Glaciers - also in chocolate flavour
We decided to name our little car Koala Bear. For obvious reasons. For those who are short on logic, it is clearly because it is not Japanese and also not pink – obvious.
Koala was on a rough day out. Firstly, a bit of a trek to help us find our way out of town and then past a couple of lakes (notice how you get a bit jaded after a few days – oh, just another stunningly beautiful lake) and then on an off-road adventure. Koala, being a rental (sorry Koala, we can’t keep you) was able to go places where a normal 4x4 could not.
The 2 main lakes we passed were Gutierrez and Mascardi. Lago Mascardi is also called the 7 coloured lake as it changes colour depending on the time of year, weather etc. We drove around the lake quite a bit on the route and it was clear that there were a few different colours, from blue, to green to almost black.
This looks like a waterfall but...
Our route took us onto the off-road section about 35km out of town. At the entrance to the National Park, we were informed that the waterfall that we wanted to go and see was closed, so we would only be able to go and see the black glacier at Mount Tronador, which was 50km along the gravel roads. What the hell.
The road was beautiful, going along the edge of the lake and through the forest. The vegetation changed frequently and we often crossed rivers on little wooden bridges. For about 30km, after not having seen a single car, I was getting nervous that if we broke down we would never be found, but luckily when we stopped at one viewing point we found that there were some other idiots on the road too.
After 45km we got to Pampa Linda which is includes the information section, a small restaurant and a small hotel.
Sorry we spoilt the view
The information section was closed, so we just continued. About 5km further up the road we decided to walk the remainder of the route. We came over a rise and were amazed by seeing another rise in front of us. Then another. Anyway, we got to the lookout area for the glacier and got that real “wow” feeling. It is so different from the other glaciers we have seen in the last week. This is apparently black due to the large amount of volcanic ash that is included in the ground and gets carried along by the ice.
From there we went around to the base camp for most of the hikes in the mountain area. What struck us was the change in temperature. At the glacier in the sun it was about 12 degrees. At the base camp, as it was in shade, it was 3 degrees and there was frost on the ground.
Bloody tree huggers
From there we took a nice 25 minute walk up to a waterfall.
On the way back we stopped at Pampa Linda for a drink and then tried to continue home only to find that the road back only opens at 4. Luckily when we arrived it was 3:40 so not much time to wait. Very strange, but normally you have to queue to get into a place but not out. Different country – different rules.
We got back to the hotel, hungry and tired. I really did not think that a 85km trip (each way) would take an entire day.
On the way to supper we found the local German Club. Luckily did not stop in even if Anthony seemed to be keen.