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Published: January 24th 2010
Perito Moreno Glacier
no its not taken with some funny fish eye lens - it really looks like this.
After 7 days of riding on gravel we have two 'rest' days in El Calafate. However, this is the gateway to Glaciers National Park - hence, sitting relaxing is not an option. So we climb back on the bike to go and get up close to the Perito Moreno glacier. And we really did get close, last time I was here it was way back across the other side of the lake. This time its right up against the near shore, actually making contact down below us. Its late in the day so the low sunlight is glancing off the icy peaks make it glow blue. We sit watching patiently and quietly (all the big tourist buses have gone), only its not quiet as the glacier is constantly creaking and groaning, and then suddenly there will be a loud crack echoing round as an enormous lump of ice falls into the lake. You could sit there for ages, mesmerised by the glacier. There are loads of glaciers round here reaching down form the Southern Patagonian Icecap so Edwin is packed off on a days boat trip on Lago Argentino (the largest lake in Argentina) to see 4 or 5 different glaciers
Perito Moreno Glacier
that large chunk in the middle is in the process of falling off.
- his comment “its a lot of ice to be outside of the polar regions” - not surprising as the Southern Patagonian Icecap is the largest body of ice outside of the poles.
We've been in Argentina for a whole 4 days now so it time to head back to Chile. But there is logic, we are heading to Torres del Paine National Park. We are still on Ruta 40 but now its tarmac so to make it more challenging we cut cross country on a gravel road to the tiny, isolated border post of “Don Guillermo”. Its across more barren plains with flamingos on blue lakes. 50Km or so into Chile in the middle of nowhere stands a beautiful wooden house - Tres Pasos, we take over the whole house and make ourselves at home lounging around the log burner playing cards, reading etc.. Dinner is another lamb asado - its the most wonderful, succulent, tasty lamb ever.
We spend a whole day riding round Torres del Paine - its spectacular scenery. You approach it from a distance (on a gravel road) and it gets closer and closer until you feel like you are right inside the
glaciers on Lago Argentino
its enormous - to get a sense of scale there's a boat in there. Can you spot it?
massif, riding right through it. The lakes are deep, deep blue or bright green. The peaks are jagged and rugged, some look like great castles in the sky where wizards and dragons should live. The guanaco are used to tourists and just look at you nonchalantly then carry on grazing - one even gives birth right next to the information centre. The foxes stand and pose for a few seconds before trotting off, totally un-phased by your presence. Even with tourist buses here the place is big enough to find your own little spot to sit and contemplate. At Lago Grey another glacier reaches down to the lake and ice bergs float serenely in the lake their jagged edges mirroring the mountain peaks above. Its a pleasure to be here soaking up the sights and difficult to turn away and leave but we must and continue south to Tierra del Fuego.
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