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Trails & Techno_Text_December 06

Trails & Techno_Text_December 06

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Published by Patrick Archer
Trails and Techno: A South American Odyssey is the tale of two young Americans dodging Corporate America long enough for a 30-day, 120-beats-per-minute journey through Argentina, Chile, Boliva and Peru.

http://trailsandtechno.com
Trails and Techno: A South American Odyssey is the tale of two young Americans dodging Corporate America long enough for a 30-day, 120-beats-per-minute journey through Argentina, Chile, Boliva and Peru.

http://trailsandtechno.com

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Published by: Patrick Archer on Dec 06, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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05/09/2014

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 After a great night’s sleep, we were up and rolling at 5:15. Pressed fortime, we bagged the showers and breakfast and folded up
Casa Cunagin
in under two minutes. After a frenzied search for the tent pole bag, we were off at 6:20 and arrived downtown ready to go at 6:35. Raúl, ourdriver and the husband of Carolina from the day before, was already loading up the
micro
. We made two stops to take on eight additional passengers, all Frenchand German.
Unfortunately for Raúl, none of them were ready to leave ontime.
 After a very lengthy stop at the first hostel, we pulled into theparking lot of the second joint and Raúl seemed very tense. While waiting,he explained that our arrival at the Chilean border was expected around10:15 or as he said, “
 Me matan
!” (“They will kill me”) One grouchy German woman was our last pre-departure hurdle
and 
the last one to beready. While we sat patiently in the parking lot with the
micro
idling, sheemerged from her cabin with serious bedhead and a nasty temper. Shequickly launched into a tirade against poor Raúl, who probably spoke as
38
 
“Champagne & Glaciers...No Way” “This Wasn’t On The Original Triptik.’”
A F T E RB E F O R E
Back On Track in Torres del PaineChilean Trekker Euphoria Syndrome
viernes6 de diciembreEl Calafate, Argentina a Torres del Paine, Chile
x
Destino:Torres del PaineModo:Micros y PiesDistancia:420 kilómetros
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 
D L M M J D L M M J D L M M J D L M M J D L M M J V V V V V
1 2 3 4 5 6
 
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 
x
 
much German as I do, and insisted that we werent supposed to be leavinguntil 10:00. Raúl then assured her in some sort of convoluted dialect(either Spanman or Germish, I presume) that we had all agreed to a 7:00departure. Finally, her husband, who obviously didn’t wear the
lederhosen
in that family, rolled out of their little cabin at 7:10. On his wife’s cue,he scaled the
micro
s ladder, pulled their matching
Louis Vuitton
backpacksoff of the roof and tossed them to the parking lot below, cursing inGerman all the while. So, with a grand total of eight paying passengersinstead of the anticipated ten, Raúl threw our dusty Daihatsu into highgear and we set off due south for
La Republica de Chile 
. At 10:30 we arrived at the Chileanborder where we crossed via the
Paso RíoDon Guillermo
and switched vans. Of our original gang of eight, Andy and I were the only two continuing on to Torresdel Paine that afternoon. The otherpassengers were all going to Puerto Natales to spend the night. We did,however, pick up one extra passenger named Carlos. Carlos was a sharply dressed businessman from Madrid who was just taking a scenic touralong with our driver, Pablo. From his
RayBans 
and khakis to his poloshirt and pullover, it was obvious that camping was not on Carlos’ agenda.Pablo, the first Chilean that we met, was friendly and an excellenttour guide. In fact,he offered to stopthe van every twenty minutes so that wecould take picturesof the beautifulscenery. In additionto emerald greenlakes and snow-covered mountains,
The Argentina/Chile border
39
 slow cattle slow cattle slow cattle slow cattle slow cattle gringos! gringos! gringos! gringos! gringos! hungry llamas hungry llamas hungry llamas hungry llamas hungry llamasold bridgesold bridgesold bridgesold bridgesold bridges
rural chilean road hazardrural chilean road hazardrural chilean road hazardrural chilean road hazardrural chilean road hazard
sssss
Rio Gallegos El Calafate Puerto Natales Torres del Paine 
CHILECHILECHILECHILECHILEARGENTINAARGENTINAARGENTINAARGENTINAARGENTINA
 
40
 we saw lots of indigenous wildlife including birds and guanacos. At14:00, we disembarked at the Park’s
Centro de Administración
andchecked in with the park police, better known around here as the
Carabineros 
. We also made sketchy arrangements with the driver of another van for a ride to Puerto Natales on Monday afternoon. Beforeleaving civilization, Andy made a quick long-distance call to his father, while I waited outside and repacked my gear. The not-too-distantrumbling of what sounded like major thunderstorms had me concerned,but a little summer rain could not possibly spoil a beautiful Chilean day like this. At approximately 15:00, after a final equipment check and ahandshake, we were off. Thirty minutes later the proverbial roof cavedin. A band of ominous clouds that had been hovering over the peaks inthe distance rapidly descended upon us. We quickly donned our raingear and pack covers while the rain started coming down. As we weretrekking through flat Chilean pasture, there was absolutely no place totake shelter. Andy informed me that our two options were to keepmoving forward or to keep moving forward. Taking my cue from theseasoned trekker, we continued on for a solid hour in a driving rain.This one-hour soaking, courtesy of 
 Madre Naturaleza,
taught me avaluable lesson about the importance of buying proper gear. My 100%cotton
Banana Republic 
khakis, although highly-stylish and runway-friendly, were soaked and my $60 hiking boots had leaked through tomy socks. Meanwhile Andy Cunagin (a.k.a. Patagunagin) was high anddry in his Gore-tex second skin. Around 16:45, we passed the firstcampsite on the trail where two small tents were set up. I was ready tocash-in and let my clothes dry, but we were determined to stick to ouroriginal plan and reach the
Refugio
at the northern end of 
Lago Pehoe 
l

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