Grupo de Ocho!

Grupo de Ocho - Photo © Carl Amoth

Grupo de Ocho - Photo © Carl Amoth

Wow! Visiting and trekking in amazing surroundings is one thing, being able to meet some fantastic people along the way: priceless. As I mentioned in the last post, we connected very well with three other couples during our Grey Glacier Trek. Part of what I didn’t share is how Explora guides take such good care of us. About midway through the trek, during one of several rest and photography stops, they bring out a tupperware container filled with trail mix and another one filled with chocolate bars, chocolate bars with almonds and granola bars.

When we stopped for lunch at the Grey Glacier Lake, we learned our guide (a young woman maybe 25 years old) although not tiny, certainly not large, carrying a 35 pound pack that contained our meal. She begins by laying out a green and white checked table cloth and then proceeds to collect three flat rocks. She sets one of the flat rocks on the other, a bit off to the side, and this become a sort of lazy susan type device to hold mustard for our sandwiches. She then pulls out a thermos of Tomato soup and pours each of us a cup. She has set out sandwiches, Turkey, Salmon and Cheese. Along with tomatoes, mushrooms, pickles and nuts.

After lunch, she brings out – no lie – Coffee and Bailey’s and Chocolate Brownies! These people know how to treat you!

We had inquired about the opportunity to take sunrise pictures the next morning, and they arranged a private guide and a 4:00 a.m. wake up call to take us to the perfect spot. The Guide is ready and waiting for us at 4:30 and by 5:10 Carl (and Susan, wife of Stuart and also a Photographer, although as she says, “just for herself” except for that stint she did for the Queen of England. Not joking.) begin to take photos. Our guide is Emilio and he is 24 years old and also an aspiring photographer. Once he learned that Carl is a professional photographer, he did not leave his side. I think he had a man crush on Carl. He was, as Susan said, like a little puppy.

We also then realized they had brought us muffins, pastries and coffee for our early morning photo shoot. Emilio could not run fast enough down that hill to bring coffee and muffins back up to Carl. It was endearing.

We did an afternoon event of horseback riding, but before the riding, was an Asado at an Estancia Quincho (an eat-in BBQ-type of structure). Asado is an Argentine BBQ prepared byGauchos. Again, we got the delicious Empanadas for appetizer (Beef and Corn – no Espinache!). They were the best we had so far, delicious. We then enjoyed BBQ lamb which was also very good – salad, vegies, wine, beer, the works. Nothing better than to drink beer and wine before going on a ride! Another note – by this time the Spinach Empanada story has started making it’s way through the guides (thank you Stuart! 😉 I had two separate guides come up and ask if I wanted Spinach Empanada!

Gustav (on the grey horse, below) was not looking forward to the riding. He had, shall we say, a bad experience in the past while riding and was really, really, uncomfortable with the whole idea of riding again. I must say however, that he did absolutely fantastic! Got back on that horse, so to say! Bravo Gustav!

I also decided to ask our guide Juan if it would be possible to take my horse for a “run” as our ride was set up as pretty much a walk only, for more beginner-type riders, which is fine, but my horse (ok, and me) really wanted to run. Juan said we could only do a short run because the group would be waiting for us and in a flash, his horse took off running with mine responding immediately. One other man wanted to run as well, so the three of us were off! I must say I haven’t “ran” with a horse in years. A little galloping years ago in Black Butte, but actually running free (over the plains of Patagonia no less!) was simultaneously thrilling and frightening. These horses can move! And they like to run very close under trees – ack duck! – but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.

After the horseback ride it was back to the “Lodge” with a few hours to kill (napping, blogging, etc.) and then dinner together again with Grupo de Ocho.

Another post to follow!

Ciao!

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2 Comments

  1. Stuart and Susan
    Posted December 21, 2008 at 8:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    We went to Santiago after we left you and slept for 3 days – couldn’t believe how much we needed it after all the trekking!!! Love reading and reliving the whole experience through your words and photos – it was all so amazing – Carl love the guanaco shot with the massif behind – annoyed I was sitting in the car at the time!!! You must be home now editing more – I look forward to doing that but now we have Miami and the kids to look forward to. Always another adventure –

  2. g_love
    Posted December 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I miss riding horses! There is no feeling like it!

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