El Calafate Travel Blog› entry 18 of 34 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.