Date: 27 December 2010
Location: El Calafate
Unfortunately, we fell victim to one of the tourist traps today. Our intention was to see the other big and important Patagonian glaciers from the Argentina Lake, which has a surface of 1560 square km. However, the ship we got on was a 200 people tourist trap.
It was a comfortable way to see the glaciers for people who spend little time here, who are lazy to trek through the forest and on the glacier and who are retired.
F. and I thought that thank goodness we had the real experience yesterday. The views we saw from the ship were most certainly magnificent but it is still very different than being there. We saw massive icebergs on the lake, which only display 15% of their mass above the water.
We could see the biggest glacier of Patagonia, the Upsala Glacier which is 860 square km wide only from the distance because the captain did not think that it was safe enough to sail through the canal, which was filled with icebergs.
On our way to Argentina’s highest glacier, the Spegazzi Glacier, we could see some dried and receded glaciers and the effects of climate change with our own eyes.
The glaciers leave a very empty space where they dry. There is no life. In addition, they cause water levels to rise up.
After observing the northern side of the Perito Moreno Glacier, we returned to El Calafate through the steppes.
It is an all empty space and the views and the colours are beautiful. I hope this land will always stay this way. I hope that they won’t build a house, a hotel or a business in every single corner like in Turkey. I loved Argentina, this land –Patagonia- very much.
According to a legend, if you taste the ice cream, jam or juice of the fruit of the el calafate bush, which gave its name to this town, then you would come back here. So F. and I had el calafate ice cream. This way, for the first time in 7 months, I had ice cream just for the sake of this legend. It was quite nice. It is a dark purple fruit, which is in between a grape and mulberry.
The wind now seems to have stopped. I hope that we will not experience scary moments during our flight to Buenos Aires tomorrow.