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February 9th 2009
Published: February 14th 2009
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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.

Additional photos below
Photos: 37, Displayed: 23


Some fallen glacier in frontSome fallen glacier in front
Some fallen glacier in front

The blue is due to the fact that the ice is more compact so the light takes longer to get through
Gordon at the start before it got icyGordon at the start before it got icy
Gordon at the start before it got icy

could almost be a summer beack resort
Looking back over to where the glacier used to beLooking back over to where the glacier used to be
Looking back over to where the glacier used to be

The rock is not naturally yellow or smooth .... this effect is caused by the scraping of the ice over time

15th February 2009

kick ass!!!
Nice one people! Loving the pics... jealous as hell of course... but not really about being in the cold, will be in icy iceland soon enough :-) Have a fab time in Antarctica xx
19th February 2009

Brilliant - can't wait for the Antarctic version - mum
26th February 2009

wonderful blog
I must admit to envy and a distinct feeling of nostalgia, but this blogs takes me back to a wonderful time 4 years ago. I look forward to your impressions of Bolivia

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