Glaciers y Icebergs

El Calafate Travel Blog

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Today, I am up early for my Boat tour around Lago Argentina, I have time for breakfast and say goodbye to the two Israeli travellers "issss Good" was their catchphase for most of the trip from Bariloche.

We are dumped at the port, along with about 1000 other people and numerous tour buses, we have to queue for our park ticket (40 Argie Pesos) and then get on our catermaran. The first leg of the trip takes us up to Glacier Spegazzini, on the way we pass some icebergs, this was most unexpected, with the sun on them they are a most vivid shade of blue. They fall off as the glacier retreats and as there are only two advancing glaciers in the world there are more icebergs.

Spegazzini is the highest glacier in the park with heights of 80mts, it is also 1.

5km long, to the right is a hanging glacier, perched half way up the hill as it retreats from the lake shore. We are treated to an avalanche down the glacier toppling lose ice into the lake.

We then head for Glacier Upsala which is a massive glacier stretching more than 60km inland, with a 5km length where it enters the lake. All these glaciers contribute to Lago Argentina being the 3rd biggest lake in South America. Up close to the glacier there is a 1km depth of water beneath us and you are dwarfed by the scale of the glacier, icebergs all float in front of it. Up close our boat looks very puny and insignificant compared to these floating ice statues. we meander in and out of the icebergs in a photo frenzy trying to capture the sheer scale of it all, but knowing it's impossible.

Out third stop of the day was in Onelli Bay, we take a short walk through a forest to a Lagoon, fed by 3 seperate small glaciers and it's freezing as the wind comes straight off the ice field across the lake. There are mini icebergs washed up on the shore gradually melting and eroding on the beach. Some larger icebergs lurk further out but the prevailing wind wil eventually push them into the shore. Numerous bergs have been pushed into the far corner of the lagoon and the contrast aginst the tree line hopefully made for some good pictures.

Behind all the glaciers are towering peaks, wrapped in cloud, some snow capped some bare rising vertically from the back of the glaciers. This whole area is part of the Patagonian icefield the most important ice field outside the poles for the sheer amount of water they hold.

On our journey back we stop and circle more icebergs, before returning to town. I share a pizza with the St Bernard and a hound that refuses to budge froom behind my seat and turns his nose up at the pineapple topping he is offered. I return to the hostel worn out by the incredible scenery i've seen today.

Ricardo Crispio

Glaciered Out


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El Calafate
photo by: Vlindeke