Tuesday, January 18, 2011
At a glacial pace
Headed out of Punta Arenas towards the Chile-Argentine border on our way to El Calafate, the town closest to the Perito Moreno glacier, a 60m high, 5 km wide, wonderland of ice.
We drove 4 hours to the border, only to be deemed unworthy to enter Argentina (tellingly, Chile was well-happy to be shot of us), so we retraced our steps and after a 600 km detour to a different border crossing, managed to trundle back into Argentina. We spent some quality time on the roadside while Simon, the mechanic on the trip, fiddled with the truck when it failed to restart…twice. Simon spotted a local locking up what looked like a truck yard, littered with truck trailers, demountables and shipping containers. He and Roger, our fearless leader, managed to talk our way into camping there the night. It was windy and tent peg hell so Martin scouted out a trailer and we camped like gypsies for the night.
Another several hour drive and we made El Calafate, a shiny tourist town that serves as the main base for people heading to Perito Moreno glacier. We camped the night under the stars (when the sun eventually dropped) then, the next day, spend 3 hours marvelling at the glacier, which Andy, our driver, insisted on calling “the iceberg“. It is massive, gorgeous and awesome…. and everyone spent their morning hoping for it’s destruction in a dramatic, crashing fall into the lake below. We saw several episodes of ice falling, sending waves rolling out to the icebergs bobbing at the base of the glacier. It was spectacular.
Posted by Marese and Martin at 1:42 PM