After a morning spent line-drying everything in our packs, we took the 5 hour bus to El Calafate, Argentina. Tobias, a Dane who was the best friend we’d made on the W trek was in town waiting for us. Its well known that Argentina has some of the best meat in the world, so our first dinner in the land of Messi was always going to be a steak. Tobias had been in El Calafate a few weeks before, so he took us to a restaurant he’d liked. The recommendation was good and my steak was delicious. We stopped at a bar for one drink after dinner, and bid farewell to Tobias.
The next morning, a small bus collected us from our hostel atop the hill. There was a tour guide on board, who used the hour long drive to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares to tell us about the landscape. She was a quirky, energetic lady, prone to over-dramatization and laughing at her own jokes. “And now, prepare, your mind, your body, your soul, and every cell of your body, because in a moment, you will see for the first time, the spectacular PERITO MORENO GLACIER.” I wished she’d had a soundtrack.
She was right, it was spectacular. I’d been excited to see it, but also expected to be somewhat underwhelmed by a very touristy block of ice. But I was blown away. First of all, it’s BIG. Roughly 200 ft. from the water line to the peak of its face, and at least a couple miles across. But more importantly, it was exhilarating to watch the glacier calve. Chunks of ice the size of 20-story office buildings splashed into the water, accompanied by a sound similar to the crack of nearby thunder. I got goosebumps. We spent 3 hours at the park, and my eyes were on the glacier almost the entire time. It was very difficult to look away, for fear of missing something big. But you feel a little silly, because 99% of the time, nothing is happening.