POST CARD FROM PATAGONIA
I have absolutely no reason to feel guilty, but the fact is I do. The question is am I being too hard on myself ? When one considers what I have been up to of late, and continued to do it when I had Pneumonia, most would relish a day off, to read a book, bake bread, drink fresh ground coffee, and stare vacantly out the window and just enjoy the fact I am living in one of the most remote and beautiful places on earth, pursuing a dream of filming one of the worlds most elusive felines, and reminding myself I am getting some rare results………..
Well I did all of the above today, and I am very glad I did, especially the bit about how, considering I am horrendously short of cameras and lenses to film, I am getting incredible results.
I started to feel a little throaty and under the weather about 3 days ago, probably had something to do with the fact I have been walking myself into the ground on a daily basis over rough ankle breaking terrain in mid winter, but standing in the same place for 6 hours staring at a rock formation, where I suspected 2 adult Patagonian Pumas (Mountain Lions ) were resting up for the afternoon and occasionally mating, definitely took it’s toll, it did not help of course that there was a very strong wind blowing from the west which comes howling off the vast Campo Hielo Sur ( Southern Patagonian Icecap ) which is going to freeze anything in it’s path, and I was for 6 hours with a pair of binoculars frozen to my face.
So today, as usual I awoke before dawn, but in truth I hardly slept, due to a soar throat and blocked nose, and upon lifting my head out of the luxurious warmth of my sleeping bag, the warmth of my breath hitting the freezing air of my bedroom was a sure sign it was a chilly morning. The windows were creaking and moaning, accompanied by some banging of loose panels on the side of the hut, a gale with driving snow and wind chill of -10 greeted me as I opened the front door to see what Patagonia had on offer for me today, it was not looking great.
After throwing on a few layers, strategically hung on the chair inches from me, I made fresh coffee, no tins of Nescafe in this ”Little House On The Prairie “ I can assure you, after which I came to the rather rapid conclusion that my current state of health, in such windy and extreme conditions, would not in anyway benefit from wandering around Torres del Paine looking for large Pumas.
So I set about cleaning the breakfast bar in order to make the bread, after the wood burning stove was sufficiently hot of course. This took longer than expected, so I just sat back and read, peered out the window at the 2 Crested Cara Caras that seem to enjoy pick the choicest morsels of vegetable peelings from my compost heap in the garden, and gorged myself to the point of exploding on large bowls of porridge sweetened with the obligatory dollops of Chilean honey.
I have no idea what the weather is forecast to deliver tomorrow, but if I feel as bad as I did this particular morning, I won’t feel so guilty about opting to take another days rest,
Why ? because on reflection I bloody well deserve it !!!
Adios from Patagonia