El Calafate

El Calafate Travel Blog

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Perito Moreno Glacier

After another overnight bus trip we rolled-up in El Calafate, which would just about be the furthest south that we would be going (other than a stop-over for an hour at the wonderful Rio Gallegos bus station!).  El Calafate is the main town in Parque Nacional Los Glaciers (Glacier National Park) and also a gateway to El Chalten, where we would spend 2 nights exploring the great outdoors.

El Calafate is another curious town perched on the edge of a lake, although unlike Bariloche´s deep blue, the lake is a curious milky light blue.  This is because Lago Argentina is fed by a number of glaciers and the minerals collected from hundreds of years of rocks compacting against the ice before it eventually reaches the lake.

More of the glacier!
  Like Bariloche, it is also a town that has buildings that you wouldn´t associate with South America.

Our first trip to the glaciers was to see the Perito Moreno, which although isn´t the biggest glacier, it is probably the most well known one because it is more accessible than the more majestic Upsala, which can only be easily reached by boat.  It certainly was a sight to behold, a cliff of ice reaching up to 60 metres tall standing over the lake, creaking noisily as the millions of tonnes of compacted ice move invisibly towards the water.  Every now and again a cracking sound would preceded a huge piece of ice crashing into the lake, followed by a resounding splash and a huge waves.  It was a really astonishing sight.

Later that afternoon, we went treking across part of the glacier.

View from the glacier
  It was one of the best things we had done so far in South America, we had to wear crampons as we climbed across the huge ice-field and had to be careful not to slip-down any of the crevasses.  Neither of us asked how many tourists had accidents, but I´m sure that we were both thinking of it!   Come the end, we enjoyed a glass of whiskey with some freshly cut ice!

The next day we went on a cruise up to the Upsala Glacier, which is the biggest in the national park and probably the biggest outside of The Arctic and Antartica.  Both of us were tired after another early start and a long day before so we didn´t really enjoy it so much, we also weren´t able to get-off the boat for the two hour walk because the Upsala Glacier had calved the entire face and the icebergs made it too dangerous to get to the landing point.

 

 

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Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier
More of the glacier!
More of the glacier!
View from the glacier
View from the glacier
The first party of ice trekkers!
The first party of ice trekkers!
Erica trekking on the ice!
Erica trekking on the ice!
Conor flying over the glacier
Conor flying over the glacier
Cheers!  A glass of whiskey served…
Cheers! A glass of whiskey serve…
Nature reserve at El Calafate
Nature reserve at El Calafate
Strange Tree at Perito Moreno!
Strange Tree at Perito Moreno!
More from the Moreno!
More from the Moreno!
Perito Moreno
Perito Moreno
On the way to Upsalla Glacier
On the way to Upsalla Glacier
Another Glacier!
Another Glacier!
Another Glacier!
Another Glacier!
An iceberg on Lago Argentina
An iceberg on Lago Argentina
Lago Argentina
Lago Argentina
El Calafate
photo by: Vlindeke