The weather forecast was not good today but when we awoke it was bright and sunny and as we breakfasted overlooking Lake Argentinas, in the distance, all was well!
At 0900 Marcello and Berto collected us and we set off towards Los Glaciares National Park. As we stopped to pay our fees at the entrance and watched a grey fox run along the side of the road - spots of rain appeared on the windscreen - an indicator of things to come. Next stop was a lookout point and our first sighting of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Enroute Marcello had given us some insights into the history and geography of the glacier. It's in equilibrium unlike most others it's not receding - this may be due to earth movements which have changed the course of a tributary so it feeds this glacier and not another - but no one can be sure. The glacier was named after Perito Moreno - an explorer who never got to the glacier after being thwarted by a February storm in Lake Argentinas. Perito is a nick name meaning expert witness and he seemingly had a big expert role in determining the Chiliean / Argentinian border.
When we got to the glacier we donned full wet weather gear as there was now a persistent cool rain made cooler no doubt by the glacier. We were amazed just how close the glacier was to the land and occasionally when it calves it makes a bridge to the land which temporarily dams the water and cause the lake to rise 20 or so metres - killing trees ( we saw evidence of this on the lake shore) however eventually the water melts/ erodes the ice making a tunnel which eventually collapses and equilibrium is restored. Marcello showed us pictures of the previous bridge in 2010. We were impressed by the labyrinth of well constructed walkways which enabled you to see every aspect of the glacier.
As we walked we could hear rumbles, cracks and small and large pieces of ice shearing off and falling into the cold milky waters below. Prior to the walkways being built 32 people had died because they got too close to the glacier and were killed by lumps of ice or the wave they caused - a dangerous stroll!
After an hour or so walking the paths we were now cold and damp so stopped at the cafe for a much needed cup of hot chocolate before returning to the hotel.
As we hadn't eaten our packed lunch we sat and had our picnic in our room looking out over the Patagonian steppe below.
The weather at the hotel was dry showing how localized the weather can be albeit as we went to dinner later the rain arrived - but we had one of those amazing big landscape views of sunshine on Lake Argentinas, sunlight sparkling on a hillside, dark clouds on other patches and rain running off the roof of the hotel with dark clouds above - a scene of all weathers!