Tuesday, January 29, 2013

People on the journey


01/19

We are on trail again, this time in Chile. It's an awesome, warm, sunny day and we take a long lunch break right now. It's day 2 of the Dientes De Navarino Circuit hike and I'm thinking a lot about the people we already met so far. Why?!? As they say, it's about the journey, the route, that's the goal, not the destination itself. It's what we encounter en route, the challenges we have, impressions we get, the mountains we climb, the rivers we cross and of course the people we met and will meet. In general folks in Argentina and Chile are really helpful and friendly so far,especially the more remote we got. The first real good impression made Ramon to me. He is the caretaker at Estancia Tunel who offered us a room to stay for the night on our first hike in Argentina. First, he was a little shy but once we broke the ice he was opening up and showed us the Estancia. We learned about the history of woodcutting business there and the shipping of wood all the way to BA from here. He also took us on a 2h hike to show us the route for a hike he highly recommended to us (and we did the next day). Ramon, the sweet little man was also very knowledgeable about nature and the area in general, so his wealth of knowledge started some good conversations (Karen talked with her limited Spanish and I listened and understood most of it due to the additional use of body language). Thanks Ramon!

There are also the people you know that you meet but didn't expect to meet. Just like my friend and former Dresden queo colleague Severin. I knew that he was in BA and had plans to go to Ushuaia at one point. However, I did not know any details of his planned had no idea what he is up to. It was more than a surprise to see him on the 15th as he walked into the cooking area at the campground La Pista Del Andino in Ushuaia that morning. Karen and I just had finished breakfast and were on our way out as Sev came in. It was awesome to chat and to catch up after 7+ years and to hear his stories and tails from the trail. The 3 of us decided to hike to Laguna Esmaralda the next day to hangout a bit more and to have some fun together. The hike starts of route 3 outside of Ushuaia. At the trailhead we met Gato, the first person from South America to run the Iditarod. He has a small tourist business there and offers sled dog rides in the winter. We of course started talking about our dogs,Chhiri and Loki, our mushing experience and our life in Alaska. After seeing his dog yard and after a beer, Gato offered us to be his handler some time in the future. I guess this is something Karen and I can consider but it is just amazing how a day hike with an old friend from Germany to a laguna turned into a local sled dog / mushing experience.

There are many other people we met so far, but these made a special impression on me and are just 3 examples of showing that the route or journey is more important than just the final, final goal. That's what in my opinion a journey is all about. More later...

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