Argentina 2013: A Wonderful Hunt and Fantastic Vacation: Wall of Ice

by david on September 30, 2013

As we got closer to the glacier, the wind picked up from a steady breeze to the point that it was now howling.  The mist has turned into rain, then sleet, and then snow.  It was almost too cold and bitter to stand outside and take pictures, but everyone was doing so anyway.  Inside the cabin, everything was nice and warm and dry.  The only problem was the constant flow of people in and out of the doors, leaving the back of the boat somewhat colder than the front.  No matter, as most people were too focused on getting the best pictures possible and seemed to be able to ignore the cold.  If I had to guess the temperature and the wind added up to a chill factor of about 0o F.  The cold seemed to affect the girls and me less than some of the other passengers and we were able to stay out longer.  We had prepared for the cold by packing some of our high-performance synthetic ski wear.  It proved to be a great idea.  The clothing added little weight but was worth the effort as it held body heat and turned the wind and water.  We repeated the process many times on the seven-hour-plus boat ride slowing down only to eat lunch.  I had envisioned the sights becoming sort of “old hat” before the end of the day but that proved to be a false assumption.  I stayed captivated the whole time.

On the way back, the Captain pretended to get stuck on an iceberg and sent the crew out to break us free.  They put on a good show and used a harpoon and push poles to break up chunks of ice.  In actuality, they were getting a big chunk of ice to bring in and serve cocktails with.  It was an ingenious marketing idea and I had to fall in line with many of my fellow passengers.  After all, what could have been better than 10-year-old cognac with a million-year-old ice cube?

On the way back, we ran into a snow squall and it was a sight to see.  It started building up on the roads and was coming down so hard the bus’ windshield wipers could not keep it clear.  Our driver knew his stuff, however, and we made it back to the Hotel Shehuen safe and sound.


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