Monday, January 16, 2006

Jan 16 - Perito Merino

We made it to El Calafate last night and managed to find the last four beds in town. Today we took an afternoon bus to the Perito Merino glacier - one of the few advancing glaciers around.

The glacier was massive. Roughly 16 stories high, about 4 km across at the front and 30 km long. There are a number of observations decks for people to sit and watch as big chunks of ice break off the glacier and crash into the lake. You can see people on one of the decks at the bottom of the picture to give you an idea of how big it is.

The glacier has also cut the lake in half - on the left side the water is substantially higher. This happens every couple of years until the pressure builds up enough and then the lake blows through the glacier. After seeing what looked like relatively small pieces of the glacier fall into the lake and make a huge boom, we can only imagine what kind of explosion results when the lake finally bursts the dam.

We hung out for awhile watching the glacier 'calve', and what better way to enjoy the wonders of nature than with a couple bottles of wine (note the tin cups)


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