TRIP OF A LIFETIME!!!
WOW!!!!!!! There are literally no words to fully describe how amazing this 17-day trip was. However, I am going to try. Be prepared for a lot of repetitive adjectives.
I have detailed the trip in pictures and videos on my Instagram and Facebook pages. Both are public so you shouldn’t need your own account to view either. I will highlight my favorite parts of each location. However, I strongly suggest checking out my social media.
Getting to El Calafate, Argentina to hike Patagonia was tiresome. It’s a lot of flying which lead to long days. However, once I arrived, it was very pretty. The town is quaint, and people are nice. My favorite part of this portion of the trip was the Perito Moreno Glacier. Like most people, I have seen pictures and videos of glaciers. None of them have ever done it justice. This glacier was spectacular!!! To see its sheer size and beauty in person was amazing. I loved hearing it crack and watching parts of it fall. Then to hike up and see how far back into the mountains it goes…WOW!!!! When we were up there, we would hear a crack and search to see if anything was going to fall. You never knew where the crack was coming from. This glacier in particular covers about 97 square miles and is almost 250 feet tall. It grows an average of six and a half feet a day, so when it breaks, it’s not something to worry about. Just don’t get too close when it does break.
(me with the Perito Moreno Glacier in the background)
After the Perito Moreno Glacier, we traveled to El Chalten to do some hiking with spectacular views of Fitz Roy and then the Vespignani Glacier. More flying…yay!! This time it was a short flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Welcome to the End of the World. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. After a couple of days there, we boarded the lovely Ocean Victory to head south to Antarctica.
We were blessed with being able to do quite a few zodiac cruises and landings. My favorite was…well there are 2. Of course, the first landing was so cool. To finally see the gentoo and chinstrap penguins in person was amazing!!! I loved watching them in their natural habitat and how they reacted to us being there. Nothing truly beats the first time you see a penguin in the wild in person.
(a chinstrap penguin and a gentoo penguin)
My other favorite landing was Cuverville. There were massive amounts of penguins!!! They would approach us, check us out, and then be on their merry way. Some would get very close and walk in our designated area. This would create “traffic” as we were not supposed to move if a penguin approached us. I was able to see penguins sleeping, penguins courting and doing their ritual for this, penguins chasing birds that eat their eggs, penguins chasing each other (this was absolutely hilarious), and even penguins mating. It was a very educational day. The weather at this landing was awesome. It snowed a lot and was cloudy. Then the sun would peak out and glisten on all the glaciers and just add a level of beauty to the scenery.
(just a small amount of all the penguins we got to see at Cuverville)
While going to Patagonia and Antarctica are not for the faint of heart, I would suggest going to many people. Just know, you should be able to walk/hike in not the greatest conditions, be able to get yourself out of snowbanks, and stand for hours. If you can do these things, then yes, absolutely go!!! You will not regret it!