Lago Viedma and Glacier

As well as visiting as many places as possible during my visit to south America, I am also enjoying new experiences. Whilst in El Chaltén in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina, I managed to go ice trekking on the biggest glacier in Patagonia. I have now seen a few glaciers close up but the experience of trekking across one is something not to be missed.

First we had a close look at the glacier from the boat.

Then we disembarked and made our way across the worn rock which used to be covered by the glacier. We were put into groups and assigned to guides and continued to the edge of the glacier, where we put on crampons and had a briefing, before making our way on to the ice.

Juan, our group leader, was pathfinder and checked each part of the route before showing us how to proceed.

After a well conducted tour we had a celebratory drink of Tia Maria with fresh, glacier ice, followed by a walk through an ice cave before doffing our crampons and making our way back to the boat.

A great experience!

Click on photos for slide shows or to enlarge.

 

 

Torres del Paine

The Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is huge and comprises of lakes, glaciers and mountains including the world famous “Torres”. On my visit yesterday, I thought my previous comment about me having become ” a tourist in a hurry”, had come back to bite me. The weather was not great, and I was on a one day tour of the park´s highlights.

It did not look too good when at a viewing point of a lake, with a wonderful backdrop of mountains, I was the only one who wanted to get out and take photos. Majority rule had its way and off we went, without pictures. This was repeated several times and I confess to being close to tears at the thought of missing all these opportunities.

The feeling was compounded when we stopped for people to photograph sheep. I kid you not. The group consisted of Chileños, Brazilians, Germans and me. I would hazard a guess and say that it was not a unique experience for any of us to be seeing sheep. The wonderful combination of rivers, glaciers, lakes etc., for me at least, when this adventure is over, may never be repeated. And, as anyone who likes to get good pictures knows, with variable light and conditions, some photo opportunities are unique.

From 8 in the morning until lunchtime, I guess I took about 2 dozen pictures and had no one to blame except myself. I originally planned to spend up to a week trekking in this area as I had in previous settings. If you come to Torres del Paine, give it some time.

While my travelling companions had lunch and sheltered in the bus from the rain, I decided to go off on my own and search for pictures and was soon rewarded near the Grey Lake and glacier.

When I got back to the vehicle, surprise surprise, the others had ventured out into the elements. Fortunately, in the afternoon, the weather gradually improved and photo ops came with greater frequency.

Overall, I was happy with the result. Ironically, I kept back a free day in case things went wrong and the weather was much worse. My luck continues to hold.

Click on photos for slideshow.