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Turning 30 South American Style With the dreaded 30th birthday looming, I ran away to South America to celebrate the landmark birthday in style.

El Calafate Perito Merino glacier

ARGENTINA | Sunday, 9 March 2008 | Views [1947]

For once, the hype is all true. The Perito Moreno Glacier is truly one of the most awesome things I have ever seen. The thing is massive, a huge great big wall of pure solid blue ice in the most spectacular setting, crashing down into a lake of turquoise blue freezing cold water.
The town of El Calafate itself was a nice pleasant place, if frighteningly expensive. But we camped to claw back the costs and as a bonus, the plum tree in the camp ground was bursting with fruit so we ate it dry and filled our back packs with plums for the road too.
But the real attraction here is the glacier. We stumped up a bit extra for a boat ride to get right up close to the glacier. It was great because we arrived in a rain storm but the clouds retreated as we got closer to the glacier so it was almost as though it revealed itself slowly. The ice is packed so tightly it glows bright blue and it looks incredibly sharp. It really is spectacular and goes on for miles. You just can´t believe your eyes, the setting is perfect, descending from behind the mountains onto the lake. Although the clouds began to clear the wind came straight off the ice and it was bitterly cold. Apart from the hundred or so other tourists you could picture yourself at the end of the world. You can easily see how legends are born when you look at that.
The freezing weather kept our champagne nicely chilled though so we toasted our southern most point on the journey with a bottle of Norton, shared between myself, Steve, two American pensioners and a random Italian we found at the viewing platform. Nice.

Tags: argentina, boat, camping, el calafate, ferry, glacier, lake, mountain, perito merino glacier, stream

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