21 May 2012

Just catching up on maintenance

Location: La Ballena, Chile

workshop with a view
Thanks to Lorraine Chittock for supplying the workspace.  New sprockets, chain, and seals. 

04 May 2012

Northbound: El Chalten to Puerto Montt

argentina road signs have classic style

looking back's a bad habit  --marshall cockburn in True Grit

scratched on a road sign, it reads:  if you want to die, hitchhike here.  Claire and Nico from France

land rovers await you in El Chalten

old truck in La Siberia, a ranch in the middle of nowhere

3 days of hitchhiking the desolate Route 40, I had a beer in my hand as Pako and I zoomed into the desert to rock climb

the desert guards its secrets

once a salt lake, now 3 miles of perfect rock climbing routes

Pako, from Perito Moreno knows all the routes

there's Pako, most of the way up

to climb some routes, you need to hammer spikes into the rock to clip into

and then he drills a hole with his Hilti hammer drill

after inserting an expanding bolt, he clips into the ring and moves up.

do you partake in sports that require a hammer drill?  hellyeah!

the desert is full of secrets

taking the boat ride back north

sundown in puerto ibaƱez

when you find a piece of paper on the road at dawn that says ''crowned matthew'', it's going to be a perfect day.  and it was.

mountain ahead

frost is gettin long

the enchanted forest.  bosque encantado

back at Paul's place.

there is not a word to say what you feel.  every word will be futile when you feel the love.

paul and konomi's earth bag house.  cozy in the hill.

i went on an adventure to visit a japanese family that moved to patagonia to escape the radiation back home.

of course i taught them how to launch apples from the orchard with bamboo poles.  100 yards easy.


taking a bath  in a barrel.  patagonia is awesome.

01 May 2012

Patagonia the beautiful part 2: El Chalten

This is part 2 of more travels down south, my time in El Chalten, Santa Cruz, Argentina.  El Chalten is the original name for Mt. Fitzroy.

El Chalten, Argentina.  Likely soon to be the number 1 town to visit in Patagonia.


approaching Fitzroy with friends.

The forests of Patagonia are very Ent-like.  Treebeard in Spanish?  Barbol.

3 day expedition to climb the pyramid.

El Chalten is at the confluence of the 2 rivers.  not a bad setting for a town.

mystery cloud

Maxi and El Coronado

The descent was very steep.

staying in an old refugio

Always fun to share a snack with friends on the mountain

Making pollo al disco with Jesus, my host for a month.
Pollo al Disco (Chicken a la Disc)
You take a disc, as in from the agricultural equipment, and weld a small flange on to make it like a wok.  Build a rebar stand to elevate it about 1 foot off the fire.  Weld on some handles out of old horseshoes.  Heat up some oil in the disc, then add a few pounds of chicken or sausages or chunks of meat.  pour in a bottle of white wine and add onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, beans, peas, corn, and salt.  Add everything over time so as not to overcook anything.  Cover with a piece of sheet metal.  Later on, add oregano, pepper, and give everything a flip to evenly mix the spices.  To spread it further, add a pot of rice or lentils.  Serve with bread and wine.  Feeds 15.

getting ready to go fishing in Argentina is more complicated than Budweiser.

4am and we are tromping through the bushes with rope

seriously guys, WHERE are we going?

Now Maxi has his waders on and homemade spears.

Maxi fishing for salmon at dawn

at the end of the salmon run, they are like zombies.  they swim so slow you can walk up to them and spear them.  but they are already rotting, with their scales falling off.  not for eating.

wonderful handmade pen holder in the park office

Jesus handles small welding projects all over town.  The streets are filled with his scrap metal sculptures.

go for a walk?

that mountain is called Huemul, after the Andean deer.  It is a 4 day walk around the mountain.

Day one you walk along the river to the lake.  Day 2 is crossing the pass (lowest point in the background)

the start of day 2, with the pass beyond

there is a section along a glacier

who needs crampons when ya got sticks?

looking out from the ice cave

looking into the ice cave.  probably the most beautiful blue ever.

the ridge of the andes is granite, and the foothills sedimentary.  in between, you find metamorphic rock like this.  folded and twisted and melted.

one glacier crossed!

snow falls at the top and compresses into ice, then slides down the mountain.
 for every cubic foot of ice, you need 1,000,000 cubic feet of snowfall.
maurico and the glacier

looking out onto the ice sheet.  ice as far as you can see.  as the ice grinds past mountains, it carries the rock with it.

venturing out onto the ice is serious business

the ice pushes piles of rock, leaving ponds and a nice setting for a refugio, a small hut with a table and bunks (and mice)

the second night is in the refugio and day 3 follows the ice sheet down to lago viedma

the morraines show the flow of ice over the ages

extreme brushing

the lenga forest is very old, but still only a few meters tall due to the extreme climate

yep, there's my new tattoo

the glacier descends down to the lake, where it drops icebergs the size of houses

has from colombia, and my siberian brother ''el russo''

it is seriously windy here

reinforcing tents at jesus' house was a daily chore.  harsh sun and high winds shredded 3 rainflies in a week.

Jesus looks out the window at his bicycle, which will soon carry him on his own long voyage

with so many good people sticking around casa de jesus (that like vodka), late night laps around town are inevitable

countries represented: france, usa(3), colombia(2), kazahkstan, chile, poland, venezuela, argentina(2), and spain

lots of places to swim, as long as you like glacier water

goodbye el chalten, i will miss you.