Glaciers and Tango in Argentina

The diverse South American country of Argentina offers bustling cities, massive ranches, jade-blue glaciers and much more. Kelly Westhoff, a GoNOMAD blogger and winner of the second GoNOMAD grant award, and her husband, Quang Nystrom, set out on a seven-month around-the-world trip in October 2005. They spent the first three months of their trip in Latin America. Their experiences in Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, and Chile can be read about in the article Kelly and Quang visit Latin America. The pictures are gorgeous. You can also follow their travels in their blog, Global Roam.

“The streets of Buenos Aires are as busy as ever. The center’s pedestrian walkways, Calle Florida and Calle Lavalle, stream with well-dressed businessmen and women on a Monday afternoon. Cafes serving little other than strong espresso spill to the curb. Tango dancers and fire-eaters perform for change, and all the while subway trains rumble deep below, taxis honk and a fleet of diesel busses jockey for space.

After soaking up the energy of Buenos Aires, we headed south. We flew to Ushuaia, the southern-most city in the world. Ushuaia sits on the bottom edge of the island of Tierra del Fuego. While the city faces the Beagle Channel, behind it, the last of the Andes Mountains race to the sea. We took a day trip out of Ushuaia to Estancia Haberton, a massive, family-owned ranch. The ranch is isolated and truly feels like the end of the world. There we visited a penguin colony and caught sight of the ranch’s wind-swept trees.

We left Ushuaia behind and went to see the Perito Moreno Glacier. Perito Moreno is just one of five glaciers in Argentina’s Glacier National Park. It slides out of the Andes and into a huge lake where chunks break off and float into the distance. The lake, filled with mineral-rich glacial run-off, glows an almost surreal shade of jade-like blue. We paid extra for the chance to hike on the glacier itself. A safe distance from the dangerous glacial wall, we spent an afternoon trekking across Perito Moreno’s melting crevices and jagged peaks.”