Loc: Rio Gallegos
Acc: Horatio and Mariela’s house
Dist: 0 km
As I thought yesterday, Alejandro organized a pick up by the Prefectura for today, and a stay in his friend Horatio’s house. Thanks!
The Prefectura truck came after the guys did actually some driving odyssey around the Argentine pampa! Sorry! It looked so easy on Google Earth and on my map…just drive the well marked way to the estancia Angelina, and then follow the good wheel track down to the beach…
So the three nice Prefectura guys obviously took more than five hours for the “mere” 80 km drive, going cross country a lot of times! But they arrived eventually at 2.30 pm. Thanks a lot!
The truck they had was 4-wheel drive, and the driver seemed to have a lot of fun with that! But it proved to be too short to load my kayak, though they brought even a nice mattress for padding…which eventually proved useful on the way back for one of the guy’s well earned rest.
My kayak got eventually loaded on the truck tarp roof, and solidly strapped. I showed them the wheel track to the estancia, which they didn’t take on the way up here. They went just cross country the last bit…but if
you see the solid pampa here with just very low grass vegetation it is quite possible to drive like that.
I found that morning two nandu (small ostrich) eggs, which I actually didn’t really dare to touch…but one of the guys said the one close to my camp was old, and he took it home. We saw a real nandu eventually running around later! Maybe in search of his egg? 🙂
We wanted to say “hi” to the estancia people at least on the way out, but it showed that no one was living there any more, other than a lot of sheep!
Ok… after we tried a wrong we eventually found a bigger, obviously correct major one, and were able to follow it nicely, well, until that solid gate which was solidly locked!
We decided to drive along the fence to find a weak spot where the truck could pass over after we stepped on the fence to flatten it – no problem. The fence got straighten upright again, and we had to do this one more time until we eventually could drive free on a major wheel track down to the highway to Rio Gallegos. Quite another style of adventure! My kayak had to be restrapped once, but it seemed to survive this trip all right.
At the Prefectura, Horatio, a high ranking Colonel of the Argentine army and an old friend of Alejandro, was coming to pick me up, as well as José Jaramillo, the leading kayaker of the local Club Nautico.
José was loading my kayak – thanks!, Horatio loaded my gear, and after stopping to buy a few repair supplies, we all met at Horatio’s house, where my baby got on the operation table – literally! I could work on it nicely inside the house tomorrow! I cleaned and dried the spots to repair already this morning on the beach, though the whole boat was quite muddy from the beach rolls over wet sand…but it will be washed after my repair is dry!
You think I could have washed it on the beach? Well, no water in sight all morning…and when it came up slowly, it was almost liquid mud…
Thanks to being hosted in their really nice house, and to Horatio’s wife Mariela who made a proper dinner with potatoes, eggs, meat and salad – really delicious after my every day’s dried and dehydrated food!
I’m glad I didn’t paddle today and was not really tired, as I cannot really get used to a late Argentine dinner time at 10.30 pm!
I’ll work on my kayak tomorrow, and will be able to do my other chores on Thursday – the long term forecast says strong winds until then…but then – five days of low to no winds! Yes, this is what I’ll need for crossing the Magellan Strait to Tierra del Fuego! Three days along the last bits of coast, Monday with almost no wind for the crossing.. hope it will stay like that and all goes well here with the repair…
And yes, I decided to launch from Rio Gallegos town…and yes, the naysayers will say this is not correct…but I can’t put anyone out again, to make this long cross country drive to the north side of the river to my take out spot…the missing distance will be the same I’ll now add paddling from town out of the river…I’d have stopped outside in Punta Loyala anyway and wouldn’t have paddled into town! And yes, the launch and paddle will both be easy – the remaining bit of coast or paddling out of the river!