Chile Honeymoon: Day 8 -- Glacier Tour

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

For our second excursion in Patagonia, we were treated to a boat ride down the fjords to Serrano Glacier. It was bitterly cold and wet in the morning, but that didn't stop me from spending most of the ride on the deck being whipped by the wind. Maybe one can tell by Alex's face how cold it really was? 

When we arrived at Serrano Glacier, we took a short hike up to get close to it. Our guide told us that when she visited the glacier for the first time thirty years ago, you could touch it from where I was standing on that rock. (Also, note the alpaca mitten that we picked up in Punta Arenas. They came in very handy!)

The glacier was as stunning blue, and absolutely breathtaking in size. Photos just don't do it justice. It was sprinkling the entire time we were up at the glacier, but it would turn out that that would be all the rain we'd see the entire trip. I didn't have a hood or hat, so I made a head covering with my scarf and headband... Kinda looks of Lawrence of Arabia.

As we were sailing away from Serrano Glacier, we were served pisco sours with glacier ice. I don't know if it was the alcohol or the weather, but it seemed to warm up and we were able to spend some time comfortably on the observation deck without our jackets on. I was glad I dressed in layers: long sleeve striped tee, under a chambray short sleeve tee, under a sweater, all under my coat!

Behind us is Balmaceda Glacier. Though smaller than Serrano, it was quite impressive in the way it just hung off the edge of the mountain and seemed to go so far up as to disappear into the sky.

Chile Honeymoon: Day 7 -- Puerto Natales

When: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Where: Puerto Natales, Patagonia, Chile

After two long days of travel (a five-hour flight to Punta Arenas with a layover in the middle, the day before, and a four-hour drive north in the morning) we finally arrived at Hotel Remota in Puerto Natales. The major draw to this area was the proximity to the national park, Torres del Paine -- more on that later. We settled into this spectacular rustic-modern hotel, had an enormous three-course lunch, and then set out on our first excursion.

We told our guides, Lucho and JP, that we didn't want to go on a "big hike," and they took our request seriously. We ended up taking a van ride to just outside the national park where the three caves are. Most tourists just go to the last and largest cave, Cueva Milodon, but we got a private tour of the small cave, with "ancient" writings (read: "So-and-so was here 1912"), and the medium cave which was full of calcium dripping spires.   

We were also treated to an impromptu picnic lunch provided by our guides (hey, that was what was in that big backpack!) before heading to the main cave. Though it was filled with other tourists, we couldn't help but be swept away in the beauty of that last cave. Evidence of ancient human activity was found there, and it was easy to see why anyone would seek shelter in a place dripping with fresh water, and with sweeping views of the fjords just outside.

It was decently warm, but I was excited to make use of my brand new pink puffer jacket. I layered a grey tee under my chunky pink sweater and trusty gold dot scarf, for added warmth, and though my legs were a bit chilly, I was very happy with my choice of leggings. Also, I must say that I was super impressed with the quality and feel of my tennis shoes. I was remiss in breaking them in, and though I admit the first hike was short, I didn't have a single blister after wearing them for the first time!

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