Mon 19/12-2011 Day 112

The giant back-pecker...

Pos: here
Loc: Punta Final
Acc: tent
Dist: 26,5 km
Start: 10:00 End: 16:10

I called Peter this morning who had a look on Alejandro’s SPOT tracking website, and he saw that the last information he gave me about them being yesterday night in Moat was already one day old. Last night they were camped only 3 km besides me in Bahia Slogger as well! SPOT message was sent at midnight…

Means as I’m used to get up relatively early, I may wake them up this morning…but oh well!

I launched from my spot at 7 am, paddled the 3 km up the coast, and only spotted their kayaks at the last 500 m on the beach. Not easy to see, and they told me later they haven’t seen me either!

I was just about to land through the calm swell, as Alejandro came down the beach to greet me! actually, he just incidentally came walking down to his kayak the very first time this morning…

He was also surprised to hear I was last night only 3 km away, as they landed already around 5pm. They felt very sorry to have missed my bathing session, dressed only with a big smile, in my lovely rocky river pool… 🙂

I landed with an (unintentionally) elegant surf on a low wave, and dragged my kayak up the rocky beach as usual…Alejandro was terrified, “Don’t do that, you’ll damage your kayak!”…what do you think I have done the last months being by myself with a heavy loaded boat??? Flying it up the beach? He has still a brand new kayak, and a partner to help carrying…

We walked up the small she where the guys spent the night. Honestly, I’d rather have spent the night in my clean own tent than in this Argentine style shed…but they are adventurous guys…

Juan Pablo in the hut at Bahia Slogget, he just woke up...

Juan Pablo was still in his sleeping bag, and surprised to see me as well. We talked about planning and gear issues, and I was not too much in a hurry today, knowing I had only two days left to Almanza.

A lonely emperor penguin came up the beach, the first of those big ones I saw! He was not shy at all like all the other small ones, but walked proudly up to the cattle corral, stumbled not too emperor-like over a lose wire of the fence, fell on his belly, wriggled himself up, and kept on walking toward the river pool further down. Nice guy!

I eventually left the guys to their destiny (ohhhh, this sentence, written on Mon 19.12., became a sad new meaning on Monday, 26.12….) at 10 am, when already a fresh north westerly wind was blowing. 15-20 knots were fore casted for the whole day! Well…should be ok somehow for me…

I paddled past the new wreck of a small red sailboat pressed against the cliffs, taking that red dot on my first approach to Ale’s campsite for his red kayak… (ohhhh, this sentence also, written on Mon 19.12., became a sad new meaning on Monday, 26.12….)

...topped by a bird...

It was quite easy paddling south, and even the south coast along Cabo San Pio was sheltered enough from the now quite strong north westerly that I could make good progress in the lee of the cliffs.

Triple rock arch at Punta Falsa
Large Rock arch at Punta Falsa

The rocks down there were simply stunning! I found quite some big arches and small caves, and was able to take some pics. But I always had to make sure I was still in the lee of the rocks and in the kelp area…

Lighthouse and rock formations at Faro San Pio

When I eventually turned around Faro San Pio, which was the highlight area of the rock formations, I was heading straight north west without much rock and cliff shelter – straight into a solid 20 knots direct headwind.

I tried at least to hug the coast as close as possible, to find a marginal shelter, aiming for one small headland after the other, but it was simply a tough slog…if I’d have not a perfect core paddling technique, you simply wouldn’t even make any progress or hurt yourself very fast. So I made at least mostly still 3-4 km/h, close through now low hidden rocky areas and through kelp, but I couldn’t say this was much fun…

I was passing a point where a few young cattle were working with a gaucho – not sure what he did with one of the young bulls, tied to a pole, and chasing him around from the horse back – training for the bull fight arena???

The first gaucho, out of the picture album...

He didn’t take any notice of me, and may not even have seen me…I was tempted to cal lit a day here and to keep on watching. Around the next corner, another gaucho was riding on his horse, probably aiming for the same place where the other guy was working, followed by three dogs and a hand held young horse. We looked at each other in mutual astonishment and curiosity – this was a “real” Argentine gaucho! I took a pic, but would have loved to jump on the spare horse and to follow him… 🙂

I kept on fighting for another while, hoping to make it to Punta Moat to the Prefectura station as planned, but the view of the beautiful Punta Final, aptly named, made me calling it a day here, about 10 km short.

It was a wide river mouth, but the river was blocked with a rocky bar. I find it strange how this happens! The water simply flows through the rocks quite low, you can’t even see it running it into the sea.

Camp on the "emporer hill" at the river bar at Punta Final

The spot had a lovely green grassy emperor hill for me to camp on, overlooking the whole bay! I went for a wash of my dry suit in the river pool, but this water was luke warm ,teal colored and not too inviting for my body to wash with quite some mud and leaves. I rather had a shower out of my water bag, still enough fresh liquid to spare since Rio Grande!

My two gauchos...riding along the beach at the river bar at Punta Final

Once my tent was up, it started to rain, but I was rather up to a walk once it finished! I walked to the headland high up, and spotted another two gauchos riding along the coast, probably heading to the same estancia Puerto Rancho further south. A view out of the picture album…the called something to me, I answered in my few Spanish words “Yo soy Aléman, no hablamos Espanol, yo soy kayakista!” – I’d have loved to talk to them, or to jump on this new spare hand held horse…gaucho romantic…but unfortunately they even turned off my path too early to take great pics…

It started to rain again, and I went back to my tent, where I simply wanted to read a few pages before I started cooking or typing…but the sound of the cozy rain made me instantly falling asleep, and barely waking again for a short sat phone message and brushing teeth…

7 comments on “Mon 19/12-2011 Day 112

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