The Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
So. It’s bloody freezing everywhere, isn’t it? Honestly, I’m usually loathe to touch on the subject of global warming-not even vaguely my area of expertise (still actively searching for that) but who knew “warming” would translate to the coldest winter ever?! My older son lives in NY, so I worry. He’s thin. Well, truth be told, my younger son lives in California and I worry. He’s tall. I’m my mother’s daughter-that’s my job.
Meanwhile, I’m finally, semi-partially-settled back into normalcy since returning from our family’s South American holiday. It was a wild ride. From 92 degrees with 110% humidity in Buenos Aires to strapping on crampons and glacier hiking in Patagonia, I felt like a contestant in “The Amazing Race”-without all the histrionics of course.
OK, there was the slight to medium-sized hissy fit I threw when my iPhone slid out of my pocket and down a deep crevasse on the glacier…
But who could blame me?! It was brand new…wa wa. I hadn’t bought a new phone in a really long time (I’m one of those “but what if a new one comes out right after I buy the new one?”) I didn’t get insurance because I never lose or break things, wa wa.
Let’s just say it took me several minutes to recover.
But back to Perito Moreno.
We stayed at a most charming hotel, “The Eolo” located on a 10,000 acre ranch aprox. 25 minutes outside of the small town of El Calafate. From there, we drove to Los Glaciares National Park and boarded a small ferry to a cove left of the glacier.
There are a few small structures where you may picnic sheltered from the wind and watch ice move…which it does at a rate I’m forgetting, but a lot faster than you’d think. Just in the short space of time we were there, we saw a major caving off the front of the glacier, a mighty cracking noise followed by a tremendous boom and then startling silence.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is over 19 miles long and almost a 100 sq. miles in total. The average height above water is 270 ft, with depths reaching 550 ft. Part of an ice field that is the 3rd largest source of the world’s fresh water, it’s also one of only 3 Patagonian glaciers that is actually growing. Experts aren’t quite sure why.
Hiking to the glacier is a startling reminder of how even the wreckage of Mother Nature can be starkly beautiful
Do you see those tiny black dots on the glacier? It’s the group of hikers ahead of us.
As the photos attest, it wasn’t the most ideal of weather conditions, but we did get lucky in that it wasn’t windy.
This was the last stop, where the guides helped you put on your crampons before climbing onto the glacier. There was also a bin full of soaking wet gloves in case you didn’t bring any. They didn’t mention the gloves were “left” & “right” Just saying :-(
And off we went…
Our fellow Amazing Race contestants
Some people just know how to pack.
It really wasn’t that scary, but once and awhile you had to jump over stuff like this and imagine what it might be like if you slipped.
This is the crevasse I passed through just before “The…INCIDENT” as my family likes to refer to it.
As the entire trip had been conceived and planned by my husband, I hadn’t any preconceived notions of what to expect. I just let the entire experience roll over me and I must say it was exhilarating.
Especially when towards the end, we crested this peak and what to my iPhone-less eyes did appear…
A COCKTAIL BAR!!!
Whiskey…with plenty of very fresh ice
Our guides divvying up our rewards
Seriously-I don’t even drink whiskey but Mama was so happy to have her nice brown drink.
I removed my mouldy second left glove, toasted Ernest Shackleton and all the courageous Antarctic explorers who had gone before me…
and thanked my lucky stars I was getting back onto a warm boat and not crawling into a dank seal-skin sleeping bag in a wind torn tent for the next year and a half.
And you know…whiskey isn’t really that bad
Stay warm, cozy and open to adventure.
For an icy blast from the past, click here