I’m weeks behind on writing any posts, but anyone who knows me knows that I am all about chronological order. When we left Chilean Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park, we crossed the border into Argentina and headed to El Calafate. Still in Patagonia, El Calafate is a cute tourist town capitalizing off the proximity to Glacier National Park. After some pampering and a day of rest in a nice hotel, we were ready to check out some glaciers.
Our first tour was to El Perito Moreno glacier. El Perito Moreno’s claim to fame is that it actually is advancing as opposed to retreating like most of the world’s glaciers and every several years it forms a bridge with the land that lasts for a period of time until it crashes into the water. While I was interested in seeing the glacier, I had no idea how wowed I would be. The park has a series of metal walkways (I had to quickly get over my grate phobia) that allow many different views of the massive glacier. It looks like an advancing ice army and its creaking and groaning are spectacular. There was no ice bridge, but we were fortunate to see several calving incidents. Despite the dreary, drizzly day, we had a fantastic time.
The next day was our big adventure: kayaking at the Upsala Glacier. Matt and I are experienced kayakers, but I was still nervous about kayaking near a glacier and in frigid water. What a great time! The tour company, Upsala Kayak Experience, was fantastic. We had excellent gear (although I can’t stand things around my neck and the dry suit was a necessarily tight fit!) and the staff was fun and engaging.
Not everyone had kayaking experience, but after some instructions and paddling demonstrations, we set off. We intended to go to the face of the Upsala Glacier, but a storm blew in and our guides wisely determined a better course was to paddle around a large iceberg.
After we paddled around the iceberg, we headed back to shore. It was strenuous paddling as the wind was against us and the guides worked to keep the group on track. One kayak needed to be towed when they got far afield. Matt kept us on course and we paddled well together, which is unusual! The weather cleared up a little and we were offered the treat of paddling under a waterfall. Matt and I gamely went first and had a ball. I was shocked that we stayed dry. Each kayak had two trips under the falls, then we returned to the boat for the ride back to the dock.
After two active days at the glaciers, we relaxed on our last day and enjoyed walking around town and through its park. We recognized our pal Darwin with a few of his animal friends.
After 10 days enjoying nature, we left El Calafate for Buenos Aires to enjoy some city living for a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!
Wow, amazing pictures, Kerry! The kayaking looks like an absolute blast. Stupid question, but is the advancing glacier a good or bad thing?
Not stupid at all! It is viewed as a good thing because with global warming, most glaciers are melting. So I guess “good” because at least this one will be around for a while!
I’m glad to hear this – I was just automatically assuming that with global warming, it must be a bad thing!
Well, you were right in that “bad” that it is unique to be adding to its mass as compared to the other, melting glaciers. 🙂
Also curious, what was the temperature when you were there?
40s-50s. So not super cold for us Wisconsinites!
Right, sounds refreshing! 😉
Wow, I love the colors of the glaciers. The blue and teal colors of the ocean are spectacular!!
They were! None of the photos are touched up – the colors really were that amazing. FYI, not ocean! I was surprised too that there are inland glaciers like these.
Most of the credit goes to Matt. Or our kayaking guides.