Perito Moreno Glacier
The Perito Moreno Glacier is definitely the main tourist attraction in the area, but the thing that surprises me the most is how measured the bus intervals are. When we arrive at the entrance to the glacier viewing area, ours in the only vehicle in sight. Although I know there are likely scores of people inside, having the opportunity to enter without a crowd makes all the difference. Our bus driver tells us that we have an hour to view the glacier from the vantage point before we have to meet back. Cory and I leave quickly, putting as much distance between ourselves and our fellow passengers as we can before we stop and take in the beauty of the glacier. This way, once we are ready to pose for pictures and enjoy the sights, we can do so in relative peace.
At first we were hesitant to add this exertion onto the rest of our trip because we also had the opportunity to see glaciers on the cruise and in Torres del Paine - what if we were sick of looking at them by this point? But here, standing on the viewing platform, I am so glad that we decided to extend our stay. The electric blue of the ice, the crackling of the water. The ice is stationary, yet seems to be in perpetual motion. Cory and I snap several pictures, and the hour passes quickly.
Our trekking excursion takes up the better part of the afternoon and is similarly well-organized. There are several expeditions on the glacier at once, but it feels as though it is just our group chomping around on the ice. I'm surprised by the ruggedness of the terrain. . . for some reason when I imagined walking on glaciers I always pictured a flat surface. In reality it is like we are walking on the set of a Tim Burton movie. The tour and, for all intents and purposes our trip, ends with a shot of bourbon as we hand in our crampons. I can't think of a more fitting way to conclude.
Back at our hotel in El Calafate, Cory and I change into our cleanest clothes and head out for one last night on the town. We stop for a drink in what has become our favorite bar (a place we secretly think looks like it is straight out of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter) before heading to the best restaurant in town (at least according to our guidebook) and ordering an enormous plate of meat and a bottle of wine. Is there any other way to say goodbye to Argentina?