Cabalgata Argentina 1998
Would we have travelled to Argentina if it hadn´t been for a friend who lived there? Even though we lived in Brazil at the time, the answer would most probably have been No. Brazil was adventure enough, a huge country with many climate zones and something in the bag for every taste. But then, if you know people who live strewn across the planet, chances are good that you´ll land somewhere where your common sense wouldn´t have taken you. This particular friend proposed a horse treck along the Argentina-Chile border. A remote region that is not on the trodden path of the average traveller. It was, no imagination needed, a special trip.
From an already remote village we started off towards the border region.
The landscape varied and sometimes changed from lush meadows to barren dryness within half a day.
What looks like a soft moss cushion, was surprisingly a hard moss-like bump in the grass.
Turned out that these were quite common in the region.
Mars-like and uninhabitable - except that there was more than enough fresh oxygen.
Approaching a night camp. Valleys with a small stream or a creek for washing and
cooking water were preferred camp sites.
Night camps were in front of rocks or other natural upheavals for some wind protection. The horse blankets
from under the saddles were our mattresses and sleeping bags our covers.
Once every couple of days the older guide vanished for an hour or two, to return with a freshly slaughtered goat. He knew where the few shepherds were roaming with their herds. Once in the wild, the skinning and cutting of the animal seemed as normal as sleeping under the stars. Even though I´m not fond of goat meat under normal circumstances, in this instance it was just delicious.
The only natural shower on our trip. It´s amazing to see how long one endures without a decent
bath when the few chances of bathing are not an option due to disagreeable temperatures.
Approaching our highest altitude at the Argentina/Chile border. According to our guide this spot was at a little
over 4,000 meters (more than 13,000 ft.). It surely felt and looked like 4,000 meters.
Wind swept barrenness. In the course of our trip we surely criss-crossed the border many times.
Coming back down into more moderate zones.
Another night camp. After a days ride the horses were happy to graze
and most of us fell into a deep sleep like babies.