- Those who are following my stories of Route 40 that I traveled by motorcycle in 2015 can access each of the stages through the references with links and images that they find at the end of this post.
- But starting today, when we are averaging the middle of the journey, I have decided to intersperse between each stage some stories and impressions of sites and places that I have taken the opportunity to visit.
- I have seen them as I pass by, I have crossed the signs indicating their location and, sometimes, I have had the time at my disposal to take a brief tour and learn a little more about them.
- Today I am going to talk to you about the highest road pass in the world outside Asia, the Abra del Acay, located in the jurisdiction of the province of Santa (Argentina).
- Route 40, also called Libertador General San Martín, is a legendary place to travel by car, motorcycle or hitchhiking.
- It occupies a privileged place among the most famous roads in the world, due to its length (it has more than 5,000 km), its landscapes and the regions it crosses.
- As a reference for those who lenn, I found this highway pass, in the second stage of my journey titled [The great journey of Route 40 in Argentina from north to south: the second stage, reaching Abra del Acay.] (Https: // hive. blog / ocd / @ patagonian-nomad / the-great-journey-of-route-40-in-argentina-from-north-to-south-the-second-stage-reaching-abra-del-acay).
- And today I show you some photos that for reasons of time and space I did not show you at that time.
When talking about La Pampa, we not only refer to the gateway to Patagonia but also to other features that characterize this province.
A little strange to tell the truth. The West begins to resemble true Patagonia. Aridity of the soil, scarcity of rains, large uncultivated areas, nonexistence of cattle.
The North of the province, on the other hand, represents the best of the humid Pampa. Excellent soils, intensive crops, intensive livestock farming, etc.
But there are also some specific details.
The Parque Luro Provincial Reserve is a landmark. As well as Casa de Piedra, the Caldenal, the Utracán lagoon and other lesser-known places.
Today I am going to talk about one of the aspects that most attract attention (and concentrate the visit of numerous tourists) such as the deer bellow.
What is the deer bellow?Around 1,500 red deer live in the Pedro Luro Provincial Park in the middle of the caldenes forest. The caldenal. The largest reserve of caldenes on the planet.
The bellow is the cry they emit calling the females to form their harem.
You have to be very cautious to observe this show. Because deer have a very fine nose. And if they detect the presence of intruders in the vicinity they do not gather. They don't bellow.
They are very respectful of your privacy.
Before seeing them the red deer sit down. Walking down a hill (an open path in the middle of the vegetation) suddenly you feel a scream, a very particular howl.
It is a red deer that is bellowing, that is calling the females to woo them.
The show is to see the entire herd bellowing. It is breathtaking and beautiful. It is like seeing nature reproducing itself.
The curious thing is that the concept of family as a group does not exist among red deer.
A lonely life.
The male lives among males in a group of 2 or 3 maximum.
Only in the fall does he approach the females to breed them.
Between March and April a hormonal process is triggered in the females that takes them only at that time of the year to the heat period.
The bellows of the males echo in the 7,600 hectares of caldenes, piquillín, grasslands, in the caldenes forest, amid the almost 200 species of birds that inhabit the forest.
You can't sleep at night during the roar period, says one of the park rangers.
During this period, males hardly eat. They spend their days bellowing, copulating with the females they have earned and fighting among themselves.
Sometimes they become entangled in their own antlers and, unable to unlock them, die. Tired to infinity. Resigned to their own destiny.
There are many places in the world that are beautiful but the Perito Moreno Glacier is simply breathtaking, imposing, wonderful.
We had promised to divide this adventure into two parts:
The first part is covered in this article and related the journey from the time we left El Calafate to the Perito Moreno Glacier:
and the second part we will tell you in this article.
There are two options for trekking on the glacier. One is 3 hours and is called Mini-Trekking and the other is 6 hours and is called Big-Ice
We opted for the second since it includes navigation and trekking. To hike up the glacier you have to take a boat that will take us to the starting point. Which is where the Los Glaciares National Park begins.
These are the first images from the ship.
We start walking through the forest. It is a 40 minute journey before reaching the glacier.
The Glacier is located within the limits of Los Glaciares National Park in the province of Santa Cruz
We get closer and see what awaits us. The landscape changes abruptly. The stones and pebbles later become ice.
Two duly distanced groups go ahead of ours.
Observing the glacier from the top before starting to descend towards it is a fantastic, exciting and unforgettable feeling.
Properly equipped and with the appropriate footwear we begin to travel through a surreal world of ice. We are very careful when walking to avoid slipping.
The hits are very hard. You have to firmly put your feet on the ice so that the crampon sticks into it.
Endless ice dunes. They look like the desert dunes. Only instead of the soft sand we have the hard ice underfoot.
Ice dunes in the foreground.
The tour we are doing (Big-Ice) is the most demanding and only people from 18 to 50 years old can participate
The ice does not have color as the guide explained. Actually the blue color that we see in cracks is because in those parts the ice is more compact, more condensed.
On the surface the first 30 cm the ice is porous, with the formation of crystals, due to the external temperature.
In depth, as the ice becomes more compact it acts as a light filter. Absorb all the colors of the day. These colors quickly bounce back and forth on solid ice, thereby producing an optical illusion. It is the famous blue color that we see.
A break on the ice halfway is not bad. We have to walk almost 4 kms on the ice!
The water runs between some crevices of the glacier on the surface and falls into deep wells called "sinks".
In this sector it is a little softer than in the mini-trekking area where you can see very high walls. But later we see a similar landscape where a "step" occurs on the glacier, a very steep slope that causes the glacier to accelerate.
When ice accelerates, as it is not elastic, a tension occurs. The tension causes a fracture in the glacier. And the fractures produce the cracks that we have seen throughout our journey. Like this one that the guide shows us.
And that it gradually widens over the years. The glacier advances at a speed of up to 2 meters per day in the center.
This is produced by the action of the water that runs between the cracks and lubricates the glacier and makes it more mobile. In this way the glacier slides down the mountain.
It is a unique experience. The cost is quite high but the experience is worth it. It is something unique in everyone's life.
And we come to the end. Taking as a souvenir a bottle of water from the glacier. Original. Unpayable.