The 3 Week Conclusion to Patagonia
01.12.2011 - 06.12.2011 10 °F
Sitting at a computer now, I look at the date, December 4, Sunday.
What does that mean?
I have not been even travelling for 3 weeks, yet the perception of time and progression of days is quickly dissipating.
Looking at photos of things I did even yesterday feels in the past, something that happened weeks ago. Looking at the photos from the Torres Del Paine hike, even though I am still sporting a number of proud blissters and various blue spots from falling on the ice, but the hike is quickly disintegrating into a memory, a story I tell, rather than an intimate, personal and present experience that I just lived through.
The days have been fully filled, but still there is an overwhelming feeling of unhurriedness. Julian is still here. We get up at 7 am, eat dinner at 10:30 pm, but there is room for feeling that there is plenty of time. And there is. I still grin everytime I think that I have nowhere to be.
Today for example, was an awesome day (super bueno as ´we´say here). We took a boat to a glacier and walked with crampons on the glacier. For the Russian readers, you´ll appreciate that the glacier´s name is Viedma. The glaciers here are mind boggling, for example this one was 80 km long and 60 meters in depth. Walking on it was such a cool feeling, scenicly placed on top of a lake with a background of mountain cliffs and various colors, it was spectacular. Plus, the trip became even cooler when the guides used their icepeak axes to carve a mini bar, scraped some ice (plenty of that available and voila, produced 2 bottles of Baileys. Baileys could not ever dream of a promotion like that.
But I am ready to leave Patagonia.
There is a reason they call it ¨Fin del Mundo¨- the End of the World.
While the day light here is from 5:30 am till 10:30 pm, it is a harsh place.
It is cold and the fierce winds leave everything dried up and rugged.
Nothing grows here.
The only farming is sheep, and even that, people complain that it takes an enormous amount of land to feed one sheep, because there is very little addible vegetation. You touch any flower and it is hard, clearly evolved to withstand the gusts of strong winds constanly blowing through. The place though does have a lot of charm. Despite being tourist central and getting thousands and thousands of tourists, the life here is still simple. For example, right now, we are in El Chalten -- a necessary stop on most tourists´agenda, yet, the place only has 800 inhabitants, most of whom speak almost no English or other foreign languages. Everything is done old school here. There is not even a cellular tower. The many houses here are being built with individual bricks and manual mortar, the cement is being span by hand, and we saw a guy shoveling a moutain of some sort of sand through about a meter long siever to clean it -- wow. You also see guys on a corner chatting: one is on a bike, the other is on a horse -- warms one´s heart
But my body is craving some vegetables (other than canned corn and beet roots, probably also canned)
So I bought a bus ticket to El Bolson, and on December 6 will get on that 23-hour bus ride that will take me to a warm place with scenic views and lots of organic vegetable choices (or so I hear).