Note: All pictures below were taken using an iphone. To see photographs captured by my Fujifilm XT2 please see the Patagonia gallery.
We arrived the previous day at El Calafate airport, which was an amazing experience by itself. A little airport located in the middle of mountains, high winds and serious appreciation once we landed!
We rented a car here and drove to our Airbnb. Once we took a quick shower we had the entire day to see El Calafate. We spend the evening at Estacion El Galpon which is a working ranch. We saw dogs herding sheep, sheep shearing, gorgeous horse, birds by the shorelines of Lago Argentina and enjoyed a Patagonia roast lamb dinner.
Next day was an early start. We drove off to the Los Glaciares National park at 6.30am and reached the park just before 8am. Chilly rain soaked my head as I paid for the park entrance and hopped back into the car. We then drove to "Bajo de las Sombras" port which was 24 kms from the entrance. The first view of the glacier is just mind boggling, you expect it but when you finally see the view, the magnificence finally dawns on you. A halo of infinite peace in the wilderness.
It was frigid conditions, put on my jacket, ski mask, gloves and still felt chilly. The Perito Moreno glacier hike does not allow children, so Nayeem skipped it and did the boat ride at 10am with Nadia. And I went on the 5 hour expedition alone. So began my adventure at 9am from the pier located at “Bajo de las Sombras” port, about 6 km before the glacier Balconies inside the Perino Moreno Glacier National Park.
After a 20 min boat ride, I disembarked on the opposite shore. Here the mountain guides met us and checked us in. We walked through the forest and climbed up to get to the edge of the glacier. The guides gave us some background on the glacier formations. The glacier is fed by the patagonia ice field in the Andes. The glacier is unusual in that it is advancing, while most glaciers worldwide are retreating. Here is a link if you are interested in learning more.
Once at the glacier edge, the guides put on crampons on our shoes and explained how we should use them. The crampons have sharp edges which help get a grip so it's easier to walk on ice. On the downside they are heavy, so they kind of make the legs tougher to move.
We then walked a 1.5 hour circuit that allowed us to see the fascinating landscape of the glaciers: streams, small lagoons, gullies, crevasses and plenty of ice formations of the most incredible blues.
Once at the top, our guides pulled out some whiskey and added some ice from the glacier into our drinks :-)
Mother nature is the real goddess.
Breathing in the cold air, walking on the ice, in a group of 50 strangers I never felt so alive, awestruck and thankful to nature.
Thank you for reading!