It was love in first sight.
I browsed the Web for pictures, creating dreams, telling myself that one day they’ll come true.
Then I saw it and my mouth dropped.
I fell in love.
I bought a book. I looked up info online. I bought a plane ticket. Getting there was a dream come true. It was bliss. It was heaven on earth.
Surrounded by unbelievable beauty and fun people, had I been on a longer, last trip, I would have stayed much longer.
If you know me, you’ve heard this name before: El Calafate.
I came for the glaciers. I loved the mountains, the biggest lake in Argentina (Lago Argentino), the animals on the way, the cute houses, the clouds, the unending fields of nature, The Glaciarium (a glacier museum of Patagonia)…. and I loved the glaciers.
One day I did the mini-trekking and actually walked on Perito Moreno, the only glacier in the world that still keeps its size (losing ice and rebuilding, while other glaciers simply lose ice). I haven’t written much about it here because it would have meant facing, again, the fact that out of dozens of thousands of photos I took on my trip, the only ones I lost were the ones from that trek. To be accurate, that memory card also contained other photos from Calafate, photos of penguins and photos of Ushuaia (AKA The End of the World). I kept checking my memory cards and verifying that it was there, so I am unsure whether it fell when I didn’t notice, whether it was stolen or whether something not-so-great happened on one of the less-wonderful computers I used in hostels to clear space in my cards.
Even though I know this is a fabulous excuse to go back, it physically hurt me to discover the photos have disappeared.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to believe me meanwhile that the beauty that is seen on that trek is heavenly: deep-blue frozen water cuts inside the glacier and even a deep-blue lagoon. Standing at a top of a glacier (the part of it that isn’t breaking, anyway) surrounded by snow-capped mountains and a clear lake is an experience I will never forget.
The day after I walked on it, I went on a boat trip to see Perito Moreno again, alongside a few other glaciers. The path was once again surrounded by mountains, and I could see thin waterfalls coming down from the top of the mountains all the way to the lake. The lake itself was abundant with iceberg, pieces large and small that broke away from the glaciers. An artist could not have shaped them better, or more diversely. I couldn’t stop photographing, I couldn’t stop smiling.
I spent my third day in The Glaciarium, the museum of glaciers. Photos are not allowed, except of the seemingly endless colorful fields and mountains surrounding the museum from every side. Every side besides one, that left space for the lake. Fascinated, I wanted to stay until nightfall. I was the last visitor to leave…. not before I got the chance to dance at the museum’s bar, built of ice, where glasses of ice are spread. My own real-life fairy tale.
I had only one day left, and a bus to nearby El Chalten (a 3 hour ride) was considered, yet I had to see Perito Moreno again. I spent hours staring at it and talking to local Argentines. I saw a gigantic piece of ice fall. I was in the process of changing batteries, of course.
Yet I will never forget.
As the Northern Hemisphere welcomes spring, I dedicate this week’s Video of the Week section to my Argentine spring and to the possibility of realizing dreams.
In the video, you will see the drive out of the Glacier National Park. You will see mountains. You will see a lake and sky so clear, the clouds duplicate themselves and appear in the water. If you are ready for a short moment of bliss, click play.