Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 South America Adventures: Finally, my All Glaciers Tour

The Los Glaciares National Park is located in the southern part of Argentina in Patagonia. It borders Chile and it covers 6000 kilometers. Due to its special landscape and endangered flora and fauna, in 1981 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

This tour made me learn something about Glaciers and Glaciation. About 18000 years ago glaciers covered one third of the surfacing land. Glaciers are important as they represent 90% of the fresh water of the planet, their air droughts and water flows help to balance the earth’s climate which would be suffocating without them.

If the forecasts of today are true, and if the glaciers should melt at present, the sea level would rise between 60 and 70 meters and huge extensions of coastal lands may result in major flooding in some of the world’s greatest cities. Yikes.

During our boat tour we traveled on Lago Argentino to visit four glaciers. The weather is just perfect, blue skies and pleasant temperatures. My tour mate tells me that we are very lucky because prior to today, it had rained for 3 days. I literally only had to wear my outer rain jacket to go out (except at the Perito Moreno Glacier where it was much colder).

As our tour moved along you can see that the landscape looks quite barren. Lots of  cool rock formations, some plant life and with little to no snow. But as we move further in, we can see some chunks of icebergs floating along, which was really exciting.

The viewing decks of the boat were pretty crowded, because there were so many people but everyone was very polite moving about. There is the rear of the boat, which has a bottom and top deck, and then on both sides of the boat there is a narrow walkway to move between the front and rear of the boat. In the front there is a middle section and then two walkways that stick out. Here it is very windy and wet. But to get the great views of the upcoming glaciers this is where you had to be and so that’s where I situated myself a few times.  Thankfully, I also brought my Nikon AW100 Waterproof camera which I could get wet and boy did it get a soaking.

The port.


Map of Lago Argentino.


Landscape at the beginning of the tour.
 
 
Beautiful rock formations.
 

The landscape changes. And here you can see the very narrow walkway we have to use to move between the front and rear of the boat.
 
 
I love this photo because it shows how big these ice bergs are.
 
 
Floating icebergs along the way . . .
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Perito Moreno Glacier  . . . .It is located ob the South part of the lake and has an imposing wall of 5 km and stretching to 60 meters in height.
 
 
Here is a nice photo of my super nice tour mates.  The lady on the right was my seat mate and she is from the Netherlands (also a solo traveler) and the two guys on the right are married and they are from Barcelona.  I really want to go to San Sebastian, Spain now after talking with them.  They are so nice and I actually crashed into them on at the Perito Moreno cat walk as they did the same second tour that I did.  We all had so much in common. We spoke about how great it was that President Obama was re-elected as he was supportive of many of the things that we believe in like legalizing gay marriage and reforming health care.  It was a long tour so it was nice to have such interesting conversation!  Sometimes it is so cool when we meet people living worlds apart from us and we yet share so much in common with.
 
  
 
 

3 comments:

  1. Kathy, your photos are wonderful. What a gorgeous place and a fantastic experience (and sharing it with interesting companions just adds to the experience!)

    Where I grew up in Alberta, near the Rockies, it's easy to see first-hand how rapidly the glaciers are receding, and what a risk it poses to the environment.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So beautiful. You are lucky to get such good weather. We had freezing rain on our lake crossing on the other side of Patagonia in Chile. Your pictures are amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such fantasic colors in the water, skies, and ice! That is so cool that the people you met are happy about Obama too. Thanks for sharing this very cool tour.

    ReplyDelete

It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.