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Ice Ice Baby

As I mentioned in my last post, I met a Spanish cyclist on the New Year’s Eve in Puerto Natales. Juan (www.panamerikana.org) is going to do the whole Pan-American Highway all the way up to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska! He calls me El Sueco Loco, but I wonder who of us that is crazy… On our way on Ruta 40 in Argentina, we cycled through beautiful landscapes with strong winds and many corderos and condors. The second day, we had strong tail-wind for the first time since leaving Ushuaia, and you could easily do 50 km/h without barely pedalling! We also tried my idea of using a sleeping pad as a sail but unfortunately it didn’t work out very well.

Landscape

Condor

Juan on the ripio

We also caught a few trouts from a bridge (next time I’m gonna do it FROM the bicycle!), which we ate together with a Spanish speciality from Asturias called Sopa de ajo. The last day, the wind only allowed us to do 13 km/h in a steep downhill! However, we have not yet encountered the really strong winds. A few days before we came to a place called Tapi Aike, they had measured record winds of up to 140 km/h, which is almost 40 m/s. The German couple, who we met in El Calafate, had been cycling on on of these days and were just blown off the road and could barely walk with the bicycles even though they had the wind slightly from the side/back. From here, we only have to make it to El Chaltén and after that we will say adios to the Patagonian winds (hopefully forever), puh!

El Calafate is home to one of Argentinas most important tourist attractions, the Perito Moreno glacier. This glacier is about 50-60 meters tall, 5 km wide and 30 km long. It is one of the many exit points of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, which after Antarctica and Greenland contains the world’s biggest reserve of fresh water. I went on a trekking tour on the glacier which was very nice, except for the other 100+ people that were doing the same thing. The glacier constantly keeps on calving, and it is a great experience to see the enormous blocks of ice break loose and fall into the lake Lago Argentino.

Perito Moreno glacier

Trekking on the Perito Moreno glacier

Perito Moreno glacier

I was also very impressed of the colors found on this kind of glacier. The diffraction of the rays of the sun create the whole spectrum of blue, as shown in the many holes and crevasses of the glacier.

Ice

Ice

Ice

That’s all for now, me and Juan are heading to El Chaltén in about an hour and hope to have trout for dinner tonight so we better get going!