Photography: Argentina 2005
In early December of 2005 I flew out to Buenos Aires (above) to being a 3 week tour of Patagonia, encompassing parts of Argentina and Chile. Loosely, Patagonia is the name given to the southernmost part of mainland South America, separated from the even more southerly archipelago of Tierra del Fuego by the Magellan Straight. It is an enourmous area, extending over 1000 miles from the north to the south, much of it covered by high, snow and ice-capped mountains, and some parts accessible only by sea or air.
After a day in Buenos Aires, we flew into San Martin de los Andes, in Lanin National Park, to being our tour. This is a popular area for trekking, sailing, horse-riding and mountain-biking. Other more or less adventurous activities are on offer for those who want them. I decided to go for a walk in the park, and climbed the "Colorado" volcano, so called because of its many differently-coloured rocks. Yours truly may be seen standing victorious at the top of the 900 meter climb in the photo above. Despite it being almost midsummer, there was still a lot of snow in places above about 1500 meters, apparently because they had had an exceptional winter.
Our next stop after San Martin was San Carlos de Bariloche. On the way we travelled through some stunning scenery on the "Seven Lakes Road", which runs through a series of national parks past no fewer than seven lakes and lagoons between the two towns. The above photos show four of these lakes. In the third photo, a family of geese swim past.
After the "Seven Lakes Road", we stopped for a few minutes at the small town of Villa Langostura. On the far side of the Lake from San Carlos de Bariloche, one has the impression of being surrounded by high mountains and wild forests. And hot chicks - thanks to Kylie for posing!
The day after, near Bariloche, we all went white-water rafting. Although I decided not to bring my camera for the actual event, I nonetheless have a photo of the beautiful valley we were in, near the Chilean border.
After Bariloche, we left Argentina and moved on to Chile, but we did return to Argentina briefly, to see the amazing Perito Moreno glacier. This is one of the only glaciers originating in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field that isn't retreating a an alarming rate. Indeed, it periodically advances so far that it reaches the far shore of the lake at its base, cutting off one arm of the lake from the main body of water. This natural ice dam eventually gives way in a spectacular rupture event. When we went, the glacier was damming the lake. The rupture event started on the 14th of March 2006.
The two photos above show the Perito Moreno Glacier. In the first photo, people standing on the deck of a cruise ship are dwarfed by the 75-meter-high front of the glacier. At 5 km in length, the front is not the longest in the area, but is certainly one of the more active ones, calving large icebergs on a regular basis, some of which can be seen floating in the foreground. In the second photo, taken somewhat later, the weather has improved and the accumulation zones of the glacier are visible. Again, a tourist boat stands just off the glacier wall.