Monday, February 19, 2007


Moreno Glacier

Moreno Glacier is the star attraction at the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares in Patagonia, Argentina. It covers a bigger area than the city of Buenos Aires. There are even larger glaciers in the park, but this one is the most accessible.

Tour buses bring hundreds of people to the park to see the glacier and to watch chunks of ice fall into the glacial lake. The ice roars, almost like thunder, as it falls. It's not a wilderness experience but it's very impressive.

We took a short boat ride to one of the faces of the glacier. It's a huge wall of ice-- maybe 100 feet high, with another hundred feet, or so, underwater and a couple of kilometers across. Some years, the glacier advances enough to create a natural dam across the lake. When that happens, the impounded water rises until it eventually ruptures the dam.

The park has a lot of wildlife, but the animals generally stay away from the road. On the bus ride from El Calafate to the park, we saw seven condors soaring above the steppe.

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