Friday, December 30, 2011

El Calafate and Perrito Moreno Glacier

The road down
We left Puerto Madryn the way we came in, on the top front seat of the bus.We were told that we couldn't get a direct bus to El Calafate and we would have to take two buses, one to Rio Gallegos then up to El Calafate, but as it turns out you can take a bus direct! We booked it with with RP Transport and they also offered us a 30% off bus ticket to get to Perrito Moreno which was awesome. It took us 21 hours to get to El Calafate which includes a one hour stop we made outside of Perto Madryn to fix the video player on the bus which they then blasted Fast and Furious 235 out of. They also put on Due Date and when it was finished no one turned it off so it played again and when that was finished no one turned it off and it would have played again if someone hadn't gotten up and told them.
So the biggest thing El Calafate has to offer that is close by is the Perrito Moreno glacier which is one of the only glaciers in the world that is still advancing. After our first night in Hostel Buenos Aires we had tickets to go the next day to the park. Our bus ticket was only 70 pesos instead of 100 pesos because of our discount, the park entrance was 100 pesos because we are foreigners (about $23) and we took a boat ride out to see one side of the glacier up close (70 pesos). The area is sooo pretty and the glacier is really amazing. After the boat ride the bus took us to the part of the park with all these walkway trails that take you to different parts of the glacier. In one area you can see all these little icebergs floating in the water that had fallen from the glacier and if you sit around long enough you will see a part of the ice fall of and crash into the water and make a terrific noise. Very cool. The ice that falls off looks pretty small but it makes such a grand noise. We spent about 5 hours there and most of it was just sitting and looking at the glacier. We didn't even do most of the trails, just started a long one that took you down by the shoreline. We left at 4:15 and I passed out on the way back.
We planned on only staying 2 nights but had to stay one more because the bus was sold out to get to Puerto Natales on the day we wanted to go. It was a nice day so we took a walk down by Lago Argentina and through the town and had some icecream.

roadside view going to the park

view of Perrito Moreno glacier from the road
boat tour

Rupture zone

Path to the coast
walking near lago argentina in el calafate

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