Our time in El Calafate was defined by two things – travelling with family and glaciers.
Jen’s sister, Linda, and her husband, Lando (from now on, they will be referred to as Lindo) joined us in El Calafate to help us continue to explore Patagonia. We were able to share with them our new-found love of Argentinian wine and Argentinian steak (Jen and Erwan respectively). And together we were able to explore the glaciers surrounding El Calafate, namely Uppsala Glacier and Perito Moreno Glacier (no relation to the town mentioned in the previous post).
Uppsala Glacier is less famous than the Perito Moreno Glacier, as it is further from town and visitors can’t get as close to it. But it’s still pretty spectacular.
We visited Uppsala on our first full day in town. The only way to get to Uppsala is to book a tour, which brings you there by boat, passing icebergs along the way.
And in our case, also a rainbow. . .
Our tour included a trip to Estancia Christina, an old ranch.
From which we took vans up the mountains to view the glacier from above – amazing!
Particularly when a condor flew by just above our heads. Jen only got this one good shot though. . .
Perito Moreno Glacier
As its closer to town, Perito Moreno can be more easily visited. There’s a bus from town or you can simply drive yourself (it’s in Los Glaciers National Park, UNESCO site, yo!). Once there, the walkways and viewpoints are all self-guided.
And it’s a fantastic sight!
Particularly when the ice calved. Sadly Jen always missed the shot (just getting it at the end). However, Lando caught a huge piece breaking off and made this gif. . .
To visit the glacier, we actually booked a tour, because then we were able to don crampons and actually walk on the ice!
We also had whiskey served with the ice!
It looks awesome, and it was. However, because it was with a massive tour, the experience felt a bit industrial – we had to keep moving and always travel in the pack. Jen, particularly, doesn’t do well in these circumstances as she always wants to break away to take photos and doesn’t like groups of people in said shots.
Still we’ve never walked on a glacier before; or had whiskey served on one – so we can’t really complain. . .
Finally, we must admit that El Calafate wasn’t all glaciers. On our last day in town, we rented a car and drove out to the other side of Los Glacieres National Park to hike Cerro Cristal.
As a slight aside, we saw flamingos on the way – who knew a place known for glaciers would also be home to these birds more associated with Florida?
The hike actually looks over Perito Moreno glacier and we got this great shot with Lindo. . .
And one of just us, which is one of Jen’s favourite photos from the trip (and even now, over a month later, still her Facebook cover photo).