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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

Wind, Rain and Stinky Horse Poop

CHILE | Friday, 11 January 2008 | Views [2037]

Our trek today will be far easier than yesterday's.  Just seven hours total, what a luxury!  We even sleep in until 8:00 a.m. and awake to a magnificently sunny day.  Our $18 breakfast is very worth the money, oatmeal with almonds and raisins, scrambled eggs, home made bread for toast, a glass of real orange juice in mimosa type glasses, and all the Nescafe we can drink.  We almost forgot for a second that we were camping, and had a flash back to those all you can eat champagne brunch deals back in the states; ah, this is the breakfast of Champions we've missed during our time in Argentina.  We are now ready to take on the mountains!

Darrin zips off the legs from his pants, imagine going from freezing where I'm sleeping in long johns, down jacket, pants and a fleece to where we're needing to just wear shorts and tanks now... wow!  Most of the trek today is easy, up a slow incline through pastures of wild flowers with the glacier capped mountains looming over us, with the last two hours up a steadily increasing incline, and glacial streams raging below us, cutting through the steep sloping mountains on either side.  We approach our camping destination, Refugio Chileno, and can see the grand "Torres" or pillars of granite, that make this park famous.  The clouds clear for maybe 20 minutes to give us a show.  It's another two hours up to them, two hours back.  we had planned to do this part of the trek tomorrow, and just have a light "seven" hour day today.  Knowing, however, how quickly the weather can change here, we decide to take on the additional four hours to try to see the towers.  The clouds begin covering their tips, but we hurry up and by the time we make it to the very last campsite, before the hour scramble up a boulder field to get to the base of the Torres, the clouds have socked them in and the wind is now howling through the valley and the rain is coming down strong.  We disappointedly wait for 30 more minutes, hoping the weather would pass, but it doesn't.  We run into our Israeli friends again, who have hauled their heavy packs up to this prime viewing campsite, to sleep in the cold wind and rain at this exposed windy spot.  We haul butt back down to camp where this little rasta guy managing the tent rentals had set up our tent, mats and sleeping bags.  he was just like a hotel guy, checking us into our room, letting us know that if we needed anything, he was our go-to-guy.  Just like a hotel... well, not, our room (tent) hangs over the dirt pit where all the horses hang out and leave their piles of waste.  Even worse, that strong wind that's continuing to pick up, blows the smell right into our tent.  So we'll be spending most of our evening in the lodge, over a yummy chicken dinner and bottle of wine we buy at the Refugio bar.  We meet a wonderful Chilean woman and her son who are now living on Long Island.  We learned a ton about Chile from her, the past governments, corruption in the country, and how the government tried to recruit her during the Pinochet dictatorship era to spy on people who they were paranoid were attempting to organize and overthrow the government - a role she promptly refused... but she shared stories about the years of the "missing" where people disappeared (i.e. were taken, tortured and killed), taken by the government in attempt to irradicate their opponents and anyone who might pose a threat to their regime.  What's most impressive is this woman's entrepreneurialism, strength and perseverance and the life she's built in the US, based upon her creative business ideas.  Again, it's stories of those locals we've met along our travels who have show us such inspiration through their business savvy, perseverance and entrepreneurialism, dedicated passion to their desire to bring success and happiness to their families.  It's such a refreshing sight.  As we've seen the world over, many people don't have the easy way out we have in the states.  Getting a job with a company, being taken care of in a rater secure environment, being assured of health care and a steady paycheck from an employer.. They live and succeed by their work ethic, blood, sweat and tears.  These are the heros on the global frontier.  we fall asleep under the torrential winds and rain, and get used to the horse smells, a ton of ideas running through our minds.

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