Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another glacier?

Our day at El Calafate started with an alternative tour bus tour. This bus takes the rough back roads to the Perito Moreno glacier, to try to avoid the heavy tourist routes.

It stopped at a farm that used to raise sheep but now lives on tourism with a wide range of animals roaming about including sheep, lambs, goats, a guanaco, a fox and some cats. The fox was so used to tourists he wandered about hamming it up even chasing his own tail at one stage.

Then we got to a spot where the bus dropped us off and we walked through the bush for 40 minutes to the catamaran that took us to the glacier. This is one of only 3 glaciers slightly growing of the 48 in the Patagonian area (80 % of all glaciers are shrinking). As such it is constantly being pushed from behind so that bits fall off regularly. During our time we saw 3 huge chunks crack with a sound like thunder. Lunch came next at a specially constructed maze of steps and platforms, these platforms were huge allowing you to view the glacier from different spots and heights. We spent most of the afternoon staring at this massive glacier with a surface area bigger than Buenos Aires city and 180 metres deep.

At night after gorging on Patagonian lamb at a barbeque restaurant we went to a free concert that came complete with market stalls in the little town that doesn't seem to sleep. We did though as we had a 5:15 wake up to get to our walking on the glacier excursion the next day.

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