Tierra del Fuego – 2: Cowardice (or common sense?) strikes

18th March 2018

The next day saw us beside the Pia Glacier. Well, we had to take the captain’s word for it, as you couldn’t really see anything through the mists and rain, which was followed by sleet and then snow. So we spent the morning, apart from watching an interesting presentation about the five tribes of the Patagonian region (now almost entirely wiped out by a combination of thoughtlessness, disease and genocide), debating whether it was going to be worth taking the proposed expedition to see this alleged glacier. Perhaps the rain would ease, and we’d have a clear run?

It didn’t.

So we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and that the lure of a G&T outweighed that of a close-up of a glacier we’d be lucky to even see, let alone appreciate (besides which, we have other glaciers on our Patagonian itinerary, so making avoiding great discomfort to see this one a defensible choice). We got things about 50% right, in that it continued to rain and snow and be misty for almost all of the time. But it did actually clear for about 30 minutes, and the beauty of the scene became apparent. We took the opportunity to get some photos and video:

Pia Glacier

Above is the overall scene from the ship,  and this is a closer view of the glacier itself.

Pia Glacier

and here you can see some of the hardy folks from the ship on the shore by the glacier. For a few brief moments, the scene was a thing of beauty, before the weather closed in again.

A post shared by Steve Walker (@spwalker2016) on

Were we right to elect to stay in the warmth and comfort of the ship? There’s no knowing, but I hope that we will have better weather for when we see the Perito Morena Glacier in a few days’ time. As ever, stay tuned for that, and to see whether we actually make it to land at Cape Horn itself.

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