This is the old North Room blog – the new one is at www.north-room.com/blog

WTU: Chile & Argentina

Posted in Argentina, Chile, Landscapes, Travel by Mike on April 4, 2009
The awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina. In a word, spellbinding.

Claire and I woke up before the sparrows started stretching for this and it was worth every minute of the bracing cold.  We arrived so early that it was still pitch black and we even avoided the Park’s entry fees because security hadn’t woken up.  Save for ourselves, there was nobody there.

Whilst we could barely make out the glacier’s form from the small amount of ambient light its icey exterior gave off, we could hear it loud and clear – its perpetual advancing motion provided a back-drop of gunshot-style explosions as the ice cracked and yielded to pressure from the frigid waters of Lake Argentina which it divides.  It was so eerie seeing the outline of this humungous wall of ice gradually emerging as day broke, particularly with its unique and arresting soundtrack.

If it wasn’t for us chatting to a french couple, Virginie and Théophile, whom we met at our lodgings in Valparaiso, we almost certainly wouldn’t have gone here.  I don’t even think we knew it existed.  But they both insisted that it was worth seeing so we took the 28 hour bus journey to do so.  Bottom-numbing drive aside, it was absolutely marvelous.

Argentina as a whole was actually wonderful.  I have to admit that our potted history with the Argies on the fields of both football and battle presented me with a small number of negative preconceptions about the place but the Argentines were such genuinely nice folk – warm, friendly and thoroughly welcoming.  And what a country – the 8th largest on Earth with a huge array of diversity.  Winelands, mountains, glaciers, beautiful lakes and waterfalls, even world-class archeology, with the largest collection of dinosaur fossils you can find.  Buenos Aires was brilliant too – we tangoed like retards the pros, ate and drank like kings and partied our socks off.  We’ll definitely be coming back here, not least because we only really felt like we scratched the surface.

So now we’re in Perth, Western Australia, and are heading to the beach.  Neither of us can believe how quickly New Zealand came and went, our campervan escapades there were great and we’ll have some shots from there, as well as our short stay with Lou & Ru, up here soon.  Stay tuned…

The Mitchams x

PS – homecoming party at ours on 9-May-09 – everyone welcome.  Hit me up on email if you need our address.

The glacier is an 18 mile long river of ice, 200ft high and up to 4km wide.

260ft high, 5km wide, 0 degrees C.

 

I took this from a hill about six miles away from the glacier.  If you look closely, the tiny black dot in the water just before the glacier is a passenger-carrying catamaran!

I shot this from a hill about six miles away. If you look closely, you might be able to see a tiny black dot in the water just before the glacier. It's a passenger-carrying catamaran.

 

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We went biking around Argentina's lake district (Bariloche) and this was a spot we found for lunch.

To warmer climes, this is a spot we found for lunch whilst biking around San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina.

 

"Yes - I definitely want the chips as well"

"Actually, make it half a portion of fries please, Pepé"

 

Buenos Aires, birthplace of el Che.

Buenos Aires.

 

 

La Boca - where Maradona learned his trade.  There was actually a Maradona look-alike in a bar there who I wanted to photograph with Claire, but she refused.  Don't blame her.  I crunched him in a massive sliding tackle just before we left.

La Boca - where Maradona learned his trade. There was actually a Maradona look-alike in a bar there who I wanted to photograph with Claire, but she refused. Don't blame her. I crunched him in a massive sliding tackle on his way back from the gents.

 

Valparaiso - this was next door to our hostal.  Looks dodgy.  Was dodgy.

Valparaiso, Chile - our hostal is just out of shot to the right. Cool, but a tad on the wrong side of dodge.

 

Claire at "The Three Marys".  This was such a badly shoe-horned naming of three wind-carved pieces of stone that I couldn't bring myself to taking a closer shot.

Claire at the so-called "Three Maries Stones" - naming so tenously shoe-horned in by the Chilleans that I couldn't bring myself to take a closer shot.

 

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A tiny church we came across in the Atacama

A church in the Atacama.

 

"I'm sick of this road always being ramned!"

"Honestly Gary, aren't ewe fed up of this road always being rammed?!"

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