I learned a new fact today. Argentina has the third largest glacier mass in the world, behind Antartica and Greenland. Argentina has over 100 glaciers and the one in the picture above, Perito Moreno Glacier, is over 30 km long and moves at an incredible 2 meters per day.
My non-fishing trip today was to this glacier, where we could see the falling ice sheets break away from the front of the glacier and crashing into the lake. Largo Argentino is the third largest lake in Argentina and is fed by several large glaciers.
The good news is that today was one on the sunniest and warmest days at 18 C degrees and it was magical to walk down towards the face of the glacier and watch the sheets of ice break off and fall into the lake. The face of the glacier is 50 meters high, but the depth below is around 175 meters. And it sounds like a cannon shot when the ice sheet breaks off and hits the water.
We then boarded a large catamaran and sailed up to the face of the glacier. Talk about magical to see and hear the ice falling into the lake with a thunderous roar!
All this closeness to nature and the wild was somewhat dampened by the news that COVID-19 seems to be spreading out of control and nations are reacting swiftly to shut down all conventions, sports venues and even airports. My return trip to London has been cancelled and my wife is working on alternative flights, assuming there are such things.
So, as the world comes to grips with COVID-19 and the first modern pandemic, I will be spending the next 6 days out in the Patagonia steppes with only 6 other people and hopefully lots of fish. There could be much worse places to be marooned than Lago Strobel! My wife in London tells me that the supermarket shelves are empty of the essentials: toilet paper, baking flour, dried noodles and pasta. And Gin is rapidly disappearing – that at least I understand.
So, tune in tomorrow as I take a 5 hour drive from El Calafate to Estancia Laguna Verde and the beginning of what was supposed to be a non-event fishing holiday, except that everyday the news seems to get a little worse.
Today I learned that Butch Cassidy spent nearly 10 years in Patagonia after his legendary bank robberies. Hopefully I can get back home before 10 years.
And in honour of my last evening in El Calafate, I treated myself to an Argentina-sized Gin & Tonic