Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ice and Adventure!

Day 3 of the Argentina portion of our Honeymoon. Only yesterday we were in Buenos Aires. The day before New York and today we woke up in El Mirrador del Lago in El Calafate, Argentina. Located in Southern Patagonia, just 60 miles or so east of the Andes Mountains, El Calafate is a tiny little 1 street town. Tourism is the main industry here and what drives the local economy.

Our day began with a tasty little breakfast of cured meats and cheeses as well as a selection of breads and alfajores (cookies). We then grabbed our packed lunches and jumped a bus with the company Hielo Y Aventura. We ventured 60 minutes West into the mouth of the Andes. We paid our 40 peso entrance fee into the Nacional Parque del los Glaciers and shortly rounded the corner for our first glimpse at the Perito Moreno glacier.

Once the bus parked up, we had 2 hours to explore, take pictures and enjoy lunch. We took advantage of every moment. Standing at the edge of the glacier was like nothing I've seen before. But certainly measured up to seeing Australia's Uluru (Ayer's Rock), Niagara Falls, the jungle in the Philippines and Piha in New Zealand. Just simply a moment in time where all other thoughts escape your brain and are consumed by an amazing and rare landscape.

Precipitation falls in these parts about 300 days a year and somehow we got lucky enough to be here on a relatively warm and sunny day. We watched the ice break and crash into the water from the glacier wall several times. Not once did the excitement dissipate.

After about 75 jaw dropping minutes, we decided to huff it back to base. That's a lot of steps. Once back grabbed a seat, outside of course and chowed down on the lunch the hotel had packed us. Prosciutto and cheese on a sesame roll, custard, egg, pumpkin and pepper quiche and a diet coke. Very nice!

We hopped back on the bus which took us to the other side of the glacier. There we boarded a boat and took a 20 minute ride along the face of the glacier to the opposite shore. The glacier from the side looked a like hardened and cracked bar of Dove soap with a blue tint. The top was like frozen blue cotton candy. The snow capped mountains, the blue water and the green foliage that surrounded painted a site that is that normally only seen on TV and books. Both of us took several moments to just digest.

Once on the other side, we started our trek. We walked across the beach and had a seat so our tour guide could tell us about the glacier. Once the education was complete, we hiked up to the ice's edge. Once there the tour guides helped us to strap crampons with massive steel teeth onto our boots. A quick lesson on how to not fall on your face / ass or stab your opposite leg and we were officially hiking a glacier.


I just took a moment to review it in my mind again. About 9 months ago Cara and I watched an episode of Anthony Bordain's "No Reservations" where he visited Argentina. On the episode he hiked the Perito Moreno glacier. We were mesmerized and said "we have to do that!". We did and it was like nothing else either of us has ever done. We laughed, we hiked, we drank fresh water from the glacier and had the most amazing day with each other.
As you come over the very last hill on the hike, your met with a special treat. The guides have waiting a small oak table and rocks glasses. They pour everyone a glass of Famous Grouse Scotch that's accompanied by a chocolate alfajor. Scotch, cookies and my wife all on a glacier!?!b? "Have I died and gone to heaven?" I asked myself. Truly a fun and outrageous moment in an otherwise unforgettable day.

I can't think of anything more amazing I'd rather be doing with anyone less amazing than Cara.

Ice and Ice baby!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

OBAMA #44!!

Congratulations to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, the Democratic party and anyone who supported / voted for them. I’ll never forget this night as the announcement happened while I was at Nagi’s Deli buying a Cherry Coke Zero. People started screaming in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen.

It's an early wedding present for Cara and I! But I have to say we called it. Check the picture. - Proud to be an American today but still really frustrated and disappointed in Rock The Vote.

Proud to be American

I voted for Obama and a straight democratic ticket. Now its up to you Rock the Vote to make good on your promises.

To the rest of you, please use your rights and vote with an education on the candidates or parties. Don't just vote for the sake of voting. Even though it is your birth right as an American citizen, an uneducated vote is a wasted vote. At least do yourself the service of understanding the party line.

This is your country and your future. Use it wisely.