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Trails & Techno_Text_December 14

Trails & Techno_Text_December 14

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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 23, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/09/2014

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sábado14 de diciembreParque Nacional Los Glaciares a El Calafate, Argentina
 We woke early Saturday at 7:30 to thesound of wild horses running around ourcampsite. Four horses sprinted down ahillside near our tent and just kind of hungout in the base camp for five minutes. Whilethe horses grazed and wandered, Andy and Ilounged until close to 8:30 when we werefinally motivated to make breakfast. The biggest pot of oats, Cream of  Wheat and brown sugar this campsite has ever seen gave us the necessary fuel for packing up.By 10:00, we were trekking southeast again toward the
Fitz Roy Inn
on this, the final leg of our
Los Glaciares 
trek. The first fifteen minutes were slow going, as I boldly led us down the wrong path. Our secondobstacle came in the form of an eight-foot wide stream that mocked thetwo gringos
 
 with a combined forty-five pounds of gear on their backs.Fortunately, I avoided the
agua
and Andy, with his Gore-tex kicks, only got one foot wet. Evidently, we fared much better than the two Germancouples trekking behind us. A few minutes after our clearing, we heardthe screams of one of the women who evidently didn’t make it across with dry 
unterwäsche.
Two hours further down the trail, we arrived at
Lago Capri 
which was pleasant but nothing out of the ordinary. Back onthe trail, the final leg gave us a good view of the town of El Chalténbefore our descent, which was a very rocky and steep affair.Finally at 13:00, three hours ahead of schedule, we were back at the
Fitz Roy Inn
 where we would catch the busback to El Calafate. We entered the Innsrestaurant/lobby and found the placepractically empty. Either the local lunchcrowd had already gone
a casa
or Saturdays just weren’t very exciting in El Chaltén. We
Not your average KOA
Señor Ed checks us out
Destino:El CalafateModo:Pies y ómnibusDistancia:420 kilómetros
x
79
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 7 
 
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 
x
l
 
F E L I Z N A V I D A Dchose to pass the time reading and making trips to the local
 proveedería
for homemade
alfajores 
. Around 15:00, the owner of the inn and his sixyear-old daughter returned and began decorating their restaurant forChristmas. Andy and I watched in amusement as the daughter wrestled with a roll of tape and a
FELIZ NAVIDAD
banner that was at leastfifteen-feet long. We bothoffered to help, but she toldus that she wanted to finishthe job herself and make her
 papá 
proud. Watching herand seeing how happy she was really put us back in theChristmas spirit. (Now, if  we could only get our
manos 
on some
 Maker’s Mark 
andegg nog.)Promptly at 16:00, the
Cal-Tur 
bus cranked up and we were ready to roll. The Fitz Roy Inns
café negro
proved to be quite strong, as I readover one-hundred pages on the way back to El Calafate. We stopped again at
La Leona
, the same roadside restaurant threehours outside of Fitz Roy. Inside the joint I ran into Elizabeth Jones, acute girl from the University of Georgia that I had met during the semesterin Buenos Aires. She was also coming back from a group trek aroundMount Fitz Roy. We decided to possibly meet up later that night back in El Calafate. I say “possibly,” because our pact was made with about asmuch confidence as a Middle East peace accord. Since none of us out-of-towners have reliable phone access, just telling someone “Hey, we’llcatch up with you later,” is truly the best that you can do. And ninetimes out of ten, things work out as planned. We left
La Leona
for the second time in four days and got back onboard the forty-passenger
Cal-Tur 
express. Our driver, Eduardo, told usthat he was anxious to get back to his family in El Calafate, so he flooredit for the final leg and got us home in under four hours.By 20:00, we were back in El Calafate. Andy and I trekked downfrom the bus station to the
Hospedaje del Norte 
 where we had a plush,eight-peso
habitación
waiting for us downstairs. The owner even let us wash a load of dirty Fitz-Roy garments in her
lavaropas 
across the street.
80
 
habitaci
ó
n:roomlavaropas:washing machine. Very easy to find inSouth American laundromats known as
lavander 
í   
as 
.
Dryers 
, or
secadoras 
, are less common.autoservicio:Self-service gas station or market.hostel:Most accommodations for trekkers in thePatagonia bear the name
hostel 
,
hostal 
,
hoster 
í   
,
albergue transit 
ó  
rio 
or just
albergue 
.lomo:beef tenderloinsin planos:without plansbife de chorizo:New York-style strip steak. A less
expensive but equally delicious alternative to the
lomo 
.
Don:Mister. Do
ñ
a = Mrs.
Se 
ñ  
or 
and
Se 
ñ  
ora 
aremore commonly used as spoken titles.
The little cinder block garage that housed the washer wasa multipurpose facility: garage for the bus that had broughtus home, laundry room for the
señora
and occasionalgringo guests, and rehearsal room for the sons band. This,of course, was the same band that had kept us up lateonly four nights earlier.Long, hot showers were in order for both of us as well as a box of 
vino tinto
from the
autoservicio
down the street. Before leaving for dinner,I went across the street and grabbed our fine washables. For a “dryer,” westrung nylon trail ropes between the two twin beds and hung our wetclothes on them to dry. This experiment would fail miserably. We strolled down Main Street at 22:00 lookin’ for
lomo
in all the wrong places. “Weird menu,” “No beer,” and “Too expensive” were ourreactions to the first three spots that we checked out. Fortunately, wefound the
Casablanca
, a small cornerside restaurant with great music andframed posters from the Bogart/Bergman classic.
Bife de chorizo con papas fritas 
and a frosty 
Quilmes 
only set us back ten pesos apiece.Over a second cold
Quilmes 
, we laughed about the few stressfulmoments of the past ten days that now seemed downright hilarious onreflection. The first nights quest for lodging in Rio Gallegos, thethunderstorm greeting in Torres del Paine, the Love Bus, the Ricardoparanoia and the ongoing uncertainty over how we should proceed upthe Chilean coast given our shortage of both time and money. If we hadlearned anything since leaving Buenos Aires, it was that traveling
sin planos 
 was the only way to fly. More importantly, we had both learned someinvaluable lessons in teamwork, culture and communication never beforeacquired in the classroom or the cubicle.In search of a nightcap, we ambled down
 Avenida Libertador 
 where we found the rumored hotspot of El Calafate,
DonDiego de la Noche 
.Unfortunately for us, ol’Diego must have turned inearly. The live band, theyoung bartender told us, hadpacked up promptly at23:00.
81

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