June 21, 2024

Patagonia – Jan 3, 2015 – Explore Los Glaciares National Park

– from the Itinerary:

Today, we embark upon a full-day excursion to Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Los Glaciares is the second-largest national park in Argentina, and comprises more than 1,700 square miles and nearly 50 large glaciers. These glaciers are fed by a giant ice cap (the largest continental ice extension after Antarctica) that begins in the Andes and occupies well over a third of the park’s total area.

During our explorations, we’ll discover the wondrous Perito Moreno Glacier, a pristine marvel towering nearly 200 feet above Lake Argentino. It is named after Francisco Moreno, a 19th-century Argentinean explorer who helped resolve his country’s border dispute with neighboring Chile. The constant, cyclical movement of Perito Moreno’s ice mass often forces the glacier to “calve” — an iceberg “birthing” process in which smaller chunks of ice fracture and break off from the glacier to thunderous  accompaniment.  This spectacle can occur at any time, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that we’ll be lucky enough to witness an iceberg calve as we enjoy a boxed lunch in front of Perito Moreno.

However, ice isn’t the only thing we’ll see today. Just east of the ice fields are areas of southern beech forest and windswept steppe. As we journey overland to and from Perito Moreno, we’ll pass through scenic forests filled with lively birds.

We got to see another glacier from a different perspective – from land, rather than from a boat. We hiked for an hour along a platform built along the shore with great views of the glacier. We heard the sounds of “calving”, but were often too late to see the ice break off. Sound does not travel as fast as light, so by the time you here the crack/boom, the event has already happened

We completed the hike ahead of many in our group, so we bought a bottle of wine to share with Jodie and Bill, whom we had walked with most of the time.

Back in El Calafate, free time and dinner was spent with Bill and Jodie again. While Pat and Jodie shopped, Bill and I just wandered around. At dinner we shared another bottle of wine.

As you can see, we drank a lot of Malbec today and on the trip overall. Malbec is an Argentinean wine, usually from Mendoza in Northern  Agentina. Everyone we tried we liked.