We woke up at about 5:00 am on Thanksgiving morning as our excursion to Lago (Lake) Grey and Grey Glacier departed at 7:00 am.
The weather was God-awful! It was pouring rain and the wind was whistling and the sky was full of clouds and we could barely see the mountain peaks! How could we possibly be thinking about going out on a full day excursion in this mess, but we got ready anyway! This is vacation, after all!
We headed down to breakfast, and while we were eating, the rain stopped and the sun started to peak out and the clouds move off. Within about 30 minutes the day went from disastrous weather to the most remarkably beautiful day!
We were in our usual gear at this stage and backpacks with some extra stuff if case we got hotter of colder; for example, I took some lighter/fingerless gloves and my fleece and rain gear, just in case!
We took a catamaran across Lake Pehoe (where the hotel sits) to the northernmost point and disembarked.
Upon arrival, our guide prepared us a bit more for what to expect for the day. Initially we had a fairly strong climb for about 3 kilometers and then it was mostly undulating until we wound up on the beach and took a boat to see the glacier up close. The boat then took us back to the bottom of Lago Grey where we disembarked and hopped a van back to the hotel.
The day was gorgeous! We couldn’t have asked for a better weather as we got a bit hot on the initial climb!
We walked in and out of the woods all day and witnessed some wonderful vistas. We got our first glimpses of the icebergs and Grey Glacier, which is huge (100 square miles)! It is part of the Southern Ice Field and extends far back into the horizon and ends at the lake.
At about 12:00 we came down to the beach for a box lunch and we could see many chunks of iceberg along the shore.
One crazy guy actually stripped down to his boxer briefs and ran all the way in, “Polar Bear” style! Yes, he was screaming!!!
We walked on for about an hour more and boarded a Zodiac to the little glacier boat and were offered Pisco Sours!
We were allowed to go up on top of the boat and I was surprised that it wasn’t that cold. I was all bundled up in my usual with the hood of my jacket up more for the sea spray than anything else!
Parts of the glacier are just so blue it is incredible! The water is also an incredible color!
After what must have been about 45 minute – 1 hour (I don’t recall exactly), we hopped on the Zodiacs and disembarked on a pier at the southern end of Lago Grey. The wind was a little whippy and we walked along the pier like waddling ducks afraid to get blown into the water!
There are several sizable glaciers at the southern end of the lake, and also a huge beach! Many people come to this area to be awed by the ice!