Argentina 2013: A Wonderful Hunt and Fantastic Vacation: Ice Bergs Ahead Matey

by david on September 27, 2013

Thursday June 6, 2013

We made it to breakfast in the inn’s lobby by 6:45 and found the spread to be a good one.  Everyone had enough (we hoped) to make it to lunch.  Our bus picked us up at 7:20 for our first day’s excursion.  The drive was a little over an hour.  I can’t believe it is still dark as the sun is not up until about 9:00.  There were several other bussed and tour groups in the parking lot and I tried to herd Janice and the girls to the ticketing office.  We had prepaid for excursion, but not the admittance into the national park.  I put the girls in line and Janice and I went to buy the park tickets.  This was the type of transaction I could handle.  I know how much the admission fees were, so I just held up four fingers and plopped down the appropriate amount of currency.  I was sort of pleased with myself with the successful, trouble-free transaction, and mentioned my satisfaction to my bride.  The rolling of her eyes conveyed her thoughts and I decided to keep any future thoughts of my own to myself and headed back towards my daughters.

At 9:00 am, the gate opened and we walked out onto the dock and got our first up-close look at Lake Argentina and the catamaran we were to take to the glacier.  The catamaran was a huge two-story ship with seating for 125-150 passengers.  It was nowhere near full today, with probably only 50-60 people on board.  We settled into our seats and I started looking around.  The sun was just starting to peak over the horizon and I was immediately struck by the fact that most of the shoreline was made up of mountains.  I don’t mean there were mountains close to the shore, but that the water ran right up to the vertical face of a mountain.  Aside from the opening we had come through, there were mountains in just about every direction.  The shadows cast among the rock faces of the mountains reflecting on the dark-blue water gave the view an other-worldly look.  Add in a few snowcapped peaks and the scene was somewhat breathtaking.  Little did I know, the best was yet to come and I just kept snapping picture after picture.

We rode for about an hour before we got our first taste of the glacier.  The channel we took toward the glacier was full of icebergs.  Everyone started moving about, jockeying for the best positions for viewing and taking pictures.  Camera shutters were clicking in every direction capturing the images of the icebergs, landscapes, friends, family, and even some self-portraits.  I was awestruck by all of the shades of blue I could see.  The icebergs themselves were responsible for a couple of dozen, the water a few more, and finally the blue of the sky.  There were even a few patches of fog or mist that had a bluish tint to them.  The blues ranged from the palest powder blue to a deep royal, almost purple blue.  I could not help but think of my earlier description of other-worldly.  The view was so completely foreign and so completely beautiful, I was afraid even my pictures will not do it justice.

After the sun rose a little higher, the water itself started changing color.  In the predawn hours, it was almost black, in the low light of daybreak it was a deep blue, and now it was approaching the color of a blue-green opal.  It was also very, very clear.  I could see all the way through the waves as they rolled past and when they slowed down to a dull roar, I could see probably 15-25 feet deep.  Glaciers have long been used in advertising to represent clean, pure water; there was no longer any doubt in my mind as to the validity of that claim.

Previous post:

Next post: