Today sharing where her heart belongs is the lovely Hannah Bevkerman. Hannah’s debut novel, The Dead Wife’s Handbook is out now.
It’s a beautiful read, that I highly recommend.
You can find out more about Hannah, by visiting http://www.hannahbeckerman.com and connecting on twitter @hannahbeckerman.
It was New Year’s Eve, 2010. My husband and I were on the fifth day of our honeymoon in Patagonia, right at the southern tip of South America. In the afternoon, we got a flight from Ushiaia, the southenmost city in the world, to El Calafate where we picked up a hire car and started driving towards the town we’d be staying in for the night.
It was early evening when we arrived at the airport, at a time of year in Argentina when daylight lasted well beyond 10pm. The sky was completely clear save for the odd UFO-shaped cloud hanging like a sculpture in the sky.
We’d planned on going straight to hotel, but the roads were so empty and the evening so beautiful we made a snap decision: we’d been planning on spending the whole of the following day visiting Perito Moreno, one of the world’s few advancing glaciers, but the evening was so still, so perfect that we didn’t want the day yet to end.
We’d been warned repeatedly about crowds at Perito Moreno. Every guidebook told us that the viewing platforms would be tens of people deep. And a friend who had visited just a few weeks before had reiterated that the crowds were overwhelming. But there was something in the air that evening, and we decided to make the trip anyway.
Our drive to the Los Glaciares National Park took nearly two hours. We arrived at 9pm, knowing full well that the park closed at 9pm and expecting to be surrounded by the day’s tourists making the most of the exceptionally warm and bright evening.
But the car park was empty. And as we got out of the car, all we could hear was the gentle, eery sound of ice on the move.
As we walked towards the start of the viewing platform two things took our breath away: the glacier was one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring sights I’d ever seen. And there was not a single soul around.
We ran along the viewing bridges, almost unable to believe our luck.
Here we were, at one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders, on New Year’s Eve, on the fifth day of our honeymoon. And we had the whole spectacular sight to ourselves. It was truly magical.
We spent an hour there, taking photographs and just marvelling at the beauty of this phenomenon that had stood for millennia. And as we did, it reminded me of those beautiful lines from Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale:
And as she gazed at the sky, the sea, the land,
The waves and the caves and the golden sand,
She gazed and gazed, amazed by it all,
And she said to the whale, “I feel so small.”
We went back to Perito Moreno again the next day, and there were indeed crowds, although nowhere near as big as we’d feared. We got a boat out to get a closer view and watched as a 200ft tower of ice carved off of the glacier and fell into the water, rocking our boat with alarming force. Even this magnificent glacier wasn’t immune to vulnerability.
In the two years my husband and I were living overseas, we were lucky enough to do a lot of travel to some amazing places. But Perito Moreno will always be special for that alchemical mix of perfect weather, perfect timing and the perfect solace that we found there. And the reminder that there was life long before us, and there will be life long after, and that all we can do in the meantime with the tiny sliver we’re afforded is make as lasting an impact as we can on those around us.
A big thank you to Hannah for sharing such wonderful pictures and memories