Only a short blog this time.
We arrived in Calafate, from El Chaltén, at 10am. The sun was out but boy was it windy!
Our hostel was new, and probably the best we’ve stayed in. We also got breakfast included 😀.
The town was built for tourists. The shops were even more expensive and so was the transportation. Chile is much cheaper. We love both countries though. We went to view the lake but trying to walk to it was horrendous. We hard to fight the gale force winds. It was pushing us back along the walkway. The fields to the side were flooded. The firemen were trying to drain them as they were about 4ft under water.
Back at the hostel we decided to have a lazy few hours. It takes its toll on you walking over 10,000 steps everyday for 8 weeks.
I went into the kitchen and could hear Kev chatting to someone and from what I overheard he was making plans for the following day with a random couple. Thanks for conferring with me first Kev. 🙁
It turns out he’d arranged to go to the glacier the following day in a private taxi with a German guy and a Chilean lady. She didn’t speak German or English he didn’t speak Spanish. They were in a relationship and used Google translate to converse! This was gonna be a great day 😂.
We were getting sick of eating the same crap so I bought some mince and made homemade meatballs and spaghetti for a change. Yum. As we were just finishing off 2 guys walked in that we’d met on the boat to Puerto Raul Marin…..we’d also chatted with them in El Chaltén. It seems we’re doing the same journey down south. Shahnoor and Jordan were great company. That’s the one good thing about staying in hostels. You can swap ideas, recommend hostels, transportation issues etc. You don’t get that in an airbnb. We’d picked up some good recommendations so far re hostels and a Belgium guy gave us car hire details. Perfect.
The only reason we came to Calafate was to see the Perito Moreno Glacier. It’s huge! It stands at 70 meters above water level and 170 meters BELOW water. It’s 5km wide. It is just slightly larger than the city of Buenos Aires, covering 98 square miles 😲. It is part of the Southern Patagonian Ice field, which is 230 miles long, with an average width of 21.7 miles. It contains 48 major glaciers and more than 100 minor ones! It is the 3rd largest Ice field on our planet, after Antarctica and Greenland. Impressive eh?
Glaciers have two important roles, with number one being they are a climate regulator (they keep our planet cool by reflecting back 45% to 85% of the sunlight. The second factor is they are an important freshwater reservoir (only 3% of all water on the planet is fresh!) I hope you all feel educated now 😂.
It had been predicting on the news that it was going to crack whilst we were here. It cracks and bits break off every day, although it is still growing. This one was supposed to be huge though.
We had an early start to get to the glacier before the tourist buses got there. It was wet, cold and windy. We have been lucky with weather until today. I don’t think the weather spoilt the view though. Inside the crevices were a deep blue. It was a spectacular sight. We walked around it and we also got the boat so we could get close to it.
The gap in the iceberg below was joined together yesterday!
What we didn’t realise was that the Glacier had already broken the day before we arrived! This is nothing new. Every year this happens. The glacier us continually growing and it builds an ice bridge between the land and huge surface of the glacier. Tourists flock to hopefully catch sight of the bridge breaking but unfortunately it happened in the dead if night with no witnesses. The photo below is from last year when part of the “bridge” broke off.
We managed to witness a small chunk falling off whilst there but nothing major.
When it broke this time, it caused huge floods. There was a tree that stood over 25ft high and the day it broke, this tree was submerged in water!! This was what had caused the flooding around the lake that we’d witnessed.
The boat that we were supposed to be going on had flooded also so we had to find another. Luckily our taxi driver was amazing and sorted everything out for us.
Our new companions were OK but so unorganised and he wanted to know everything about everything. We’ve decided, but already knew it, we’re better on our own. Travelling with other people, for however long, just doesn’t work for us. Everyone has different agendas and when you have to please other people, it’s hard. You can only travel with people who are like minded……and don’t mind Kev’s sarcasm 😉.
Tomorrow we leave Argentina and make our way back to Chile for the last time on this trip.
We are hoping to be able to see some more breathtaking sights along the way, and hope you can join us. Pack your thermals though, it’s getting a bit nippy now 😨.