Perito Moreno Glacier

I arrived into El Calafate on Thursday afternoon and spent the afternoon having a look around. The town itself seems to be solely there as a base for people seeing the famous Perito Moreno glacier. Along the street you pass countless tourist restaurants, tour agencies and gift shops. It is quite a nice place besides this, and the sun was shining so I was happy!
On Friday I took the 2hr bus ride into the nearby national park to see the glacier. The reason for Perito Moreno being such a spectacle is how close you get to the glacier. There are various walkways set up at the face of the glacier and you can be around 100m from the glacier. Even to the most hard to please, it is an awe-inspiring sight. I spent the day wandering around the walkways, but mostly just sitting and watching the glacier. The glacier seems like it is alive, as you continually hear cracks and groans as it moves. We were lucky enough to see it carving, which is basically watching a huge chunk of ice fall off the glacier. Whilst this is visually spectacular it is the noice that is more impressive. As the ice falls it sounds like thunder. All in all the glacier gives you an incredible show.
The glacier was great and my day would have been made just seeing it. However, my day was made a whole lot more interesting by the friend I made for the day. I met David, from California, on the bus on the way to the glacier and since we were both travelling alone we started chatting and ended up spending the day together. After the usual introductions we started talking about other places we had both visited (standard travelling chat…), he told me he had spent 2 years in Ukraine. I said I thought that sounded interesting (I was struggling to locate the country on a map in my head at the time) and he replied he had spent 2 years as a missionary there.
My first thoughts were that this conversation was going to take a turn for the worse. However, David was quick to mention that he no longer believed in God and had since left the Mormon church. I had met a real life ex-Mormon. Perhaps many people with a sense of tact and decorum would have left the conversation there. Not me. I spent the following 2 hours questioning David all about the Mormon church. He very kindly indulged my questions and told me a huge amount about their beliefs and what his life used to be like. Most of my responses involved me saying how weird it is or being outraged at how women are viewed as inferior in the church.
I can honestly say that David is one of the most interesting people I have met since I’ve been travelling.


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