One of the main reasons for our six week tour of Patagonia (besides avoiding the sultry Buenos Aires heat of December/January) was to use our three night stay at a fancy Calafate hotel (Hotel Kosten Aike). Dave won our stay at a silent auction at the charity ball at the British embassador's residence ( 400 people ) last spring, and from the champagne welcome to the phones in the shower, this place was indeed luxurious. After lots of bus travel and trudging our rolling suitcases over cobble stoned little towns, Calafate was like arriving in Vegas after crossing the desert on mule back. Lots of European 20 year olds, fit and outfitted to the max in the latest climbing gear....Calafate is the gateway point of lots of major trekking in the Andes, both the Argentina and Chile sides...We met up with Oregon friends Denny and Annie and had some great fancy food, spent much time at outdoor cafes, and instead of trekking off into the sunset, rented an airconditioned car and rode out to see the Perito Moreno Glacier. Los Glaciares National Park has been designated by UNESCOas a World Heritage Site and I can see why...This glacier is the only one in the world any more that is advancing .....- approximately 3 inches per hour - The size of it is truly overwhelming, along with the SOUNDS when ice breaks off and plummets into the lake. for an additional thrill, google earth for the patagonian ice fieldwith a dozen glaciers moving out from it. a journey for the younger and tougher.
I took this shot from a cruise boat that got right up close...I couldn't get over the color . The ice is swimming pool blue. A guide said that eons of compression drives the oxygen out of the ice. Lack of oxygen somehow effects how light rays are perceived....the more blue it is, the older it is.
this cavern is formed by the slight current between the two lakes, actually one lake, until the ices blocks it. then one half, with a larger feed system starts forcing a channel through, under, the glacial block.
Right in the middle of this pic is where the glacier meets the land and keeps breaking off...sometimes forming a bridge that then collapses..
And this is my favorite arty pic of rock (and what amazing colors of rock!) halting that slow glowing flow of blue glacier ice....