The Big Ice Hike over the Perito Moreno Glacier

When I visited New Zealand in January, after reading Jeremy@TravelFreak’s account of hiking the Franz Josef Glacier I was looking forward to a similar experience. Unfortunately, with a tight day-by-day schedule and weather too poor for the glacier company’s helicopter to fly me up to the glacier on the day I intended, I had to leave New Zealand empty handed on the glacier front. 
After I got back home to London briefly at the end of that month, I pondered where I could see another glacier on my next travels. Looking at my A Year of Adventures book for travel inspiration, I found that the Perito Moreno Glacier was a prime candidate. It’s one of only three Patagonian glaciers that is growing and it’s so big, the icefield is the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water. 
The town of El Calafate is the best jump off point for visiting Perito Moreno and so as soon as I arrived, I found that Hielo y Aventura were the stand out people to visit the glacier with. I booked a “Big Ice” hike and packed my bag for the early start needed. Here’s how the experience of hiking the Perito Moreno Glacier was like…

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    The Incredible Scenery on the 8 Day Full Circuit Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

The Incredible Scenery on the 8 Day Full Circuit Trek in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

After several days of a heavy social scene in Buenos Aires (BA), I took an afternoon on a set of couches high above the common area of my hostel to remind myself what I wanted to do while I travelled. Don’t get me wrong, the social scene is a big part of travelling and BA definitely had it. There I was, floating through the busiest hostel, knowing most people by name, stopping for plenty of small talk, piecing together the night before – it reminded me of the good times of university.
The problem was, what was meant to be a great byproduct of travelling (the social), was taking over. I had planned to stay in BA for two weeks to learn Spanish and tango, but instead, after a week, I had only managed a couple of hours of each. There’s always the option to stay at an apartment or a quieter hostel, but I could still find myself getting distracted. Then, when I spent some time to read into my next destination, Patagonia, I noticed that it was coming to the end of the dry season. My mind forward-wound a week and I realised I could also be missing out on a final weather window. I booked a flight to El Calafate to leave a couple of days later. A certain sense of relief.
Whilst my time in El Calafate and El Chalten justifies a blog post later, I felt like the 8 days I spent in Torres del Paine deserves to be described first and foremost. The 8 days were spent hiking and camping along a route called the Full Circuit in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. The scenery was simply unbelievable and by practically winning the lottery in terms of good weather, the photos I took were able to capture much of it too. 

Hiking up Pedra da Gavea

When I was planning my South America trip, I made sporting activities a priority. I didn’t realise how much I loved it even when I travelled.
Rio de Janeiro was my first destination in South America, and whilst Rio’s culture of extremes itself was an amazing experience, I had my sights set on some hiking too while I was in town. 
Although there were many hiking options to choose from in Rio, in the end, I opted to hike and climb up Pedra da Gavea with a company called Nattrip. Pedra da Gavea is one of the tallest mountains in Rio da Janeiro, standing at 842m high, with undoubtably the best panoramic views over the city.  […]

Hiking the Kings Canyon

I wanted my final sightseeing in Ayers Rock to be an all day excursion. The SEIT company were running a tour called the Cave Hill Safari, which promised “a full day cultural immersion experience exploring the Aboriginal Songlines (stories)” from an Aboriginal guide. Unfortunately, the guide wasn’t available the day I had, so instead, I opted for hiking the Kings Canyon instead through AAT Kings costing $199 for the day.
I’m a little crazy when it comes to walking, hiking or running conditions – I always like to test the limits. As a young boy, I remember on a 3 week summer holiday with my parents in the Greek mountains, running a good 30 minute return journey down the mountain to the shops to buy ice cream. I had also recently ran the Angkor Wat 10k whilst I was travelling through Cambodia.
Without doubt, this was probably the hottest walk I’ve done in my life, with temperatures in the sun as you hiked around 44 degrees (taking into account direct sun and the heat coming off the rocks). The advice from the guide was to take 1 litre of water for every hour you’ll be walking to prevent dehydration. For the 3-4 hour walk I chose, I had to sign a disclaimer that given the conditions, any medical attention during the hike would need to be at my own expense. My guide insisted on checking everyone’s bag and my 5 litres of water was enough let me join. Given the conditions and the fact the canyon was a 3 hour drive away, meant a harsh 04:00 pick up from the hostel in order to do the majority of the walk before the midday sun. […]