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Published: January 30th 2019
We went to bed with the curtains open to take advantage of the view of the sun setting and rising over the lake. The trouble is the sun rises so early, it tricks you into getting up too soon and at 6.30 I go for a run. I planned to run along the lake, but at the end of the road are wild dogs. So I make do with jogging up and down the (rather steep) road by the hotel.
After breakfast we set off for Perito Moreno Glacier. This 35 km long, 4 km wide glacier ends at Lago Argentino where you can observe it from boardwalks along the shore.
The first part of the drive is stunning, but pretty soon the cloud descends and it starts to rain. By the time we reach the park it’s pouring down. I can certainly see why the Welsh felt such an affinity for Patagonia.
We stop at a viewpoint for our first glimpse of the glacier. It’s spectacular in a barely-visible-through-the-cloud sort of way.
We reach the car park at the start of the boardwalks. Nobody moves. After sitting in the car a while waiting out the rain,
we admit it’s not going to stop, don waterproofs and set off.
My guide book says there are 4km if boardwalks. It’s omitted to mention the steps. By the time we reach the end we have climbed over 1100 steps.
We walk to the glacier along the Sendero de la Costa; a mile long boardwalk approaching the glacier along the lakeside. It’s an incredible sight – the huge wall of ice coming to an abrupt end. Every now and then, with a huge roar, a chunk breaks off and crashes into the water.
One of the benefits of the rain is that the boardwalks are deserted, so no jostling for position for a good viewpoint. Most of the tour groups are sheltering in the gift shop wearing expensive yellow ponchos they’ve just purchased for no apparent reason, as it’s not raining inside.
We follow the series of boardwalks and viewing platforms around the base of the glacier, admiring it from every angle, then I take the shuttle back to car park (the old man insists on walking) and we drive the 70 km back to our hotel. Once we exit the park, the rain stops and
the sun comes out (of course).
In the evening, time for one last wander round the souvenir shops in town followed by dinner of empanadas, chips in garlic butter (because frying potatoes just doesn’t add enough fat) and Patagonian beer at a restaurant overlooking the lake. It’s a pleasant but uneventful dinner until a middle aged couple come in with their teddy bears, seat them at the table and order dinner for 4.
We drive back round the lake, stopping for a last time to view the flamingos then then return to the hotel to pack. In the the morning we move on to El Chalten.
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