Argentina page 10

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Don't let the sun fool you... it was really really cold. The large lakes were just about the only bodies of water that weren't frozen.

I spent some time working on my technique... which still kinda stinks. Lucky I had my guide behind me to keep the boat going straight.

We stopped at one of the many beaches on the way and I indulged in a very traditional Argentine drink - mate. Tastes a bit like green tea...

...and, like many European cities... Bariloche also has an obsession with obelisks

Not entirely satsified with the windy cold cable cars of Cerro Camanario, I decided to try out Cerro Otto... a much higher mountain with much bigger chairs...

At the top... there is a revolving restaurant, the only one in Arentina. Not sure why it bothers to revolve... the view over Bariloche and the lakes in nice... but the view the other way, while still reasonable spectacular, is relatively boring in comparison.

Not sure what's going on down there... maybe someone's shooting a music video "come on baby light my fire"... but probably not.

Parque Nacional Lanin (31/5/07)

Ever wanting to get off the beaten track... I thought climbing a mountain would be a good idea. Why? Well, because its there, of course.

Hmm... looks like Mordor that way... lets go another way.

Adjusting crampons... not especially difficult, unless your fingers are frozen of course.

Our little expedition began innocently enough... just a walk through some forest.

It wasn't long before we began really needing this stuff. You can only go for so long before you just get sick of cutting steps into the ice... so you just put your crampons on and an air hockey table suddenly turns into flypaper

Always wear protection... I should've spent more time polishing that helmet...

Now here's a view you don't get out the side of a double-decker tour bus.

For fleeting moments throughout the first day, the weather cleared for just long enough for a good postcard shot

It felt pretty good being this close to the bottom of the clouds...

The mountain side refuge, built by the military to keep tabs on Chilean border movements... as in... to stop the border from moving. (The summit of the mountain is *just* on the Argentine side, I asked my guide whether I needed my passport))

The inside of the refuge... simple and effective...

The start of a very romantic candle-lit dinner on the side of a snow-capped volcano...

On the second day, the weather turned ugly... fugly even. Stepping out the door of the refuge, you couldn't see more than a few metres in front... which made things difficult. This shot was taken just as we came off the mountain. Visibility is much better now, at a few hundred meters. It was still very windy and unbelievably cold. The snot that had accumulated in the front of my balaclava was freezing over, making it difficult for me to breathe.

Trouble with those condors... is that they fly so darn high that its difficult to get a clear shot of one. This one is actually a baby, as evidenced by the brown feathers (adults are grey/black).

On the way back, we drove along the "seven lakes drive" which is very beautiful. We drove along the same route on our way here, but since it was 4:30-7:30am, we couldn't really see much. After being snowed off the side of Lanin, I now understand where all the water for all the lakes in the lake district comes from (and why that water is always so darn cold).


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