Santa Cruz Trek – Day 2

Sunday 13th September 2015

View from my tent in the morning. It is around 6.30am and we have brekky at 7am. Better pack uppp!!!

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The lake nearby

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The little triangular tent alone is where I think we are on this map

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The road right next to our campground

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This van sounded like pretty interesting travellers were in it! I can`t seem to find their facebook page though.

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Morning warm-up!

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The van arrived, ready to take us to Vasqueria.

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Snack bag for the day. Yummy!

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We went up with the van, the view of the surroundings was stunning. In the background the lake and the campground where we just spent the night next to the river we can see.

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View of the lake and the mountains from a lookout where we stopped to take photos. I changed lens for the 12mm prime wide angle.

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The way we have come

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We continued our journey to Vasqueria. One of the lake we saw.

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We arrived in Vasqueria and hanged around. When I asked Arti what time lunch was planned that day, he said 5pm like the day before, when we would get to the campground. It was 11am. I asked, hey what about we have it now actually? He said ok and the cook went to prepare a salad for us, yeahhh. A happy stomach is a happy person. Me in particular, better not keep me hungry. ;-p

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While we hanged around, there were those 2 little girls coming to grab Adrian`s leg, tease us, they were cheeky and funny. The youngest one was holding a small bag full of candies that Arti brought them matybe and she asked me to make a knot (at least that`s what I understood she wanted ahah) and then she was walking around with her little bag purse, very cute.

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The donkeys arrived and the arriero and his assistant packed them up. It was interesting to see how the donkeys were spacing their front legs in order to give themselves stability while they were being loaded. Here is a good technique to tie up a donkey, use your foot!

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Here we were, the sub-sector Pampamachay.

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Salad for lunch. Jeez, there are 2 things I hate, grapefruit juice and…beetroot. I had to take each of them out one by one, gave them to my dear trekking mates, who were more than happy to take them. Beetroot, yuk yuk yuk.

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And off we went at noon. Going down first.

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River. Love those long exposure shots. 1/2 seconds, ISO 100, F22 here. Camera still on the floor.

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We passed through some village.

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I saw those 2 kid popping their head at the window, curious of what was going on inside. Was that a school? Were they curious and eager to get in. I couldn`t help thinking of the movie “La gloire de mon pere” from Marcel Pagnol where the 4-year old kid learns to read by himself because he kept sitting at the back of the class of his mum. Those 2 little ones really made me laugh! 🙂

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Man and his three sheeps.

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THE three little pigs. Remember the story?

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Continuing to walk.

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I remember taking that shot first.

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Then the head turned to me so I asked: “Guys, can I take a picture of you? And everyone said yes, except the guy with a blue cap on the left of the 2 guys with hats, left side, facing us.” It was hilarious. I said “Todos queremos la foto, necesito prenderla!!” (Everyone wants the shot, I have to take it.) Everyone laughed and is laughing on that shot, except him, keeping his head down. If he was one of the seven dwarf, surely he would be Grumpy. 😀

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View of the valley

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Just one thing I didn`t like too much that day was the number of plastic rubbish we found on the side of the walk. We saw less the next few days, but it was annoying to see so much. Could that be hikers? Or is that locals? Not sure but really nuts.

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I haven`t mention Lucho yet. This dog joined us in Vasqueria and was about to walk the entire 4 days with us. Our mascotte. Such a cool dog! And a poseur!

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Kept walking. The landscape was not the most beautiful we had seen, it was a bit “naaa” average.

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When I saw that, I turned to Mary to see if she was seeing what I was seeing too. Cat, devil, rabbit, lama?

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Looking behind me.

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Looking in front of me.

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I was at the back and when everyone passed a gate, this horse went through when they had opened it. He passed me and stand there, contemplating the landscape, probably hesitating on what to do. He was free. Free to go wherever he wanted.

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Once I passed the gate, I saw his mate the white horse. He stayed there, still behind the fence. I could see he wanted to get out there too. I could tell he was ready to jump above the fence or walk on top of those rocks. I was afraid he could hurt himself. But he just kept looking. He looked so proud. He kept neighing, calling his mate to come back. I had this compelling desire to drop my bag, jump on his back, jump the fence with him and go galloping in the valley!!! I used to be a big fan of Black Beauty from Anna Sewell and all the Mary O`Hara books, all the Walter Farley series of Black and Flame and Alex the jockey. Was a big part of my childhood dreams. Love that picture here, the proud horse ready to go follow his mate.

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Got out of my dream and kept walking in the valley.

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This goat seemed to be teasing me.

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We got at another Post of Control where we signed again. Some had lost their ticket and the guy was calling the Llanganuco post of control to retrieve the ticket numbers in order to write them down to track we had made it safely through here or for stats or whatever who knows.

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Started walking again.

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River on our right. Oh I remember how there was a group not too far behind us and we were trying to not be passed by them, to save our proudness, but ultimately they did ahah. But what I really liked with our group was that we were not going too fast, we were enjoying chatting, looking at the landscape, stopping and admiring the surroundings. I was also reassured that I walk at a pace others do. In Colombia, having 20 kilos on the back in altitude meant I was super slow, and I really had the feeling I could not keep pace with others, but having just a small pack was really way easier to carry to walk at a “normal” pace. Phew.

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We saw some of those trees that have a wonderful texture and seem to be peeling. We saw them also the day before. I like the way they look.

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I fell in love with this particular part of the path. I absolutely love the way the light was falling on it and all the curves in there, the moss on the side, the way the stones were setup, the texture trees. Loved that setup.

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And we kept walking, soon at the campground!

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The guys had already setup the cooking tent and dinning tent and the tents of everyone. I grabbed mine and pitched it. They had asked me if I wanted them to pitch it, but it is good practice before Patagonia, where I may have tougher conditions like wind and rain so I was really happy to do it myself every day, and it is quite easy and quick to put up anyway.

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What I remember the most about that campsite was that there were lots of midges and that was super annoying! Matt the fiance of Rebecca went to the river for a wash and he came back quickly, the midges were eating him alive! We all retreated to the dinning tent and waited that dusk fell so that there would be less midges. Once it was dark, they were gone.
My tent facing the beautiful mountains.

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A few night shots, but clouds came coming. Annoying.

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I like shooting the tents when they are lit up, with the mountains in the background and stars, it is pretty cool.

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Good night!