06.02.2011 - 08.02.2011 24 °C
About 7 hours later than planned, we finally arrived in El Calafate. The plane was initally delayed by a couple of hours (this is why we never ever get to an airport early!), and then took off, only for it to circle and return back to the airport! Our lack of Spanish meant we didnt have a clue what was going on (I think I heard something about the left Philangie was missing ). This happened again a second time, even after they'd flown in an inspector from Buenos Aires to OK the plane! No-one else seemed particularly surprised..."Typical South America" seemed to be everyone's reaction. I hope Faraday doesn't insure any South American airlines! They eventually changed the plane, and it proved third time lucky as we finally left.
Woke up early the next morning to do a tour of Perito Moreno, one of the few glaciers which is still advancing. We spent the morning walking around the glacier, watching several avalanches. The noise level was awesome..it was similar to loud thunder as huge chunks of ice crashed into the lake below. Unfortunately it was a pretty cloudy day...on a hot sunny day, ice continually breaks off, creating a continuous crescendo of noise! Still it was amazing to see...it certainly put the amount of snow and ice we get in the UK into perspective! The iceberg stretched further than we could see, and only represented less than 2% of the ice field! After Antartica and Greenland, it's the world biggest fresh water source.
In the afternoon we got a chance to trek on the glacier itself. We were on the ice for a couple of hours, navigating huge crevices. We wore crampons on the ice, which I found really clumsy...I think they weren't tied on properly, or at least that's my excuse for why I nearly fell a few times! The walk was amazing, with streams of water trickling down the iceberg - this water was completely pure, and very refreshing to drink. The trek ended with a quick drink of Whiskey on ice (quite literally!)...7 year old Bells with 100 year old ice! Not had any whiskey since leaving London - definitely an awesome way to finish the day! Needless to say, I had more than my fair share!