In the land of heart-melting glaciers
Our readers share tales of their ramblings around the world. Who: Erin Pierce, of Arlington, Va.; Sandina Green of the District; and Naomita Royan, of Melbourne, Australia. Where, when, why: I went away for two weeks in mid-March to hike Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina and visit Buenos Aires. I didn’t grow up hiking. Only within the past year have I grown to love it. I have hiked locally in Shenandoah, but I wanted to take it to the next level. Argentina is dear to me because I traveled abroad to Buenos Aires 13 years ago as a junior at Spelman College. That was my first trip outside of the United States and ever since I returned, I have wanted to go back. My priorities have shifted and I love unplugging outdoors, so it was important for me to mix in some hiking with my time in the city. Highlights and high points: The pinnacle was both witnessing and hiking Perito Moreno Glacier. The water that flows from it is a bright, vivid blue. You feel like an explorer as you tie on a pair of crampons with their spiky ends and begin to explore the glacier by foot. I felt pure joy and, while slightly cool, the weather was not freezing cold. I celebrated right there with a glass of whiskey with ice supplied straight from the glacier! The other highlight was a hike to Laguna de los Tres, which offered unforgettable, unreal lake views. The water in these parks is so pristine that it often is potable. We could drink directly from the lake — and it was the most delicious water I’ve ever tasted. Cultural connection or disconnect: The cultural connection for me was my tour guide for two of the hikes I completed in Los Glaciares. My guide, Facundo, patiently listened to my stumbling “Castellano” as we spoke of everything from mate (a natural herbal drink) to Argentine politics. He shared how he used to live in Buenos Aires, and had a terrible commute, but reinvented himself as a tour guide in the El Chalten area of Argentina. He makes much more than he used to in the city and is able to work where he finds peace. Biggest laugh or cry: This had to be in Buenos Aires, when my flipflop broke. I was on a walking tour when it happened and suddenly had to hail a cab to grab a new pair at the nearest shoe store. However, my cabdriver strongly insisted that I go to a different neighborhood, as the shoes on Calle Sante Fe were far too expensive. He took me to Barrio Once, where I bought a new pair of shoes and then sat at the coffee shop he owns, where he made me an afternoon cortado with a medialuna (a small, slightly sweet croissant). How unexpected: The food in El Chalten was amazing. On Facundo’s recommendation, we discovered La Chocolateria Josh Aike, which was founded by two extreme climbers and explorers. There, we had flavorful, homemade alfajores and other dulces, which we paired with a tasty cup of coffee. We also ate dinner at Yenu and indulged in delicious wine and grilled trout. Favorite memento or memory: Hiking the natural beauty of Los Glaciares. Argentina has a unique ecosystem that keeps Perito Moreno stable, unlike other glaciers that are receding, and I hope it stays that way for generations to come. To tell us about your own trip, go to washingtonpost.com/travel and fill out the What a Trip form with your fondest memories, finest moments and favorite photos.
The author, left, with friends Naomita, center, and Sandina at Los Glaciares National Park.