What a day in Southern Patagonia. We all had breakfast at 6 AM and rushed to board the bus at 6:30 AM. Don’t forget, today is glacier day. We drove for about an hour an entered a national park named “Los Glaciers National Park”. In order to gain entrance to the park, you do not just show up and buy a ticket. The Argentinian Government monitors the amount of daily visitors. Our local guide had to make our reservations four months in advance. We went down to a lake front and boarded a small boat. I did not understand why, but when we turned a bend on the lake, I found out why. There facing me was “Glacier Perito Moreno”. The glacier is named after the explorer who named Mt. Fitz Roy in 1877. I have seen many interesting places in my life, but this glacier is near the top of the list. How was the glacier formed and is it dying like most of the other glaciers in the world? The glacier moves 2 millimeters a day and we constantly heard large booms as small pieces fell off into the lake. The glacier extends over to Western Chile and is three to four times larger in Chile. What happens is that water is swept through the Andes from the Pacific Ocean and as the water travels over the Andes it changes to ice and eventually glacier ice. As the pieces fall into the lake, on the Argentinian side, more is being added on the Chilean side. In this way the glacier has remanded approximately the same size for over the last two hundred years. Needless to say, if our world temperature keeps on rising, then the water from the Pacific will not convert to ice and the glacier will eventually get smaller and start to die. That has not happened yet with this glacier. It is still alive and well. A glacier is like a living creature and very important to our planets survival. Olivia and myself saw Franz Josef Glacier, located on the south island of New Zealand. That glacier is dying and almost not visible unless you hike up to it. Not the case with this glacier. A true monument to nature and its beauty. We all hiked up to the glaciers base camp. Most of the group had crampons attached to their shoes for their walk on the glacier. As I told everyone yesterday, I was not going to do the hike because of my pulled calf muscle and want to fully enjoy Antartica. Andy decided to keep me company, so he and Cecilia, our local guide, joined me in taking pictures as we walked around. I had a great time with them and told them this special time with them, even though was only for a few hours, was priceless. We walked around for about 90 minutes and took some amazing pictures of this wonder. How fortunate I am to witness this monument to nature in all its glory and majesty. I would love my wife, children, grandchildren and all my subscribers to see this and wonder in its beauty. I could not stop taking pictures. As the light changed, it created different parts of the glacier to be different colors. We finally arrived back at a permanent day rest structure and had our bagged lunch.
By that time the group returned from their ice hike. They all told me I was very wise in taking this one off. I was so happy with what I had done. Taking pictures, from a reasonable distance, of this amazing scene.
After lunch will all boarded the boat for our thirty minute ride back to the front of the lake and where our bus was parked. I did not know, at this time, that there was one more surprise left.
We drove for about fifteen minutes to another section of the glacier. This was at the front or foot of the glacier. This glacier might be the only one in the world where you can see the foot without getting on a boat. The government had built walkways and ramps leading down to the foot of the glacier. When I first saw this sight, it was hard for me to imagine what I was seeing. The vastness and beauty cannot be described. I constantly walked up and down the ramps clicking and clicking. I wound up with over 1000 images of Glacier Perito Moreno. My images cannot do the glacier justice. Everyone must see this wonder. I told both Andy and Marc that I would like to come back here with a beach chair and just sit and watch the sun come over the glacier changing its colors and textures.
Has anyone done their homework? Has anyone gone to you tube and looked up the Drake Passage? Has anyone seen what faces me in three days? All to seek the perfect picture. Maybe I will find it in Antartica. I almost found it in Mongolia and the Glacier Perito Moreno. Will always keep looking.
Tomorrow we leave for Ushuaia. This is the town where the boats depart for Antartica. Will be spending two nights there and leaving on December 4th. I will have more to say over the next two days on Antartica. I need to rest and mope and I will. Will walk around Ushuaia and take in the culture and scenery and then get ready for Antartica. Am starting to wonder what I will see at the bottom of the world. If Glacier Perito Moreno left such an impression on me, what can I expect in Antartica. Between the wildlife, Icebergs and Glaciers, my hands may fall off.
Hope everyone is enjoying my blog and adventure