Saturday, May 7, 2011

El Calafate: Moreno Glacier

I arrived in El Calafate early in the afternoon, as I drive on the main street I see 2 bikes parked at a restaurent; Fernando's and Walter's bikes.

The 2 bikers I've met in Baja Caracoles. 
As I'm talking with them, a guy recognized my French-Canadian accent in my so-so Spanish. Alexis,  a guy from Montreal who also speak French, English and Spanish. He's with a French friend, they rented a car and were touring Patagonia for a few weeks.
Alexis told me he'll be in Buenos Aires after his trip, at about the same time I'm planning on going also. We exchanged info then the other 2 guys and I went to an hostel. We met 4 others bikers, 2 from Argentina, 2 from Switzerland. Some good food and wine were part of the meeting.
The bikers table. 
Next morning: Moreno Glacier 

The road to go there is pretty. 

The Glacier:  
After walking a little bit we decided to go for the boat tour, the last one of the day, then come back for more photos. 
The glacier is amazing, never saw such a thing, it's moving constantly. Wikipedia said it has an average height of 74 m (240 ft) above the surface of the water. 

A piece of ice felt down, just had enough time to take a picture of the water splashing.
On the left, can you see the people walking on the glacier? 
Also look for the floating ice that wasn't there before. 
We took a last look at the glacier as we returned back to Calafate. 
We left the next morning going further south, towards Chile. You need to enter and exit Chile to go to Ushuaia...
From Routa 40.

Further down the Routa 40 goes from paved to gravel and dirt for about 54km. I decided to go faster than my friends and wait for them on the other side where it's paved again.  They were going like 40-50km/h and I like to go 100km/h... They have more load up high on their bike which is more difficult in strong side winds, and they don't have knobbies tire like me...  

Anyway, I went fast and stopped at this gas/station on the other side. I looked at all the stickers of travelers, whishing I had one to stick there also.  
Took a coffee, looking by the window waiting for my friends to come. 30min goes by, then 45min, it should not be that long! I walked towards the dirt road and stopped a car coming from there. They said Fernando is looking at his bike about 5km behind, and Walter had a flat tire about 10km behind. Well ok I'll go see them if they're ok. 
I see Fernando, he said his bike stalled he doesn't know why and it won't start, and by the way my rim is bent. !#$%& How did I do that? When I'm not sure, maybe the time I hit a "guardagranados" that sent both of my wheels flying in the air at 100km/h, not sure.  Anyway, we tried to push-start the bike a few time, no success. I told him I'll see Walter then we'll both come back to help him out. 
I helped Walter to change the tube, his tires were quite worn out, which makes it easier to get flats... 
When we came back  towards where Fernando was, well he wasn't there, we went at the gas station, he wasn't there either. Walter wanted to go to Rio Gallegos (on the east) and I wanted to towards west, so we split up at that point. It was planned that we anyway before we left El Calafate, the only thing is that I was supposed to go with Fernando.

I went to Puerto Natales, near the Nation Park Torres del Paine, which will be on my next post :)

1 comment:

  1. Impressionnant le glacier! Il en a bcp en dans l'ouest canadien et américain... mais toi tu en as vu en Argentine. Pas banal.