San Telmo Flea Market (Philip Dorfman)
We rushed out of El Galpon Del Glaciar at 7:40 am with our backpacks and box lunches since the van taking us to the Perito Moreno glacier was a few minutes early. In the late 1800’s, Perito (‘Specialist’) Francisco Moreno explored this still wildness region. The Perito Moreno, non-retreating, glacier is in the huge Glacier National Park, an hour away. The guide on the van covered the history and facts of the park and the glacier, entirely in Spanish. The guide asked us for payment for the park entrance in Spanish and she told us to bring our litter back with us. (Understanding Spanish would be a definite plus.) The weather this day was absolutely perfect, 45-60°F with bright sunshine and no wind all day. After a picture stop we arrived at the ferry for the first of the day, 15 minute ride across Argentino Lake. Our English speaking group included a man from Atlanta, a Korean couple and 20 French folks. We left our backpacks and box lunches in a cubby space provided in a cabin. We put on our wind pants over our pants and walked half a mile, over a rocky path, to the crampon station. The guides attached crampons to our boots. We received instructions on how to walk on the glacier, by our lead guide, Rolando. Lucas, the side guide, made sure everyone was OK while walking on the glacier. Rolando and Lucas used ice axes to smooth the ice and carve steps. We proceeded single file onto the glacier. For the next 90+ minutes we walked very carefully on the glacier, with several rest stops along the way for pictures. The views of the ice formations were incredible. We were very warm at near 50F temperature, with bright sunshine. We toasted the end of a great activity with Old Grouse scotch on the rocks, served by Rolando. After coming off the glacier we returned the crampons and reversed our steps back to the boat landing area. We had our lunch at the outdoor picnic area. At 1:15 pm we boarded the boat to catch our bus parked on the other side of the lake. The bus took us to the park visitor’s area for 90 minutes. There were multi-level platforms to view the glacier and take pictures. We met several interesting people including a retiree from the same large company I work for. We were greeted with hugs from Norma and Ricardo, one of the Argentine couples we had dinner with the night before. We got back to the estancia late afternoon. We watched a travel video on Argentina while we enjoyed our welcome drink, a day late. We were the only guests for dinner this night in the estancia’s dining room. From the limited menu, the appetizers, lamb stew and dessert were fair.
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