Monday, January 14, 2008

Argentina: Los Glaciares National Park

Leaving Tierra del Fuego we set our sights on glaciers of every size, type, and form. First stop, after a series of endless, but amazingly well-synched, buses was El Chalten. A quirky mountain town slapped together at the foot of the northern portion of Los Glaciares Parque Nacional, El Chalten charmed us with its dirt roads and ambitious sidewalks. It´s obvious that change is coming quickly to this outdoorsy Mecca under the shadow of Fitz Roy Mountain. We´re just glad we got there before it got too slick, but after a welcoming brewpub had set up shop. It boasts rugged beauty that inspires local bus drivers to stop for sunset pictures when the weather is clear. We spent two days hoofing it past milky glacial rivers to gaze in awe at the beauty of Fitz Roy mountain and its glacier. Truly spectacular. We stayed in a tin-roof hostel of plyboard and loose screws that howled with the wind, but it was blessedly warm, which could not be said of the night air. After each day´s hike, we had no choice but to hole up in our room with wine and cheese to stay warm. No choice.

We next made a break for El Calafate, and the Perito Moreno Glacier in the southern end of the park. With a rainbow arching over it, it was just as gorgeous as all the postcards promised. The best part is listening to it creak and groan and shudder, while everyone eagerly waits to see a big iceberg calve off. It´s like watching history in the making. We signed up for the ridiculously titled glacier-trek called BIG ICE, which can only be said in a deep voice while flexing your muscles. But it truly was incredible. Strapping on crampons, we ventured off into the middle of the Perito Moreno glacier to explore the otherwordly lakes, rivers and sinkholes. Everything is this surreal mouthwash blue color that makes it look like we doctored our photos. Best yet, at the trip end they poured whiskey over glacier ice to toast the fact that we didn´t lose anyone in a crevasse. Cheers!

1 comment:

Andreea Vaas said...

These are the pics i liked a lot, especially that taken from above where your can see all the icy layout