another fond memory i have of this amazing trip was getting the chance to drink pure fresh glacial water, and the funny story that came from trying to get to the amazing pure fresh glacial water!
i saw a guy and his mates doing it, by going on their hands and knees kind of like a 'push up' and just gently putting their face in the water. i saw that, and thought i would be cool, i will also try that. big fail.
so i get down, and my skinny weak arms gave way. i ended up falling flat on my face into the water. much to the amusement of the guys (and everyone else that saw! grr!) i got more then a sip of water, more like a took a bloody bath in it!
but yes, i did get to taste the water, and it was sooo refreshing and pure and all things good. its amazing how 'real water' tastes like. such a shame we dont get to do it more often, unless we really are in remote wild areas.
Glaciar - Glacier
Un glaciar es un río de hielo. Se forma por la acumulación de nieve en las cuencas superiores (ventisqueros); la nieve se transforma en gránulos que eliminan los vacíos de aire, congelando el agua, uniendo los cristales y comprimiendo la nieve nueva hasta formar una masa opaca (neviza). La neviza se compacta aún más constituyendo el hielo esponjoso que da origen al glaciar, de masa cristalina y azulada
A glacier is a river of ice. It's formed by the accumulation of snow on the superior basins (ventisqueros); snow turns into pellets eliminating air voids and freezing the water. Then crystals join and the new snow is compressed until an opaque mass (light snow) is formed. The light snow is compressed even more till it becomes soft ice which gives origin to the glacier ice, a crystal type and of bluish mass.
Oh yes, that´s quite "off the beaten path"... =D
This small town is known for its amazing mountain called Cerro Fitz Roy... it´s a paradise for trekkers, and it doesn´t take much time to see all attractions: 2 to 3 days is already sufficient. I get sad just to think about Chalten....i spent two days there, and it rained, and rained, and rained....rrrrrrr! We went trekking, but we didn´t see a thing, because of the fog. All I can say is that, for some seconds, i saw a huuuuuge shadow appearing amongst the clouds...it was Fitz Roy...but then it was covered in the fog again. =(
So, one good advice is: if you are thinking about going to Chalten, do not miss it, but try to inform yourself about the weather before...if it has been raining for a long time, then you´d better stay in Calafate and wait for it to get better! In a bad weather, the place is not worth visiting because you can´t see a thing...and that´s very very sad....
Visiting the glaciers
I took one of the tours from the local youth hostel, which also included a hike and a longer route to get to the glaciers. The clued-up local tour guide gave us excellent information about the fauna, flora and geology of the area.
Perito Moreno Glacier
That place is really an obligation. Located on Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, aprox. one hour from El Calafate (70-80 km), the glacier is considered the biggest in the world. It?s part of a huge ice camp, called Campo de Hielo Sur, between Chile and Argentina, that has more or less the size of Buenos Aires... The wall of ice in Perito Moreno is 60m high!! You can see the ice breaking and falling on the lake....it?s really amazing.
The weather in El Calafate is usually drier...but in Perito Moreno is umid and cold, so you?d better not forget your coat, and raincoat as well... Other good thing to take with you are sunglasses, even if it?s a cloudy day, the weakest light is reflected by the ice wall, and looking at the glacier can get uncomfortable.
The excursions to the glacier usually last a day, there are not many options for lunch there besides a restaurant, which has, of course, higher prices than those in El Calafate.... One good idea is to bring the lunch with you...
The entrance ticket to the park costs 20 pesos (6 dolars). A trip by boat in Canal de los Tempanos to get a little bit nearer costs 20 pesos as well.
:: To check some more pictures and info on Perito Moreno, take a look at the General tips!! :: = '.' =