Thursday, 3 March 2011

Six Sequential Nights in the Andes

Not a rock, tree or shrub to hide behind, let alone tie a tent down to, when along comes a vast heap of road-cutting spoil; a mountain of rocks that with judicious excavation, we’re able to create a platform and wall to shelter our tent. Shelter is always the issue.

A long climb at the end of a day on good ripio had not been intended or expected. A bielded spot, let alone an area big enough to take the tent, just wouldn’t materialise. The top of the pass is flat, but totally exposed, when a short distance off the road we spy a wood of commercial pine. Perfect again.

These two pitchings have been silent of human disturbing. Our third in this sextage(?) was clannish camping, a loving embrace of nylon, a granny knot of guylines.

Then a secluded spot high in the desert, only a few metres from the road but invisible to anyone passing - not that there were many; the fifth night landed us in the backyard of Don Avila’s finca, camping a la ferme.

The final night is truly bizarre. It is the storage cupboard of a small comedor alongside sixteen packs of loo roll and sixty bottles of Malbec.

Six nights of ever-changing, ever rotating experiences.