Friday, April 7, 2006

El Calafate - Argentina

After out hiking trip in Torres del Paine (see blog) we headed to El Calafate which is a little town in southern Argentina on the shore of Lago Argentino and serves as a tourist center for 'Parque Nacional los Glaciares'. We rented a car to visit the park, more specifically the Glacier Perito Moreno, one of the few advancing glaciers in the world thanks to 'global warming'. We walked down the touristy path to a point that said no trespassing but of course climbed the fence and continued down to the shore. The glacier is over 3 miles (5 km) wide and over 200 feet (60 m) high. The amazing part is how alive it seems to be (and is). It's constantly moving with huge pieces exploding and calving off into the river as the sun warms the advancing edge. It sounds like gun shots as huge block crash inside the ice canyons. When the sun hits, it begins to glow this amazing aqua blue. At one point we were standing on the shore and looked up to see this huge chunk the size of large building break off right in front of us. We were in such awe that we couldn't move at first but soon realized that the water was receding from the edge gearing up for a mini-tsunami so we all headed toward higher ground. Fortunately, my buddy Andrew was filming a documentary at the time and got most of it on film.

Soon after this trip we went mountain biking in Bariloche and I ended up breaking my collarbone (see Bad Travel Experiences blog) and had to fly home to heal before heading off to Europe for the Running of the Bull in Pamplona (see blog).

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