I put up the album, but never wrote about our time in El Calafate. So far it has been my favourite part if the trip. The fisrt day we went on a Â¨minitrekÂ¨hence other for Ã¤ctivity categoryÂ¨. We were CRAMPONING, why wouldn't that be an potion...weird?! So we tookÂ a bus into the national park and at the first place we caught sight of the Perito Moreno glacier we were able to stop and snap some photos. So of cours the whole bus unloaded and gave full display of how Â¨tourisiticÂ¨ * we are. :) Then the beus dropped us at this little ferry boat which took us over to the ranger stations to prep us for the trek. Basically we had to not litter and to take all of our trash out of the park with us. Nicola forgot to listen and left a banana peel in the bathroom trash. Dammit, that means like 3000 years to biodegrade. Guess we won't be invited back.Â Our tourguide, Carlos was this hot George Clooney meets mountain man guy, sorry girls, Shona has dibs!! Carlos gave us a little science talk about the glaciers. I twas interesting, but I should have taken notes because now I can't remember anything about them. Will research and write more, probably in my personal journal though, so won't help any of you much! Too bad. Feel free to inquire more if you actually care. :) ANYWAY, so we got all geared up... enter stage right, CRAMPONS. As you can see I feel the need to put htis word in all caps every time I use it. That is partialyÂ beause it is funny and reminds of Brad's crampaign story and partially because they were so ridiculous and hilarious gadgets. But very useful for not flopping down on the ice and cracking our little heads open, so very greatful for the CRAMPOPNS. An extra special treat was that Nicola had to tuck her ski pants into her socks due to the peligroso (danger) of getting a CRAMPON snag. Oh but did I mention her socks happened to be hot pink leg warmers, so that was an added bonus (take a look at the pics, not sure if they do it justice, but pretty funny)!!Â So we trekked around andsaw amazing views and all throughout kept hearing thses booming cracks. Carlos said sometimes it was ice breaking off completel and sometimes it was just the ice cracking and creating large splits in the galcier. On one occasion we could just see the edge of the water and could see large chunks floating around and big waves resonating. VeryÂ cool,Â and such a tease because we were all dying to see the iceÂ fall.Â So we carried on trekking and Carlos performed a daring ice climb. I wonder why they didn't ask for volunteers? (NOTEÂ ALBUM)!Â After the trek we walked back through the woods which were amazing.Â For the first timeÂ I wasÂ really upset I didn't have film with me.Â All I couldÂ `picture was being in theÂ dark room printing off amazing 11x14's. So sad, but I took some digital picsÂ and trotted around (unkowingly as the rest of the group had lunch and Carlos had to wait) oops. Hope the pics were worth it! After lunch we headed back on the ferry and then again on the bus where they took us to these platforms that zig and zag and at each bend you got a closer view of the glacier. It became very apparent where all the booming cracks had come from. As we first walked onto the pathway we saw this small piece drop off from the end and we all sort of sent up alittle prayer asking for a big piece to fall right in front of us. Literally, seconds laterÂ this piece of ice fell off right in front of us. Unfortuantely there was also a big tree RIGHT in front of us and nobody had cameras ready.Â Be careful what you ask for huh?! haa So, we kind of joked and said this time we ask for us to be camera ready and within clear view. So we walked downÂ and got in position and waited for a good 20 minutes. No action,decided to walkÂ a bit further and Â just as we stepped away it happened...DUNDUNDUN....no seriously we just managed to catch it (and I have to add the video) but it was absolutely incredible. I mean we were fully all up in National Geographic. This huuuuuge piece of ice came crashing down and was followed by a thundering booming. It tumbled into the water and created these huge waves that sloshed the ice all around and as the water was settling just a little anothersmaller, but still large piece came crashing down too. And it continued all around the same area for the next 20-ish minutes. One piece right after the other. It was unbelievable. I could have sat there all day. And it gave some food for thought bout all the crazy global warming stuff you see, now don't get me wrong I think its obvious things are heating up, but in those movies they make it seem like this ridiculous thing that is happening, but this happens all the time as normal as can be. It is seasonal and normal. And this glacier is actually one of a fw tht isn't depleting, they think it seems to be maintaining its size. HMM interesting!! So, defÂ my favourite day. I think Mother Nature smiled down on us. Thanks MN :)
We had some cocktails with some people from the hostel that night and played SPOOF. Fun times=bad hangovers (for Noodles and Shonita) but as I am such a legend a trotted off for a little horse ride th next evening. It was fun for a minute, but the views were not that incredible (as you may have noted from the riding album) and it was FREEZING. There were dow ninos pequenos (two little kiddies) with us, so nothing more than a trott was permitted. BOOOO So, numb toes and sore bum. Not so fun. But warming up in the cabin after was nice. We had a Mate etiquette from the horse guys. Never turn Mate down, ifÂ the host offers it and you dont want it you take one sip hand it back and say, Â¨Gracias.Â¨If you don't say gracias they will continue to pass it to you until you do.Â To the point thatÂ theyÂ will boil kettle after kettle after kettleÂ of water Â untilÂ you say gracias. Also, you may not pass the Mate on to anyone els. You must pass it back to the host and then they decide who to pass it to next.Â You also must not put it down on the table or anything, you always pass it back to the host. If you mess up on any of these things you are asked to leave with your head hung. No only kidding, but it is a sign of their hospitality, so you should respect it or it is an insult. MUY INTERESANTE!!
El Calafate gets an A+ in my books. :)