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Published: February 14th 2009
Day 3 of Ruta 40 was a short hop from El Chalten to El Calafate. El Calafate is where we catch our flight down to Ushuaia. Our day in El Chalten was not to be wasted and it was with some relief that, as dawn broke, for the first time in 3 days we we weren´t up before it! Our previous 2 starts had been 6.30 & 7am, so it was with some relief that our excursion to the Viedma Glacier left at 8am. By this stage we were used to the Agentinian schedule of adding 30 mins to a scheduled departure and managed to squeeze in a breakfast at the hostel in time for 8.30.
The Viedma Glacier
is in the Parc Nacional de Glaciers
, which is in both Chile and Argentina. The Viedma glacier is one of the largest glaciers in the park covering some 900 sq km and it is in retreat.......a retreat which apparently started a couple of thousand years ago.......now isn´t that an inconvenient truth! Our trip involved a boat ride to the glacier and a 2 hour hike on it. Seeing a glacier for the first time is really an amazing experience. We didnt
see this one calving (that experience is waiting for us when we see another glacier on our return from Antarctica) but walking on it and seeing the deep blue colour, chipping off bits of ice and sucking pure glacial water and finally, having Baileys on ice, courtesy of our guides & the glacier, was a worthwhile experience. Probably something we will have to repeat on Antactica in a few days time!
Well our trip down Ruta 40 ended in El Calafate, another 3 or so hours from El Chalten and this is where we are now recovering and getting ready for our flight to Ushuaia. Its amazing to think that 2 weeks ago we were in Mendoza and that we are now almost a month into our trip. To be fair this will probably be the last blog update for a little while.......mainly because internet connection in Antarctica is a little limited.
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