Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 220: Perito Moreno

A short drive from El Calafate lies the Perito Moreno glacier. This impressive 50-70 meter high (~200 feet) wall of ice is one of few glaciers in the world that is not receding. There are three options for experiencing the glacier: an hour long boat trip near where the glacier meets the water, walking the extensive catwalks to see it from every angle, or go for a hike on the glacier itself. We opted for the cheapest option, hanging out on the catwalks watching patiently for large chunks of the ice to plummet into the frigid waters below.

We were forced to give up our vigil as the light mist of the morning grew in strength and we were sent retreating to the cafeteria for lunch and a game of cribbage. But before Craig could cement his victory the rain stopped; we ran back out to see how the weaker sections of the wall that we had been willing to detach from the glacier such that they could meet their melty fate. We named the areas we thought would be the most active (the point, the arch, lightning bolt, el mano, the crevice, etc.), they provided helpful landmarks when trying to quickly inform each other of an event. There were many false alarms where a small piece the size of an SUV would break off, but we where rewarded for our vigilance with a few stunning moments as massive towers crashed down as if from a woodsman's ax.

We caught a few on tape but you will have to wait for our South America: Part I video (and for us to have a better internet connection).

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