Once, looking for some interesting ideas for winter getaway, I suddenly saw a stunning photo of Perito Moreno glacier. It impressed me so much, that I decided to come and see it with my own eyes. The fact that there was no company, as well as Spanish language skills didn’t confuse me. I packed my backpack and go
While my plane flight over Patagonia numerous questions swiveled in my head – what if it’s beautiful only at professional photos? May be all beautiful places are available only for experiences hikers? May be it’s all photoshop? And what’s with the weather?
But they all disappeared when I looked at the window. My heart definitely skipped some beats. I saw gorgeous Rio Santa Cruz, slowly carrying its turquoise waters through red Patagonia desert. It looked so unreal, I even heard people near me discussing whether it’s water, or some acid.
At that moment I realized that I’m going to some kind of wonderland.
I got only 3 days at Patagonia (It’s very short time for this part of the world and if I were more experienced I’d spend at least a week there) and planned to visit 2 main attractions – glacier Perito Moreno and stunning Fitz Roy mountain. Great luck, that for 3 days weather was pretty amazing –no wind, no rain just beautiful blue sky and rather warm days. They say, its really very rare thing^)
I started with Perito Moreno. It’s really differ from pictures that were in my head, I think there are no photos, that show how great it really is. Ice peaks rises up to 74m below lake waters and underwater there are hundreds meters of ancient ice.
Every now and then you can hear loud thunders, like storm is coming – it’s ice walls crashing into water. And color! here you can see all possible shades of blue – from neon ultramarine to dark, velvet, almost black. Scientists says, that ice color can help to define age of ice. This glacier is told to be 30 000 years old…
Standing in front of Perito Moreno, taking a look from the boat, you forgot about all difficulties and inconveniences – long flights, sleepless nights, extremely cold nights – I used to sleep at 2 sweaters and move bed towards батарея – it all fades away. I can’t even imagine that ice field can be so fascinating and, what is absolutely unexpected, alive. You feel that glacier is breathing, living, destroying and born again every day, for 30 000 years…..
After visiting Perito Moreno I thought that its almost impossible to impress me more. I was mistaken.
After 3 hours ride across Patagonia desert eyes get used with plain and desert landscape – no houses, no people, only some wild llamas. It suddenly changes. When you see the silhouettes of Fitz Roy and Cierro Torres, morning light reflecting at Viedma lake you think that it’s kind of mirage
Everything starts at little village El Chalten – there is kind of ranger station with maps and recommendations. As I got only 1 day I choose a hike to Laguna Capri beautiful calm lake with great view at Fitz Roy. It’s told that the distance to the final point is 7,5 km and it takes about 2h.
Fitz Roy, or El Chalten, as locals calls it, is like a part of Moon, or Mars, or another far away planet turned on Earth. Though it’s not very high – about 3405m but it’s one of the hardest peaks to conquer due to weather and it’s granite structure
Trail is very interesting and full of surprises and though it looks quite safe – it’s not, due to weather conditions. They say you need about 1h 45 min to go to final point, but don’t try to – every now and then you’ll probably want to stop and admire landscapes, to sit at the rocky mout edge, to listen to condors, to make a deep breath of Patagonia air and to feel yourself free and alive…
My favourite spot is a little path, going from main trail with a view at Rio de los Vueltas – In translation it means – river of comebacks. I don’t know exactly why it’s called so, but I definitely want to come back.
To visit Patagonia is like to visit another planet and what is especially great – it’s possible for everyone who really wants it – retired couple, photographers, adventurers, or girls like me, decided to conquer South America solo.