Since I had booked in advance a bus from Puerto Natales to El Calafate, I had no choice but to hit the road… even though I much needed rest after my ankle “incident” in Torres del Paine. So, I was heading to El Calafate, a small mountain town with many tourist travel agencies, souvenir shops, car rental shops, small supermarkets, restaurants, bars and ONE little French-style bakery selling pastries, croissants, brownies, cakes,… Basically, the town revolves around tourist attractions to nearby glacier called Perito Moreno!
The Perito Moreno glacier is located 78 km from the city, El Calafate. It was named after the scientific/explorer/pioneer Francisco Moreno (19th century), who studied the geography of the region & defended the territory in the international border conflict with Chile. He was a local hero, so I guess locals thought he deserved to have the largest glacier in the area named after him. Why a glacier and not a lake or a mountain? Don’t ask. I don’t have the answer to that one (yet 😉 )!
Anyway, the day before my tour to the glacier, I went to the bakery and bought myself a big chocolate brownie!!! My little treat for the next day 😉 With a bottle of water and THE brownie in my backpack, I was all set to observe the famous Perito Moreno glacier!
On the D-day, I just stood hours and hours watching the front of the glacier, completely in awe!! The color seemed at times white, at times a surreal blue! The Martial glacier in Ushuaia was nothing compared to this massive glacier! It seemed close enough to touch with your hands…
The Perito Moreno glacier is 5 km wide, with an average height of 55 m above the surface of the water of Lake Argentino. It has a total ice depth of 14 km and it’s actually moving about 2 meters a day! The ice wall is fissured and jagged in some places, full of small crevices and cliffs!
Suddenly I would hear a thunderous roar, water running through the crevices, and then a loud crack (like a gunshot or a cannon). In the sun, parts of the ice wall was melting, breaking and finally dropping into the L-shaped “lago Argentina”, in a very loud, spectacular way!
In the end, it was one of this perfect sunny day! I spent hours watching this natural phenomenon and waiting to see these “dramatic” cracks and crashes! It was just me, a delicious chocolate brownie and a beautiful “Perito Moreno” glacier. A perfect day!