50,000 Calories spent and nothing to show for it, and I most certainly can’t afford the fat !!!
Depending on the weather, this part of the world has a way of stealing time from you, especially when you are going about your work in the big outdoors, which I very much am. Today’s activities, would be a great example. I spent the first part of the morning, charging batteries, a few lines of the blog, huge leisurely breakfast, consisting of enough porridge to feed 4, honey to sweeten it up, and an avocado and bread, soaked in olive oil….well I had a lot of walking to do.
All dressed up and plenty of places to go, I hit the trail, the weather on the other hand has other ideas. I manage to get about 500 metres behind the house before I get slammed, and I mean as if a sheet of 6x4 plywood being fired from a canon had hit me, I pretty much new from that point on it was going to be a long day, once again, sadly once again nature had other ideas, I would not make it till lunchtime.
I was attempting to make it to a rock formation about 30 minutes up the trail, where approximately 6,500 years ago some budding David Hockney’s decided to try their hand, literally, at painting their impression of what can only be the Pumas they lived alongside of, on the roof of a low slung overhanging chunk of rock. How many the budding artist slapped on the roof originally is unknown, but 2 hands hand prints are clearly visible , in what was once a strong red, probably plant based, as I doubt B&Q or Farrar and Ball had any stores open in the area back in the day, but clearly the 4 Pumas must have made an impression, due to the fact that he was, like I am now, clearly passionate about these beautiful felines, on the other hand it could be that one ate his family, and he was leaving the neighbours and future generations of the cave dwellers, a bright red warning to be very aware of these big pussy cats, because they are not too fussy about
what they eat, as in, if it moves , it’s on the menu !
Well, I made it to the caves but, there was no Puma activity, just more and even stronger winds than I had encountered on the trail on the way up. Now in all fairness I have encountered a fair amount of wind, including navigating the whole of the Southern Ocean, so I more than qualify for a “ been there seen that got the T-shirt ‘ when it comes to wind, but as I fought my way up the hill to the saddle between 2 rock formations, I was hit with a force that one would expect from an explosion of C4, I was literally lifted of my feet and dropped on my bony backside, at which point , I decided that getting out of the warmth and comfort of my sleeping tent earlier that morning, was a bad idea.
Humiliated and soar, I picked myself up and forced my way, at god knows what angle to reduce my exposure to this screaming banshee of a gale, up the last 50 mtrs of the trail, so I could take a few snaps of the ancient artwork. Great view from up there, and a fine spot to scan the area for Puma activeity, but attempting to see anything through the binoculars while they were moving across my face, fast than a ball of water on a hot stove, was how shall I put it , a pointless exercise.
I headed around the rear of the rock formation and found relative peace, and found a ledge where once a Condor nested, years of excrement , inches thick, covered the ledge, so it will be well worth heading back to film there , if they use it in the future. It was time to head for camp, this time I was happy the wind would be at my back, so I would have a somewhat more rapid return journey, but still had to be careful I did not get dumped on my ass again, but Oh no, the weather had other ideas.
I had stopped under the nest to feast on my avocado, banana and olive oil sandwich, yes , it’s not a typo, when I suddenly noticed the wind was swinging round a full 180 degrees, and I was about to set off back to camp, not at the pace I was quite looking forward too, with the wind up my back but coming straight at me again, I was close to tears, seriously. I arrived back at camp feeling like my face had just received the full monty treatment from a sandblasting machine. I had filmed nothing, burnt calories by the bucket load, and returned to camp licking my wounds, and had a bruise on my butt the size of a orange, so another normal day in Patagonia,
I decided today would be cancelled due to the weather, I cant wait to see what tomorrow has in store…………