Mon 14/11-2011 Day 77

The Laguna Dulce

Pos: here
Loc: behind Cabo Vigia
Acc: tent
Dist: 0 km

No paddling today, forecasted were around twenty knot headwinds. At 5.30 am, my usual wake up time, it was still dead calm like last night, but I decided I’d like to trust the forecast and turned around again. At 6.30 am gusts started to come in, and at 7.30 am my tent was shaking that much that I soon decided to get out and to check the tent pegs and straps.

Yes, those are heavy white caps on the sea. Hard to see, as usual...

Up to 11 am, I think I got the strongest wind I have experienced so far in this country, it must have been minimum 25 knots, and some gusts around 30 knots. I had my tent secured with all means, heavy rocks on the large sand pegs, the straps and loops are checked, I had shoveled gravel on the bottom o the tent walls to prevent the wind getting under the tent from there, the hooks of the top flap additionally knotted to the tent (the plastic hooks can’t withstand such strong wind…) and on the wind side I had attached another strap to the top flap to hold it down. All looked good!

I'm missing my 32.000 pieces puzzle at home...I started to organize the tiny pebbles on the beach by color... 🙂

No way there would be any shelter anywhere. Just one narrow v-shape gap in the cliffs where in wet times some river may come down, but that would be only an emergency shelter with no flat surface at all. But my tents holds up! I just didn’t dare to leave it alone to go for a walk…a horrifying thought of my tent with all my belongings flying along the beach. I even attached my kayak to the ground, you never know…when empty, it would be easily rolling along the beach on a strong gust. I’ve seen kayaks doing that! But it was in the lee of my tent, vertical to the wind, so chances were quite low for that kind of performance.

The fly plague...just a few of them, from inside my tent bug net...

What to do on such a day? Well, reading my e-book is one thing, but if there are no really necessary gear check ups to do, it becomes boring quite easily. Besides, the horrible amount of flies waiting to suck on me outside the tent flap…you can stand being outside only standing in the full wind which blows them more or less away, if they don’t find a lee worth to suck on you on on your body….

My campsite on high tide

Today I’d not have minded a Prefectura visit for distraction! 🙂

Amazing animal "highway" through the desert to the lake

I fell asleep at some point, but woke at noon from suddenly hearing NO wind any more! This can’t be! I sat upright in my tent, grabbed my clothes and walked outside. But soon again it started to blow again, with maybe “only” 20 knots now, but enough to get me off the strange idea I may paddle today…

The color of the lake was muddy yellow, I couldn't get right up to the water, ground is too soft!

But I felt if my tent had been withstanding the wind for now, all looked good, and I could make a walk to the salt lake I saw on my map.

These are flamingos standing in the shallow lake!

I took a long sip of water, ate a banana, and felt ready for a walk into the desert. Better would have been, I’d have taken some water with me, as my walks, when some things seem to be interesting, are getting longer and longer…and this *was* quite interesting!

Laguna Dulce

The landscape was totally flat once I climbed the steep cliff behind the moderate steep/ flat beach. I saw something shimmering in the distance, but couldn’t really tell if this would be water, or just a mirage again, and how away far it may be!

It was blowing on top of the flat as much as on th beach, but here it was feeling even more like *hot* desert wind, and felt even more dry than down there. I kept on walking in the direction of the “water”, eventually on ground which looked like it had been muddy some months ago.

I had to climb a low long hill line, and there it was, which was almost hidden before and shimmering only in the last end in the far distance – what a surprise! Really a lake, not just a mirage! It was quite a large area, maybe one or two kilometer square, with yellow colored, muddy looking, very shallow water. If this one would be filled up in rain times, the hill line I had to walk down would have been the top of the lake, I assume…

I was not sure if it was a salt lake or, like the name on the map says, “Lago Dulce”, means sweet water…I couldn’t get all the way to the water’s edge to try it, as it became soft on the last 5 meters. But plenty of animal traces around the lake showed those guys were quenching their thirst here!

Plenty of pink flamingoes were standing everywhere in the shallow lake, nice view! But no other animal to spot now, in the heat of the day.

I’m just reading on my e-book a travel report from 1880, some explorer describing the first travels with lots of flowery words (I could learn a bit from him!) into central Africa. He was writing about such water holes as well, but the landscape there was FULL of wild animals of all kinds! I  later spotted only a flock of guanacos. I got quite close to them this time, all down wind, but I guessed they have good eyes?

Curious guanacos close to the Laguna Dulce

But maybe I was quite happy I’d not have to expect a wild buffalo herd running over me next, or a lion chasing the many antelopes around…are there actually snakes in this country? I have sometimes thought about it when I was walking cross the bush, but haven’t seen any…

This was a guanaco, too...I found the front legs a few meters further

My way back went past a couple of skeletons of guanacos and sheep, walking comfortably on a wheel track from a nearby estancia through what I almost would call a flower garden (low bushy area) now after the walk through *nothing* to the lake!

A bit more of a puzzle of a strong male sheep

I was quite happy to get back to my tent on the beach after two hours of hot desert walk, to find my small spot of civilization in the wilderness, with my life saving resource of now 12 liters left of fresh water…and a fly free place in the tent plus some shade and wind protection – what else do I need? yes, my means of transportation to get away here again at some point…

The desert is alive - if you are having a very close look...

And yes, I’d not expected to be met by such heat this far south in Argentina!

These rare blooming bushes send a sweet scent over the desert!

8 comments on “Mon 14/11-2011 Day 77

Richard Hayes

Hey, Freya,

Great to see you out there doing it again – take care and be safe. Been blowing a gale here a lot too, lately – bit chilly for flies, tho…LOL…

Jörg Hofferbert

The only frequent dangerous animal is an insect, named colihuachos, which is living nearest lakes and fresh water. The greatness and the colour of them is like a german “Hummel”. But the bite is no more dangerous than a normal german mosquito. They are very slow and easy to catch.

The other real dangerous animals are the puma and the skunk, but they are very rar. Dangerous snakes are not living in argentina and chile.

This to your calming


I wonder how different the landscape will be on the other side…and further north? Your descriptions of the Argentinian landscape are an education for me, I had no idea what it was like, but I imagined it very differently.


Be patient Freya do not fight with the wind … just wait for it, and calm down!
good luck!

There are not snakes in that part of my country Freya, only good animals. Hope your description of the land don’t encourage much people to come. This Iridium website don’t work here. Will continue trying. Beso! Ale

Don S

I’ve got to say that National Geographic is rather boring, compared to your diaries and your quest! 🙂

Edda Post author

Glad you are getting a chance to rest out your cold, voluntarily or not. That should improve your spirits all round as well as your body

Meike Michalik

mir scheint du hast nie Langeweile. Selbst in der Einöde erlebst du was und hast die Technik um Kontakt zur Aussenwelt zu halten und Bücher zu lesen. Beneide dich. Hier in Dänemark wird es so langsam kalt, die Tage sind kurz und man igelt sich mehr und mehr im Haus ein. Aber heute war das Wetter ok, also waren wir kurz paddeln , wurden aber von Nebel überrascht. Aber es war schön mal wieder das Wasser zu erleben. Ist einfach ein tolles Gefühl im Boot zu sitzen. 🙂
Freue mich immer darauf deine Berichte zu lesen. Freya weiterhin alles Gute
saludos desde Dinamarca

Comments are closed