Saturday, March 7, 2009

from sun to snow.

Punta del diablo was great, our second night in the tent was quite a bit better than the first, still a little sand problem, but a little rain comming down kept us cool. We had an awesome BBQ the night before we left at our hostel. The was a guy there from Seattle so we talked with him alot since he has been where we are going. They have a realy neat way of cooking down here. They have these big brick, waist high fireplaces with two grills in them. A larger one that sits about a foot high and another smaller grill thats a little lower. They start a fire ontop of the larger grill and let it burn till coals start falling through. They put all the meat on the smaller grill, then just slide the coals out from under the big grill to the cooking side. Works awesome since you can keep fresh coals comming all the time. At the hostel we had a bunch of chrizo, steak and salad. They cut there beef quite differently down here so it has alot of bones and fat on it, but the meat in between is awsome. It was raining quite heavy when we went for the bus on wednesday. So we used the rain coats and rain covers for our bags that day, kept us both nice and dry. The bus ride went by quite quick, the only problem is when you get picked up at the little stops out in the country, they dont give you a ticket, so you dont have a seat number and when people come on that have a ticket and your in there seat you have to move. Sometimes there is no seats to move into so you are left standing in the isle of a greyhound, very wierd.

We got into Montevideo early afternoon and headded back to Che Lagarto, the hostel we stayed in before, since we knew where it was and the air argentina office was right next door. We wanted to get our tickets to El Calfate that day so we went and did just that. It ended up costing a little more than we wanted to get down here but with time saved on the bus it was defatly for the best. The next day we grabbed the bus up to Calona where we could get the boat accross to Buenos Aires. It was about a 3 hour bus ride, but the seats were plush and it was quite a nice ride. When we got into Calonia the bus took us right to the ferry teminal. We already had tickets so we checked in then hit customs. Getting through customs was a bit of a scare. Apparently we needed to keep our buquebus tickets that we used to get into Uruguay. We did not know this and both of us had tossed them probly at the termal when we arrived in the country. Luckly there was a guy there who spoke english and only took a little convincing to let us out of his country. The boat ride seemed quite long as we putted along at a snails pace. The big boat is way slower than the little one but we desided to take it to save some cash. We got our bags, this time making sure we had everything still attached and headded for the familiar Ostinatto hostel. Lucas was still working there for 10 more days so we got to see him again along with our old room mate Oggy. By the time we got to the hostel it was after 10 and by the time we went to the bank and ate dinner it was midnight, by the time we got to bed it was 1 and we were up at 4 to get the sleepy ride to the airport. Most terrifying cab ride yet! seemed like the cabby was running on less sleep than us.

The plane ride was prety good, except for the guy behind sage who did not want her to put her seat back, and tryed to break her neck instead of telling her by slamming the seat foreward as hard as he could, after the 4th time and some english spanish yelling matches we settled on a half way mark. One rude dude. We threw some left over Uruguay pesos at his head later when he got off the plane. Lucky the stewardest was on our side. The flight was actualy 2 short flights and in total took about 3 hours. It was a bit of a shock when we got out of the airport, we left a huge city 3 hours ago and now we were standing at tiny little airport beside a glacier blue lake with huge mountains to one side and a desert to the other. It was a 25km bus ride to the heart of El Calfete, a small tourist town about the size of whistler. We found a hostel were we could camp in the little orchard in the back for 5 bucks a night with use of the showers and kitchen, made some delicious rice and stirfry then went to bed in the tent. Sage seemed to be a little cold waking up in the night to put on a few more clothes. I slept like a baby (good sleeping bag mom).

We got up this morning at what we thought was 6 to head to Glaciar Perito Moreno. But after we walked over to the taxi place we learned that it was 5 since there is a time change that we were unaware of between B.A and here. Sooo we climbed back into bed for a bit till the real 6, ate some cereal, packed up a quick lunch and jumped in the taxi with 2 other swiss girls and headded for the glacier. We headded up early since if you get there before 8 you dont have to pay the 20 american entry fee. But it worked out just awesome since we where out there for the sunrise over the lake with huge mountains surrounding us and a HUGE glacier to the west with 2 rainbows stretching the full 7 km wide glacier. It was quite spectacular. We then headed along the huge catwalk setup they have that takes you down the mountain side to see the glacier. We had 4 hours to spend out there and it went by way to quickly. We spent our time watching from different viewing points on the catwalks. After about an hour of watching little bits fall we finaly saw a piece about the size of the kitchen table plumit down the 55 meter high face and crash into the water. Sage and I decided that that had made our trip worth it. We sat for a little longer at that spot watching and listening. I never knew glaciers were so loud, the ice cracking is quite an impresive sound. But since this glacier moves forward up to 2 meters a day theres a fair amount of noise. A few more smaller pieces were falling, so we desided to go for a bit of a walk to warm up a little. There was about a 1km loop of catwalks that went along the side of the mountain accross from the glacier. As we came arround the top part of the loop the view was fantastic. We could see almost the entire 7km ice wall but right infront of us seemed to be where the action was happening. Then a big chuck about the size of the bin trailer loaded slipped down from the bottom of the glacier. THEN......about 30 seconds later a piece the full 55 meters tall about 10 meters deep and 10 accross just crashed off the edge shooting chunks of ice an easy 70 meters up over the water, and sent a tital wave down the lake. It was definaly one of the most amazing forces of nature I have ever seen. It just so happened that Sage decided she wanted to catch a few chunks falling on video and ended up getting the whole thing on the camera! It was amazing to see that big chunk of ice fall, and behind the chunk that fell the ice was a dark dark blue that looked realy cool. We checked the clock and desided it was time to head back to catch our ride back to town. When we got up there the cab driver was just sitting in the car eatting his lunch waiting for us. We swung the door open to learn that we still had an hour, and that our clock and our stupidity had screwed us once again. I imediatly changed the time on the clock and we headded back down for some more viewing. Just as we arrived another fairly big chuck came down, then another huge one almost the same size and the first big one crashed into the water. We talked to a man out there that said these big chunks were rare to see falling off. We met up with the swiss girls down the mountain and headded up together and came back to town.

Sage and I then made some lunch and headded out to get all our pictures burnt onto a dvd so that hopfully we can get them on the internet soon. We are going to mabie try later tonight since the place we are at now dosent have computers with dvd drives. I am now very tired of typing and am going to end this entry. If only I could do this everyday I might not have to wirte so much, but its tuff. Sounds like its a little wintery in Summerland and Alberta at the moment but hopefully that fresh snow will melt soon and you guys will have some sunshine. You should check out Glacier Perito Moreno on Wikipedia. Its quite a site to see!
Talk to you soon.
Love Orin

1 comment:

  1. Hi Orin,
    Two comments on your blog - just how big is a "bin trailer loaded"? Only an orchardist's son would use this description!!
    How come you can get through a blog without saying Fuck once, unlike my daughter who must say it 100 times!! (Don't tell her I said this)
    Keep the blogs coming - I love reading them and did Google Glaciar Perito Moreno. It looks awesome and I look forward to seeing your photos of it.

    Love Pam