The Perito Morena Glacier and Lake Argentino

It has a life of its own. It groans, bangs, pops and grinds its way through and down the Mountains. It even has calves. Or at least it calves bits of itself into the western branch of the Lago Argentino, the largest lake wholly within Argentina. More about it later as we started of with the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the largest feeding off the Patagonian icecap. The cap itself is the third largest reserve of the World’s freshwater. The terminal face of the glacier is about 5km wide as it bumps into the Magellan Peninsula in the lake. It moves forward and an amazing pace of about 2 meters a day so there are numerous calvings a day. When a 50 meter tall chunk of blue ice breaks off and falls into the Lago it is spectacular and loud. Due to the scale and distances involved by the time you hear it and see it is almost over often.

The lake itself is vast, over 1400 square kilometers in area and up to 500 meters deep. I don’t know how many Sydney Harbours that is, which seems to be a common Australian measurement of water bodies. Anyway it is fed by glacial runoff so has that amazing grey-green colour that you get due to the suspended glacial flour in it, superfine ground up rocks and mountains. So fine it does not settle out for a long time.

Being a lake it has all the usual water birds like ducks, swans, geese and flamingos. The last one was a surprise to me. I knew they had them way further north in Venezuela and Africa of course, but not at the southern end. A land full of surprises.



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