All Fun And Play, All The Time

Probably the trickiest part about maintaining a travel blog is that when you’re out having fun and doing things, your’e not at the computer blogging about those things. And later on when you’re back home because it’s late or the weather is bad, you’re usually too tired to write about all the fun things you did that day. Yes, I’m really moaning about having too much fun and too little time to tell you all about it. But tonight you’re in luck – it’s not too late yet and the weather is grim so we’re staying in to tell you all about our latest adventures.

On Monday we spent the day at the Perito Moreno glacier, one of many here in southern Patagonia but what’s special about the Perito Moreno is that it’s a stable glacier, meaning it’s not shrinking. It’s not growing either but it does do a memorable trick where every once in a while the tip of the glacier grows a few metres to meet the shore of the peninsula in front of it. This dams the lake on the other side and causes the water to rise, sometimes up to 24 metres. When the pressure on the dam becomes too big, the connection ruptures in a spectacular crash, levelling the water out again. There’s no schedule for this event, it can happen once a year or once a decade. The only thing they know is that when the water first starts to break through the connection (as water is want to do, it begins tunneling its way through the bottom of the ice) it takes about 24 hours for the rupture to happen. So if you’re ever visiting while the glacier has connected to the peninsula and you see a little cave forming at the bottom of the connection, do stay for another day for what will sure be a spectacular show.

We didn’t get so lucky since the glacier isn’t anywhere near connecting to the peninsula these days. But we did see some pretty big chunks fall off and even small, tennisball size ice clumps create a satisfying WOOMP when they hit the water. How can it be stable when it’s falling apart at the seams like that? Because the glacier moves forward up to 1.5 metres per day.

Because we happend to be at the glacier on the birthday of the Lago Argentino (the lake into which the Perito Moreno feeds) our visit coincided with a visit from ‘La Cristina’, or as she’s known to anyone outside of the country, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President of Argentina. She was here to baptize some new walkway that had been built around the shore of the peninsula and she brought a whole lot of union guys with loud drums and big banners. We’re obviously not very atune to the workings of Argentine politics since we had to ask one of the guys if they were for or against the government. (His answer: “With. There’s no other option.”) We could have scrambled for a spot in the crowd to hear her speak but politicians really are a dime a dozen compared to stable glaciers. Thankfully her short appearance at the visitor center/snack bar meant that we had some of the walkways all to ourselves for a short while and could eat our lunch watching the big hunk of ice without any other tourists getting into our view.

After lunch and extensive ice hunk watching, we proceeded to the other attraction of the day – walking on the glacier. Because I was afraid to freeze to death, we opted for the shorter version of the walk, about 1 1/2 hours long. There’s also a 5 hour one where you get better crampons and maybe even an ice axe. But I take full responsibility for getting us into the senior tour. It was quite pretty to see the glacier up close, especially to see all the different shades of blue and how they intensify in little cracks the deeper it gets.

But as pretty as the tour was, the highlight was probably at the end when we got some whisky served over – what else – glacier ice. Definitely did the trick to warm our feet and hearts.

(Travel spoils you that way – 2 years ago neither one of us would have touched the whisky and instead taken a glass of glacier water but since we drove through Scotland and sampled various whiskys directly at the source, we definitely appreciated The Famous Grouse we were served.)

2 Responses to “All Fun And Play, All The Time”

  1. giulia says:

    Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!

  2. giulia says:

    sorry conor por ese comment pero me puse brava con tu blog…….trate de comment en el ultimo post que hiciste pero me dio esa respuesta!
    yo creia que eras tu que me mandase ese mensaje como broma asi que i copied and pasted it to see if i can comment on other post!
    and guess what i can!!!!!!!
    hola….see I made it!!!!!!
    las fotos estan bellisimas….quien las toma tu o nora????
    voy a seguirlos en su viaje…..con una condicion…..que la proxima vez voy con usteds!

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