Wednesday 16th December 2015
Dixon to Los Perros
I had not put an alarm clock and slept in and woke up around…9.30am!! I packed the backpack, it took me an hour. Then the tent, it took me 20 minutes. Then I went to the table where we had eaten the day before and had brekky there with Daniel. Julian and Emma had done it the other way around, eating brekky first and were now going to pack their bags and tent. We had brekky with Daniel and Vitold, a Polish guy living in the States in New Jersey. We saw a fox behind us but he disappeared pretty quickly and I only got a photo of his tail.
Emma and Julian started walking. Daniel’s knee was too painful and he decided to stay there for the day and rest his knee and go the next day. I started to walk around 12.15pm. Off to Los Perros!
Vitold was behind. There was also an older couple walking, in their fifties-sixties. The woman was from Germany and the man from Canada but they were both living in California. The 4 of us hiked almost all the way alongside each other. It rained literally all the way. Most of the walk was in a very pretty forest. The rain made the green so flashy that it felt like someone had photoshopped the forest, pushing the green to the extreme.
After the “2 kilometers left” sign, it rained and rained even more!
We saw a glacier at the end which was really beautiful and saw some ice falling from it.
We arrived at Los Perros campground around 5pm.
I decided to pitch my tent here.
Everyone else was already there. I learned my lesson of the day, to never sleep in and that the earlier you leave, the better, no matter what! We were completely soaked, like everyone else. My shoes resisted long and I was glad I had repaired them in Puerto Natales and put some grease on them to make them waterproof but after 5 hours under the rain, they were soaked. It was the same for my rain pant and my Gore-Tex jacket. They protected me for long but ultimately gave up. I pitched the tent in a spot next to a pool of water. While I was scribbling down in my mini journal that day, I remember hoping that I had not selected the spot wrongly and that that spot would not transform into a pool too, otherwise I would be screwed. The floor of my tent was wet so I used the safety blanket I had been carried for 6 months for the first time in my life and put it above the tent’s floor for additional insulation from the dampness. I think I even put it on the wrong side. There is an orange side and a silver side and I had put the silver side facing the bottom and the orange side facing the top. Oh well, I thought, it still adds a layer of insulation.
Then I blew up my mattress and then took my sleeping bag out of the backpack. The outside was all wet. I was really glad I had learnt from a YouTube video before to go to put the sleeping bag inside a bin bag then inside the sleeping bag bag in order to keep it dry.
It did work and my sleeping bag was not wet. There is nothing worse than a wet sleeping bag! It still felt super damp but everything around felt cold and wet. I learned some lessons that day about hiking in the rain. For example that next time I should have a rain cover
for my canvas backpack because canvas ultimately is not completely waterproof. And much more ziplog bags for everything to not take the risk of anything getting wet. Thing is, in Queensland, it rarely rains during the dry season and in my 6-month trip, I had been
very lucky with the weather. No rain on the Santa Cruz trek in Huaraz, no rain in El Chalten. Lucky but didn’t build up experience.
I walked to the kitchen area and the atmosphere was awesome. I made couscous. I chatted with the American guy Tim and his friends, a couple he met in Turkey, the girl came with a girl friend who had brought another girl friend of her. I spent a long time after dinner
next to the fireplace, drying my gloves and then my shoes and then my backpack. I was one of the last people to leave the shelter and go to sleep. Here was the way the shelter looked with all the clothes hanging ahahahaha.
Tomorrow…off to the Pass!! The legendary dreadful iconic Pass, that place everyone talks about as being super dangerous. I asked everyone and many were planning to leave around 7am-7.30am so I put the alarm clock of my GPS for 5am this time.