Thursday, 31 January 2008

El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier

Photo: Mount Fitzroy, Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

It was time to start making my way back to Buenos Aires. I'd arranged for a pickup at the town of Cerro Castillo which was nothing more than 2 cafeterias on the side of the road. As I got dropped off, there was a gale force wind blowing dust everywhere. My onward minibus transport arrived and I was surprised to discover the building beside the cafe was actually the border / customs control for both the Argentinian and Chilean immigration. No sniffer dogs, no bag check, just a quick stamp in the passport and back on the minivan. About an hour and a half later the minivan connected with a larger bus to bring us to El Calafate.

I'd been here a few years earlier and it's most famous attractions are the Perito Moreno Glacier and nearby Mount Fitzroy. The glacier is visually stunning, but because the glacier is slowing advancing, the huge chunks of ice, the size of a ten story building, that break off the glacier about every 30 minutes will leave you gob smacked. Quite a few people have died from being hit by the falling blocks (see warning in photo below) so don't get too close! You can also arrange to trek on the glacier for 2 hours and hopefully you'll be trekking far from the chunks that are breaking off into the ocean.

Photos: Danger! Don't get too close to the falling blocks of ice!

Photo: Perito Moreno Glacier

I spent the night in El Calafate and the next morning I left the cool air and ice behind. I took a 3 hour flight back to Buenos Aires where it was 35 Celcius and 90% humidity.


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