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Oh, No! Not Again!

Chile’s Calbuco Volcano in Eruption

Chile’s Calbuco Volcano in Eruption

It’s getting to be downright monotonous. Four years ago, when Martine and I were planning our trip to Argentina, we had originally decided to included San Carlos Bariloche on the eastern slope of the Andes on our itinerary. But then, a Chilean volcano decided to trash the whole area. Here’s what I wrote at that time:

It looks like some sort of ghastly aviation accident, doesn’t it? But no, what you are seeing above [actually below, in this posting] is a grounded aircraft in San Carlos de Bariloche covered in volcanic ash from the eruption of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex in neighboring Chile. Not only was the airport at Bariloche closed for lack of visibility, but the ash drifted eastward over the South Atlantic by Trelew and Puerto Madryn.

I have just named three of my main destinations for our upcoming trip to Argentina five months from now. No doubt the eruptions will cease soon, if they have not already done so.

One thing we can expect is that there will be a lot more blowing dust and ash given the prevailing winds in Patagonia and the huge amount of ash generated by the eruption.

Our plan is to go to Bariloche via one of the few remaining long-haul passenger railways in Argentina, the Tren Patagonico connecting Viedma with Bariloche. Viedma is five hours north of Puerto Madryn by bus, so we’ll have the opportunity of seeing more of the Atlantic coast between the two cities.

Plane Covered with Ash at Bariloche’s Airport

Plane Covered with Ash at Bariloche’s Airport

Well, the eruptions from Cordon Caulle kept going until several states along the Eastern Andes were declared a disaster zone. So we skipped Bariloche and went to El Calafate instead, which did not disappoint.

Now the Chileans are doing it again to me, with Calbuco in eruption. And, of course, I am planning once again to visit Bariloche in November. I can only hope that this particular event does not last as long as the one four years ago. So far, the only area in Argentina that has been affected is around Neuquén, several hours to the north of where I’ll be.

I just noticed that the ash has already made its way to Buenos Aires, closing all international flights from Ezeiza airport.

The Buenos Aires Herald has included a great video shot by a Chilean tourist at the moment Calbuco blew its top. You can find it by clicking here.