On one of the days based in Bariloche, we set off for the black glacier and the foot of Mt. Tronador (thunder), the tallest mountain in the area just after breakfast. The mountain got its name as you can always hear thunder when you’re near it – in actuality you are hearing the sound of the constant avalanche that happens near its peak. The trip cost 135 Pesos with another 30 Pesos for the national park fee.
We stopped a few times along the way including a stop at Los Rapidos, a river so clear that we could see the trouts swimming/trying not to be washed away by the current.
We then did a 20 minutes hike to get to a waterfall. I drank the water of the river which was nice and cold and ran on the way back.
Cesar the driver let me try mate which is very thick bitter tea. I liked it. Later on in Uruguay, I learnt about how important mate is to South Americans.
As we continued driving, I saw the consequences of the big flood in May that year (2009) which caused the water level to increase ten folds. It was a scary sight. The banks of the river of probably about 50 meters on each side were completely washed out and there were just tree trunks lying in its place.
Finally we arrived at Ventisquero Negro, the Black Glacier. I was mesmerized by what I saw – massive blocks of ice in a big puddle of frozen light green murky water with the most beautiful black lines in between them.
We were told that 40 years ago the black glacier was all the way up till the car park but there’s only that much left. Most likely in 40 years’ time, the black glacier will not exist anymore as it is constantly melting, supplying the river with more water.
It looked like we were staring at another planet. The Tronador Mountain looked magnificent and we could hear the constant avalanches that were happening before our very eyes. There were waterfalls everywhere.
It rained so much during the time we were at the glacier that our van got stuck on the way out of the national park. We had to wait 2 long hours to be rescued. We only managed to have dinner just before midnight. What a day!