Freaky Southern Patagonia

Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
1
119
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Friday, November 27, 2009

I didn't really want to visit Moreno Glacier. The photos I'd seen of it weren't particularly impressive. The big ice was an hour and a half bus ride away, the day was cold and the wind blows all the time in southern Patagonia. But when we got there I couldn't take my eyes off the glacier and didn't want to leave when it was time to go.

Moreno Glacier's jagged peaks climb sixty full meters out of the water. It calves constantly. That means pieces of it break off the sides of the glacier and fall thunderously into the waters below. I'd guess that pieces, the size of our house, or maybe five times the size of our house come crashing down. Our photos don't do it justice either.

It's a six hour bus ride south from El Calafate, Argentina to Puerto Natales, Chile. Where Tibet feels like travelling on the Moon, southern Patagonia might feel like Mars. We simply aren't able to grasp the perspective of the immense plain. When we look out the windows of the bus, sheep that look as though they're one hundred meters away might be a kilometre. The snow covered Andes, that appear to be perhaps five kilometres away, might be fifty. Foxes, coyotes, probably wolves roam this flat land of nothingness. Birds of prey swoop and dive through winds like I've never felt before. How pink flamigos, group together on ponds and lakes, standing on their spindly legs, are able to withstand the wind is a mystery. Ellen saw a one metre tall rabbit. I asked her if it was pink, like the flamingos. We're definitely in a land where creatures and the landscape aren't what they appear.
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