But, I'm glad I didn't stay behind. The next day, we went out on a boat into Beagle Channel and circled little rock islands where we were able to get pictures of the local wild life sunning themselves. There were fur seals, sea lions and all sorts of birds right there on the rocks. Yes, two and a half hours well spent.
In the afternoon, we drove through the most magnificent mountains to a wonderful little farm, where they fed us lamb, potatoes, salad, ice cream and delicious coffee. The coffee was prepared by our host, using his own receipt. He was very proud to share with us, just how he did it. He said he poured burning sugar into the coffee pot, added the rind of an orange,
cinnamon and a dozen different liquors from around the world. Then he added a piece of wood in the pot which soaked up the
We topped off the afternoon with an hour at the lovely and peaceful Lake Escondido. Quoting from the travel brochure, "The drive to the lake is one of
unparalleled beauty. Mighty glaciers have left deep wide valleys interspersed with fjords, and pine forests. The lake itself is picture perfect with it's sapphire hues contrasting starkly with the velvet green of the forest and the surrounding white capped mountains." They did not
exaggerate! That is exactly as it was!
Later that afternoon we left Ushuaia and flew to Rio Gallego for two nights in Calafate, a resort, situated on Lake Argentino at the entrance of Glacier National Park.
Day ten was glacier day, for us, at the incredible Perito Moreno Glacier. In route, we drove up into forest country, and for miles, skirting the lake and we could see the glacier in the distance. From time to time, we stopped to get pictures. As we neared, we started seeing a rainbow over the lake, which became more and more vivid in color as we approached.
Perito Moreno Glacier must be experienced from both ends. First, this mighty glacier spills into an enormous lake. We visited the right side in the morning, before lunch. At this side, the waters from the lake have broken through the glacier, forming a tunnel and cascading into the gorge, over the rocks for, perhaps, 100 to 150 feet, to join up with a river. I would guess the descent drops about 75 to 100 feet to join that river. There are several tourist lookout points, at different levels, going down into the gorge. As one descends, one is constantly looking up at the glacier on the opposite shore, not more than
75 feet away. The roar of the water is deafening. The glare from the white icy cliffs of the glacier are blinding. The ice bridge over the tunnel is expected to collapse at any time and people stand there for hours waiting for it to happen. We stood and watched for about an hour, and I must admit it was quite fascinating. Parts of the icy cliff kept breaking off while we were there, but no tunnel collapse.
After lunch, we returned to the bus, drove over to another section of the lake and boarded a speed boat, large enough for our entire tour group. We then went out on the lake, to view the glacier from the lake side and watch it "calve". "Calving" occurs when pieces of the glacier break off and form ice bergs. There are two types: the bergs that break off above the water level, and the "shooters" that break off below the water and come, shooting up and breaking the surface of the water before
dropping back down. At least