Vicky loves globetrotting almost as much as she loves sweets! So it’s no wonder she’s drawn comparisons between a glacier encounter in Argentina and a confectionery treat….
What does the the Perito Moreno glacier and popcorn have in common?
No, this is not some dodgy joke from a Christmas cracker, it’s a serious question! And the answer is that when you are standing on the viewing platform looking over the striking sight of the Perito Moreno glacier, the distant popping sound as the ice breaks away from the mass and drops into the ocean before re-emerging is not only a jaw-dropping sight, but sounds as though you are about to tuck into some deliciously warm popcorn!
Arriving in El Calafate
When I arrived in El Calafate, my base from which I was to explore this area of Patagonia, I was struck by its similarity to an Alpine ski resort in the summer as people mulled around in hiking gear, combat trousers, north face jackets and hi-tech boots! Before hitting the local shops I took my time and opted for a spot sitting outside a cafe just testing the local tipple! El Calafate was a 3-hour flight from Buenos Aires, the village itself was only 40 minutes from the airport.
An icy wonderland
My trip began with a 7:15am pick up the next morning. Words that I would use to describe sailing through the glacier? WOW, beautiful, iced-waterfalls, chilly and friendly! Oh I can’t believe I forgot “Don’t cry for me Argentina” which was aptly played as we turned the corner for the final part of the trip! I learnt that the bluer the ice, the more compact it is. The boat itself was warm, comfortable and had the essentials but I’d definitely recommend wrapping up warm on the decks. The wind chill made it even fresher, but unfortunately I never quite worked out how to take photos with my gloves on! The climax of the boat trip was the Perito Moreno which was just breathtaking- as you would expect when it measures 60m high, 30km long and 5km wide!
After returning back to the village, I opted to try a local restaurant (within walking distance of the accommodation), and like any European ski resort, the choice was extensive.
Top tip: some restaurants get booked up so if you are organised, try making your reservation the day before.
Mesmerised by sights!
The next day I returned to the Glacier to observe it from several different angles. Just sitting and watching something so spectacular kept me entertained for hours, though I’d suggest getting a coffee to keep warm! The only problem was that I didn’t want to turn away from the Glacier for fear that another piece of ice would fall as soon as my back turned; I can only relate it to the two penny machine at the pier when they all fall as soon as you walk away! All that fresh air can make you tired so if you have an early night you’ll feel ready in the morning for a trip to Laguna Nimez; a nature reserve situated in the village centre. I’d suggest a serving of dulce de leche on bread as a reward afterwards!
Extra time to unwind
At the end of my trip I thought I was flying onwards but it seems Aerolineas Argentina had other ideas. So I found myself with an extra day which wasn’t surprising as this often happens, and you just have to go with the flow! I made the most of my time at a local laundrette and simply watched the world go by. It was so laid back that even the dogs could not be bothered to bark! Afterwards I returned to Buenos Aires, ready to board a coach to another part of the country.