Mini Trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier
El Calafate Travel Blog› entry 4 of 72 › view all entries
So on to our first real adventure of the trip • Mini Trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier.
We managed to get up at a reasonable hour for a change (7:30) in order to get up for breakfast and ready for the bus to pick us up for the trip there.
Breakfast was a nice surprise, homemade apple tart and toast from homemade bread. With Calafate jam. Calafate is apparently a small berry similar to blueberry. Alejandro again, ever the host, made us some tea for the trip to put in our flask.
We were picked up at 8:30 and the sun was starting to rise.
The intermediate part is strange. There are the odd trees with no structure and branches growing out at random angles. Being Autumn, the leaves are all in different stages of decay and very pretty. All the shades from green through yellow, red and brown. The forest is only very close to the glacier.
You also get to see a lot more of Lago Argentino.
We arrived at the stop and got onto a boat to take us on a short trip across the Rico branch of the lake to the foot of the glacier. It is magnificent. All I could think was: “So much ice, so little vodka”.
From there a short hike to the edge and then a lecture on how glaciers form, the status of the Perito Moreno Glacier (stable) and some stats (3rd biggest ice field in the world after Antarctica and Greenland) and how to walk with crampons (feet apart to avoid getting tangled up). Once kitted up with the crampons it was time to head onto the ice. Quite a challenge to get used to, and trust, that you won’t just slide off down the ice.
The guides were really good and looked after us.
We trekked around on the ice for about 2 hours before heading back for our packed lunches. The glacier is seriously impressive. The colours, size and scale are nothing short of phenomenal. The face of the glacier is about
We were really nervous that we were going to freeze on the glacier. Especially after we got out of the bus for some photos and the wind was howling and we both looked at each other and saw the other people in near-arctic gear and thought we may have made an underestimation. Luckily, once we were on the glacier it was actually quite warm. We were so lucky, we had perfect weather. The sun was out for most of the day and there turned out to be little wind. Most of the time I was not even wearing a beanie.
The end of the trek was great.
Speaking of vices, Kat was not so impressed to have no smoking at all on the glacier side of the boat trip, and only allowed in certain areas in the national park.
Then back via boat and up to the viewing points. This provided a view from across the lake onto the top of the glacier and gives an idea of the extent of the glacier. Lots of steps gave us a welcome warm up for the fitness required for later in the trip.
We ended up getting back into town after 7, so it had been quite a long day and we just grabbed a quick bite at a place called Ricks.
This experience has pushed me to try and extend my Latin American Spanish (or Castellano as they prefer) a bit further (than the current dos cerveza por favor) in the expectation that we are going to smaller places than this. Have now learnt vino tinto (red wine, as if you couldn’t work that out), carne libre (free range beef), recomendado (as in, what wine would you recommend?), cordero (lamb). So far, so good. Got to love the Latin American phrasebook which Kat got as a present too. It has useful phrases like:
· Con Calma! • Easy tiger
· Tu ego esta esta fuera de control • your ego is out of control.
· Andate a la mierda! • Piss off!
Easy to see how you would need these phrases.
From there a nice walk back in the dark. Remember we are 10 minutes from the centre in a town where you walk across it in