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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Crash, bang, wallop, what a picture…of Ice! - Day 446

The immense power of the natural elements and then suddenly, crash, bang, wallop, what a picture…of Ice! Yes, we are at Perito Moreno Glacier.

If you have ever seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa, then imagine a wall of ice just a bit higher than that, or nearly as high as the Statue of Liberty. Today, we visited the Perito Moreno Glacier which is a whopping 74m high, 5km wide and 170m below the surface of the water. It was magical.

But before we got there, of course, the #GrownUpTravellers have to have a small drama, all in a day’s work. We arrived at the bus station to get an 8:30am ticket. No tickets left. What? We had read an article about getting to the Glacier, and it stated in bold letters “It is totally possible to buy your bus tickets on the day of your trip”. Perhaps we misinterpreted this, it didn’t say the bus ticket of your choice! Luckily there were two seats left on the next and only bus in the morning. The price of ARS800 was also somewhat more than the ARS500 that this article had quoted, as was the National Park fee of ARS700 rather than ARS450. A lesson learnt – check ourselves, especially in Argentina when prices can change dramatically due to the high inflation.

On the way to the Los Glaciares National Parkwe saw a few four-legged creatures, both alive and dead and were trying to work out if they were Llamas or Alpacas. They were neither, but Guanacos, which are camelids, similar to Llamas. (Good ol’ google.). We also viewed the plains of the Patagonian desert that go on for hundreds of miles and during our 90-minute bus ride, we hardly saw any dwellings once out of El Calafate.

Along the journey, we were deciding to have a boat trip to the Glacier, but unfortunately, our decision was made for us as we were just ARS20 short, due to the unforeseen price hike. Never mind, as soon as we saw the glacier, that hiccup had quickly vanished from our minds.

Oh wow! The sight of this gigantic vertical wall of ice really is incredible. Every now and again we could hear sounds like a gun going off, it was the ice cracking and the noise reverberating across the lake. We walked along the metal boardwalk and kept stopping in awe. Occasionally, we caught sight of a silent cloud of snow dropping from the wall; it seemed like seconds later we heard the loud echoing bang of the ice falling into the water. I got quite philosophical; this reminded me that our actions or behaviours always happen after a silent thought, essential to realise this when coaching a person, in whatever capacity.

We found a good platform and sat in the glorious sunshine, being mesmerised by the glacier for ages. The hints of bright turquoise in the creases of ice were beautiful as was the contrast of the ice against the blue flowing water below. What’s more, the trepidation that the heat of the sun and movement of the ice may cause sudden calving of this majestic frozen river had me frozen also, to the spot. I didn’t want to move.

Despite the many ice disruptions, unusually this glacier is said to be advancing, unlike many others. Most are sadly retreating, like the glacier we stepped on at Mount Cook, New Zealand which could even disappear in the next 10 years.

I suggested that Tim carried on along the boardwalk, I could tell he was getting itchy feet. Eventually, I joined him, and we had a lovely walk through the trees and rushing to an open view of this tremendous wall of ice. Can you tell that we both loved this experience?

At one point, Tim was ahead of me, and I heard him talking to a young couple. It turned out that they were from South Korea and had also been travelling for nearly the same length of time as us. It was lovely to hear of their journey, their favourite place being Georgia. We’ll add that onto our list. I sensed that they were more into trekking, which I imagine most travellers are; however, I hope I am encouraging less active people like me that it is still possible to go travelling and have your own unique and enjoyable experiences.

Suddenly, there was a huge cloud followed by a big bang, a significant slice of ice had fallen and, probably a minute later, there was another rumble; an enormous piece of transparent ice rose to the surface, at least 10m in length. This must have come from the depths of the water as it had such a different texture to that which we could see.

It was time for us to extract ourselves away from this fantastic view, give our camera a rest and to catch our bus back to town for a delicious meal. What a day!

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