After having a slew of bike issues in the flat and windy far reaches of Patagonia, we were just about ready to give up and go home. Tim and I weren't exactly enjoying ourselves anymore, because if you could see our faces from inside our helmets as we strained against the relentless wind, you would've noticed that we were grimacing and probably swearing with every bad word we could think of.
Intense winds are awful, but our motorcycle falling apart brought us to a whole new level of frustration. The worst was the day after I wrote my last blog, March 3rd. We'd just spent $1,000 on bike repairs, got new tires, a new chain, an oil change, and we were thrilled to be back on the road again... until we got to Puerto Natales, Chile, and noticed oil dripping out of every spot on the engine that it could find. It was a disaster, and we felt defeated.
The park is not cheap to enter (21,000 Chilean Pesos per person for a day-pass, ~$31.50), and it's an extremely popular destination, especially with hikers who pack the place throughout the summer. But for us, it was worth every penny because the traveling gods had finally decided to give us a break from our string of misfortunes by treating us with a glorious day. For the entire week prior it had just been clouds and rain up there, but as we wound our way along the dirt road that snakes through the park, we were greeted with beaming sunshine, breathtaking views, and believe it or not, barely any wind.
Just then, I heard thunder. Roaring, crumbling, crescendoing thunder. I looked back at the mountain peaks with only crystal blue sky behind them, and as I started to wonder where the storm was coming from, it hit me. An avalanche.
Actually the avalanche didn't hit me, the snow was way off in the distance, which I'm thankful for. But Tim and I took that moment to appreciate the sheer immensity and force of mother nature. And we were simply happy to be experiencing life to the fullest once again.
Now there are tons of glaciers in this world, and for someone who doesn't like the ice and cold, visiting glaciers is not high up on my list of things to do. But Perito Moreno is special because of its position.
And like the Grand Canyon, you feel time in all its vastness, as you realize that you are just a mere blip in the age of this earth. You are nothing compared to the amount of time it took for this glacier to form way up there in the mountain. And then slowly flow down to the lake. And then finally crumble into it. Just like the Colorado River took millions of years to create the Grand Canyon, you feel small, insignificant, and at the same time, so appreciative to be able to witness it all.
Perito Moreno Glacier is located just 45 minutes away from the cute town of El Calafate, it has handicapped accessible lookouts, miles of boardwalk trails, and for the extremely adventurous, is next to Los Glaciares National Park which is free and full of hikes to many other glaciers. I would highly recommend coming here for anyone.
Okay, so technically his bike is the R version, and we have the S, but whatever, same bike basically, and for me it was an incredible experience not just because of the gorgeous locale and Roberto's great sense of humor, but also because he brought fishing gear. So we spent the afternoon catching trout in the river, and Roberto showed us his culinary skills as he gutted them and grilled them on the fire. And this was seriously the most delicious fish I've ever had. What a night!
As always, we'll keep you posted here. You can subscribe to our blog, and follow us on facebook and instagram. Also, check out Tim's book about our humble beginnings and how this whole thing got started.
Also, come see us at the Overland Expo West on May 17-19! We'll be speaking and we'd love to see you there!