier, which glows blue/white in the sun.
The glacier occassionally dams the lake - causing a build up of water which eventually explodes the dam - it happened last year, and before that in 1988, and the pictures then must have been amazing.
There is one boat that goes towards the glacier, and looks tiny in comparison, and I go on board - it doesnt get that close - and I realise why - a collapse of the ice could do some real damage to the boat, which is not small, but just so tiny in comparison - it couldnt realy cope with 50m worth of ice collapsing on it!