geographically and almost literally speaking
25.11.2006 - 26.11.2006 10 °C
With the rental Jeep in the safe hands of 3 guys who are less than expert stickshift drivers, we accomplished the mission of making it to the bottom of continental South America. Where that exactly is, I can´t tell you. We just kept going south until all the roads - paved, gravel, dirt - ended. Then we drove through herds of cows, across a river bank at low tide, and then through part of a beach for the sole reason that we could still see some land left. And also because we don´t know any better.
The endpoint was also to be our home for the night since it was quickly getting dark and we were starving. It´s fortunate that we stocked up on steaks and ribs before we set out. Oh wait, that´s right...we didn´t bring any food! And even if we did, there wasn´t anything to cook it on. We didn´t even have matches to light a damn fire. This planning business is really hard to get a grasp of.
Great Odin´s beard! Tramping out of the forest corner came 4 tough looking Chilean hiker dudes armed with rifles. No problem, being assasinated at the bottom of South America is probably one of the cooler ways to die. And then one of them reached into his pocket and pulled out...a video camera?! Oh great, these sick bastards are going to film our deaths too. But since I´m alive writing this, we were lucky they turned out to be just as awesome as everyone we´ve come across here. I can only imagine their hardcore hunting videos mixed in with the greetings of some lost foreigners.
These guys also saved our butts by giving us a spare pack of matches. Except for the freezing cold that almost forced my nipples through my shirt, it was pretty surreal being out there, down there, on the continental tip amidst practically nothing.
So that pretty much ended our voyage south. Let´s just say that the route north didn´t start out so hot. The tide had filled up the river we had crossed the night before so we couldn´t pass. We left the car to check just how deep it was. About half a minute later, I hear the sound of crunching gravel behind me. Believe it or not, seeing your Jeep rolling down a hill towards the river is not the most endearing sight at 6:30 in the morning. This was the aftermath.
Looks kinda like my dad´s car I slid into the ditch last winter eh guys? So with the front corner of the car getting a nice bath, we set up camp again, lit another fire, and waited until the tide flowed out to assess the damage. And then some old guy wearing pink slippers walks out of the woods. I must be dreaming. He looks at us, looks at the car, looks back at us, shakes his head, and goes ¨No es buen¨. If it weren´t for my freaking car in the river, I would have enjoyed that moment more. Turns out he was just camping with his family, all 35 of them on the other side of the water. So at least there was enough manpower to do some heavy duty pushing, or lifting.
But alas, by some divine intervention, there was no need. The water level sank in just under a couple hours and no structural damage had been done. Engine ran smoothly. No secondary electronics were short circuited. The water had made its way out of the drivers side. The rental company didn´t even look at it twice. Only remaining effects were my wet socks, soaked boots, and bruised ego. Guess who forgot to put on the emergency brake? Cut me some slack though, my brain is occupied with this whole new business of going north.
Oh yea, we saw some penguins along the way.