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Published: February 4th 2010
Hi it is Nitzan.
My mom and my brother wrote you about El Chalten and I am going to tell you about El Calafate
that is not far away from El Chalten.
We arrived to El Calafate at the afternoon. We found a room and then did some food shopping. It was New Year's Eve
and we wanted all to eat in a restaurant for new year's eve. When we looked for a restaurant and we discovered that the restaurants are too expensive for our budget or fully booked. Finally after looking in many restaurants, we found the cheapest restaurant that was still expensive. Anyway we had a good meal of meat, we all kissed at midnight and we also saw fireworks. I was excited.
The next morning, we woke up early and drove to the port to take a boat tour to two famous glaciers that are called Upsala & Spegazzini
. They are in a lake named Lago Argentino
, one of the biggest lakes of Argentina. The boat name was Quo Vadis, it was a huge catamaran, it had 3 floors in each floor there was a closed seating area and an open terrace. The boat can
handle something like 600 people, and it was pretty busy this day. “All aboard”
was announced and we left the port. While sailing, there were a few small glaciers floating on the water. At the first small one, all the people on the boat jumped out of their seats to take pictures of it, but that was only the beginning. When everybody went outside we noticed that it was freezing cold. After a while, we arrived to an ice barrier that blocked the way to Upsala. We could not see much of Upsala, but we could see the pieces of glaciers that broke from Upsala and were on the lake. The glaciers shapes were very interesting and amazing how it is made. There were arches, there were curves and all kind of shapes. The color was light blue and white. Some pieces were black on the top because of dirt. The blue color is because the glacier is made of ancient condensed snow and not from water that froze.
From there we continued to Spegazzini Glacier. We came very close to it. It was very big it looked like a giant wall of ice. We took many pictures and
for me it was very amazing to see it because in Israel we do not have glaciers especially because of the hot weather. There when we finished to see it, the people that worked on the boat they had a special tool to raise some small pieces of ice, so the people could take pictures holding the ice.
Then we had good news. because we did not see Upsala, the boat sailed to the Perito Moreno Glacier
. Perito Moreno is a name of a geographer that worked in discovering and mapping the area, he was the one that pushed for making the first national park in Argentina that is called Nahual Huapi, and in his honor they called the glacier. This is a very famous glacier because it breaks all the time. It also have a view point that people can walk to and not only sail. When we arrived there, we waited few minutes till BOOM
, a pretty big piece of ice broke down. The piece made waves so the boat rocked. Of course we did not manage to take pictures of the piece falling, as it happened too fast, but it was cool. This was the last
part of the boat trip.
While sailing back to the port, the captain stopped the boat, the guides of the boat shouted "look look" and we looked and did nto see anything, then he shouted - "Condor!" and we saw it, camoflaged on the rocks in front of the boat. A condor is a huge kind of hunting bird, similar to eagle. It is the biggest bird in South America.
After the boat trip ended, we drove to the view point to see Perito Moreno from another side, that we did not see with the boat. This time we waited 15 minutes and we saw only 2 little pieces of ice breaking. That means that what we saw in the boat was quite big compared to the others.
After the view point we drove back to El Calafate and for another hostel to sleep one more night, wake up early and go. When we woke up my dad wanted to make pancakes as there was a kitchen in the hostel. He sent Omer to bring the ingredients from the car. When Omer returned from the car, he noticed that he left the car keys inside the trunk
and the trunk was closed! This meant the car was locked and we did not have food nor could we go anywhere. After whole day of waiting while a locksmith was trying to open the car unsuccessfully, we broke the back window in order to open the car. After we opened the car, we drove to a small lagoon next to the town, there we saw some flamingos and nice birds and that's all, not too impressing. We left El Calafate on our way toward Torres Del Paine.
That night we slept in a very weird place. It was in a 6 houses town called Esperanza
. (which means 'hope'). We hopped there would be a camping there, but no camping. We had no choice but put the tent under a shade next to a deserted house at the edge of the village. I did not really want to sleep there, but again no choice - it was too late and it was getting dark. Nevertheless, nobody told us nothing, nobody even noticed we were there, and we had a good night sleep.
Until I will write again - goodbye, Nitzan
Photos of El Clafate, Glaciers
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