Perito Moreno, Patagonia, Argentina
01.12.2010 - 04.12.2010 38 °F
Since our last post, we have managed to work off our massive Thanksgiving dinner (and our subsequent daily diet of empanadas in Buenos Aires) by heading way south to Patagonia and trekking across Perito Moreno Glacier, as well as many kilometers across the beautiful expanse of Parque Nacional los Glaciares in Argentina. Accompanied by Kate´s family (except for the Ervin crew - Jack said he had prior commitments with a pack of stuffed monkeys), we discovered the true beauty and wrath of this extreme southern region of the world. Split up into two groups, Kate, Matt, and I started our adventure at the crack of dawn (ok, 7am - and crack of dawn this far south would be approximately 4:45am) by busing our way to the park, where we boated across Lake Argentino. Our first steps in cramp-ons were wobbly, but the three of us quickly figured out how the sharp, dagger-like shoe fittings worked. Matt inquired if there were any cramp-ons that were compatible with flip-flops. Unfortunately, he had to stick with boots. The entire experience was out of this world. It literally felt as though we were walking on some "Ice Planet", as Kate put it, full of deep crevasses, stunning blue ponds and streams, and some of the most intense gusts of merciless winds a Californian has ever experienced. An unforgettable experience, and even more unforgettable for me will be the sensation of walking on pillow-soft ground when our group finally returned to "Earth´s" surface.
After our extreme adventure, the next day the whole family piled into a rental car and took off in seek of more inspiring vistas by way of the Parque Nacional los Glaciares. We settled on a great path on the south side of the park and set off on our adventure, with Lori leading the charge... in all directions. With each step (and mis-step) we encountered more wildlife, vistas, and animal droppings. The last leg of our trek brought us through a beautiful pasture that sloped into a near-frozen Lago Roca, with the mountains of the park framing the lake in the distance.
We celebrated our rugged outdooredness with a little bit of fine dining. All you can eat buffet at Rick´s Restaurant. Unfortunately Rick´s was neither all you can eat nor was what we could eat much to write home about... Luckily we made right on Ricks´ wrong the next night by eating at Casimero Bigua, which was excellent.
It was sad to depart from the family after only ten days, but Kate and I woke up early the next morning, said our goodbyes and got dropped off by John at the Station to make our bus to Puerto Natales, Chile. We are now wrapping up a prep-day here in Puerto Natales before we catch yet another early bus tomorrow heading for Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. Kate and I have a 5 day trek ahead of us before we make our final stop in Ushuaia, AR, and then make our way back home.
Until the next post,
Tim & Kate