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Los Glaciares National Park – Argentina

November 25 to November 27, 2011

El Calafate in Patagonia, Argentina is the gateway to the Los Glaciares National Park. The town itself is quite cute with plenty of eateries, hotels and souvenirs. But people don’t come here for the town. They come here for the glaciers – the massive flows of compressed snow that make their way from the Andes to Lago Argentino.

Glacier Perito Moreno

 

 

The main attraction is the Perito Merino Glacier. Its ice peaks tower 60 metres above the lake, dwarfing the tourist boats.  It is 5km wide at its widest point and is 35 kms long. It’s massive and it is beautiful.

You can get to the glacier by sea and by land. We jump on the bike and head out to the national park. Leaving the town the weather closes in and it’s cold and bleak.

 

 

 

Icebergs

 

We forget about the weather when we round a corner and see icebergs floating in the lake. The ‘wow’ factor is high.   We round another corner and there is a sign warning us of a view point – the view point of surprises. The surprise is our first glance at the glacier. Words are inadequate to describe the majesty of the Perito Merino Glacier.

 

 

 

Ice calving from the glacier

 

 

Standing on the paths overlooking the south face of the glacier you can hear it crack, deep inside. Periodically bits of the glacier fall into the lake and float off. We are lucky and see two ‘ice calvings’, as they are called. The cracking sound is like a massive clap of thunder and then the ice crashes to the water.

 

 

 

 

We can’t get enough of the glacier so we take a boat trip onto the lake to see Merino from the water and visit three other massive glaciers.  While Merino continues to grow the other glaciers are receding, slowly but surely up the mountain face.

More icebergs

 

 

Our boat cruises past icebergs. Small blocks of ice bob past as we head to Upsala Glacier. We can’t get too close. There is an ice arc blocking our way. The icebergs are massive and magnificent. The blue hue is actually an optical illusion. The icebergs and glaciers absorb all colours of the spectrum except blue.

 

 

 

 

Glacier Spegazzini

 

 

Next stop is the smaller O’Neill glacier but it was just a taste of what was to come– the magnificent Spegazzini glacier. You can see where smaller glaciers join to make the gobsmacking glacier. The boat turns giving everyone on board the chance to absorb the brilliance of the natural beauty and get some good photos.  We do need to stand firm to make sure we don’t lose our spot on the rail. But the chill in the air entices us back inside.

 

 

 

 

We make friends with Steve a fellow biker & Gail from the US. He started chatting when he saw Brian and I wearing our MotoGP beanies! Two hours later we arrive at the base of the north side of the Merino Glacier. We’ll let the photos tell the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 comments on “Los Glaciares National Park – Argentina

  1. Glen and Simone Jacob on said:

    Hi guys, great to see your trip is off to a flying start.

    I am really enjoying the story and the photos and love the tit-bits of trivia thrown in.

    Just out of interest, how is it you are managing to submit regular blogs? Are you using internet cafes or your own equipment?

    Simone (and Glen) Jacob

  2. 3 Italian guys on said:

    Hello Shirley and Brian, do you remember about us? we have met you at Perito Moreno and then at the restourant in El Calafate. enjoy the journey !!!

  3. How Majestic do those Glaciers look,the New Zealand ones seem to pale into insignifiance.
    I read your book on your “ADVENTURES” from London to Melbourne, I was so envious of you both then & still am. You both are sure living the dream. Good Luck on going to Antartica, keep warm.I’m waiting with anticipation for the next book. Safe Travels. Regards Gail

  4. Helen Loucas on said:

    Hello Shirley and Brian, I have been following your travels on ABC Local 774 and on this web site. I have been especially interested in your travels in Argentina as I was there in April this year.

    Hearing you talk about Cerro Fitzroy has me feeling very emotional as it was the highligh of my trip walking through the national park with all the amazing autumn colours.

    The Perito Merino Glacier was absolutely beautiful with the amazibng “blueness” and the constant cracking noises. It is truely a a country of awesome natural wonders.

    Take care and I follow your travels with great interest.

    regards
    Helen

  5. Wendy Lockhart on said:

    Hey Shirl and Brian

    Following your adventures with admiration and envy. Keep safe and savour every wonderful moment.

    How beautiful it all looks – plenty of ice for that gin and tonic, Shirl!

    Love from
    Wendy

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