El Calafate, Argentina, January 2, 2018
Today a bunch of us went to the Perito Moreno glacier. Along the way, there was more barren nothing although we did see a few cows - first ones in a long time and there even was grass for them to eat-
More lakes and mountains-
Perito Moreno glacier is 5 km wide, 70 meters high in some places and absolutely beautiful. Driving into the national park-
The bus ride was so smooth and fast compared to the truck! We parked and walked past the beautiful chalet/restaurant to get to the boardwalk where there are many stairs but that's okay because there are also many paths for fabulous views-
This small channel is sort of an ice dam. The ice gets stuck here and sometimes the water gets backed up and has risen as much as 26 meters. We were lucky to be some of the first ones on the boardwalk. As the day progressed the place got quite busy-
Perito Moreno is the third largest glacier of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and in South America. It's well known because of its thinning and retreat. In 1996 they did seismic testing and recorded an ice thickness of 700 meters at the glacier centreline 9 km from the front. Here the bedrock is 200 meters below sea level. In 2010 a 510 meter hole was drilled with a hot water drill to reach the glacier bed. This research helps understand the effects of glacial water pressure on glacier dynamics and predict its behavior during climate change.
Another interesting fact for the day is that El Chalten, the town we just came from was just established in 1985 so tourists could explore the Fitz Roy mountain range. That means the whole town is only 33 years old!
After I'd had enough of watching the glacier, I went to the restaurant where whiskey is served with glacial ice-
A seed pod-
We're leaving at 7 am for Torres Del Paine in Chile. I'm looking forward to the beautiful park but not 4 nights of camping especially in the rain, cold and wind!