El Calafate, Argentina
Date: Lodging: Distance: Total:
24/07/2001 Hotel Kosten Aike 408 KM 196949 KM

When ice falls from the Perito Moreno Glacier, the particles can work as bullets. Thirty-two people died from ice fragments barreling off of the ice mass from 1968 to 1988.

Initially, as we drove into the park with the glacier far away, I wasn't as impressed as I should have been. However, once I walked down the icy footpath and sat on a level with this awesome, natural creation, I fell madly and permanently in love. Perito Moreno Glacier is a top spot thus far on our 2 ½ year world journey.

The glacier is deep, vast, tremendous, simply breath-taking. And, not only is it stupendous to behold with the eyes, but the ears receive just as fantastic a sensation from the noises created by the mammoth ice block when pieces of it crash, crumble and pound into the water.

The vivid blue colors of the Perito Moreno Glacier showcase ‘ice blue’ spectacularly.

Until recently, the Perito Moreno Glacier was one of the world’s few remaining advancing glaciers.

That same fog we encountered before El Calafate continued into Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, home to Perito Moreno Glacier, which is five kilometers long and 60 meters high.

Driving into El Calafate, we saw hundreds of guanaco, llama-like animals.

Just before reaching the mountain-pass surrounding the small town of El Calafate (population 3000), we drove into this thick mass of haze.

Sunrise II

Sunrise I

Jim begins the painfully cold day (-14C) with espresso, toast, jam and butter.

24 July 2001 – Today we visited one of the most awesome sights of this trip: Perito Moreno Glacier, a mammoth ice creation that is almost alive making human-like sounds when ice falls, drops, soars or plummets from the massive structure. The sounds reminded me of a growling stomach, exploding fireworks, a door being slammed, ocean waves wandering and even short rounds of bullets being fired.

When Jim and I initially approached the glacier, I admit saying to him, "Great. I can't believe we drove 1000 kilometers out of the way to see this enormous block of ice." But once I walked down the slippery footpath and witnessed the enormity of it, as well as the transfixing noises from it – I fell in love. I felt like a fool for ever thinking this wasn't a worthwhile destination. This is so much more than that. Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most exciting, romantic and mesmerizing places I've seen in my life.

El Calafate
  Perito Merino Glacier (Paige)
  Glacier Perito Moreno (Jim)