24 HOURS IN LIFE OF THE CAMERAMAN TRYING TO DO JUST THAT !!!
A FEW HOURS LATER
To say it is a little cold in these parts would be somewhat of an understatement, and I thought I was being clever putting on a pair of warm cotton army trousers under my waterproof lined trekking pants, when I set off after breakfast this morning, it turned out to be a mistake, and my backside and thighs have been paying the freezing price all day.
I set off full of the joys of spring, except it was -10, hoping to spot the family of Pumas I am trying to focus most of my time on, but a long trek in stunning light and clear blue skies revealed nothing, in fact the only other life form that revealed itself down the twin barrels of my binoculars was 2 members of Christians film crew, who were located on a hill about 1.5 miles away, one of whom was dancing up and down and flapping his arms in penguin like fashion to keep warm, so it appears I was not the only one in the area looking for Pumas who genuinely wished he was on a beach on the Pacific coast of Columbia, far to the north of our present location, in very chilly Patagonia.
I found tracks of a cat who had wandered to the top of the conglomerate rock formation I was scanning the landscape from, but no sign of any cats, so I decided to head slowly back to camp and thaw out. Just as I arrived at the start of the trail next to the rangers hut, Jose the ranger pulled up in his 4x4 and told me to jump in, I knew he was heading in the late afternoon, soon to be dusk light, to look for the cats, and as damp , cold and miserable as I felt, I could not resist the opportunity to cover the distance to Laguna de los Cisnes and back, much faster than when I usually walk it, and in the comfort and warmth of his 4x4, several minutes later I was glad I jumped in.
We stopped close to a lake whose far banks were flanked by gentle hills where I had seen and filmed the female and her 4 cubs three times in the last week, and luckily for me the cubs were once again waiting patiently for their mother to return and lead them to a carcass to feed, and if I am correct it has been 12 days since they last ate, so both her and the cubs must be pretty desperate to feed, especially in these freezing temperatures the park is experiencing this last week.
Jose and I continued in a first gear crawl down the road, scanning the hills and valleys for any movement, but the only sign of life was the chewing and neck movements of a herd of 100 strong Guanaco, a few hills and narrow valleys away from where we spotted the 4 cubs, would their mother be fortunate enough to encounter the herd as she hunts tonight, tomorrow morning in the freezing early morning light I will set off to find out………….
To be continued