Monday, October 22, 2012

El Calafate/Perito Merino, about a year after the fact...

Ok, so it has been an absurdly long time since I wrote anything, so I doubt anyone is still reading this, but we'd like to have it to aid our own memories.

Last time we were headed toward El Calafate and the Perito Merino glacier, so here it is! This was our first glimpse of it as we rode into the National park, which cost us a paltry $25 a person; or 2/3 of the day's budget. The road was spectacular, and we started seeing ice chunks the size of houses floating in the lake long before the glacier itself came into view. The viewing area for the glacier was beautiful; all galvanized steel and hardwood and looked like it was five years old, tops.
There were multiple decks which overlooked different parts of the glacier, which is actually much, much larger than what you can see from ground level.

The "A" and "B" represent both ends of the veiwing complex, which are at least a quarter mile apart. From them you can see most of the glacier where it meets the water, but, as you can see, that is just "the tip of the iceberg" *gag*
So, from where you stand, there is a little of this:
I guess it's not "a little" - the ice wall is around 200 feet tall. 
A little of this:

And behind it, quite an amazing amount of this:

To attempt to give this some sort of perspective, the towers and crevices in the last photo are probably about the size of 20 story buildings, and, as you can see in the preceding photos, they go on for miles. Absolutely breathtaking.

Back at the business end of the glacier, these 200' tall spires are constantly "calving" and cascading into the water below; hundreds of times a day, as they have for thousands of years. Of course, it usually happens just after you turn your back, or right after you put your camera away, so we didn't capture any massive falls on video, but here's a link to a video that can give you an idea of what it looks like: Perito Moreno Collapse.

We spent most of the afternoon hanging around the various viewing areas of the glacier, and got a few parting shots from the parking lot: