Monday, December 2, 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes

Chuck woke me this morning, at 5:30, to tell me it was raining. Did I need to know just then?
Snow on the mountains.  Thanks to his good work, we had a much improved exit from the park. A fuel truck had appeared Sunday, with pricey fuel. We did not partake, thanks to foresight, and a large on-board fuel tank.
Certainly our visit to Torres Del Paine and Hotel Explora Patagonia has been the top stop of journey. Most of us ended our hikes and horse rides in the Piscina with champagne, beer and tall tales. We swam in the warm pool, then, after baking like lobsters in a steam room, jumped off the dock into a very icy lake.  Could you hear our screams? The sunny lake side hot tubs bubbled over, with happy racers.  Chuck opted for a well deserved massage.
I was surprised to see lady slippers and orchids thriving in this bleak landscape. We walked quite close to guanacos, grazing or posing on rocks, unconcerned by humans because they cannot be tamed.
The Explora dining room hangs over a waterfall and the cliff opposite, holds a giant condor nest with much activity. Do put this place on your map.
Back to the journey. First control, tiny Cafe Patagonia, could not contain our mob, ran out of soup, chairs, and probably patience. Clint shared his steak sandwich with us and the officials told us to just head to the race circuit.  Autodromo turned out to be a decent Tarmac track, with thoughtfully placed pot holes, gators and a dead stop chicane..even Monkey loved it.  Bill Shields' steering tie rods broke on the course, concluding with his race-car in a unique toes out position at the chicane. We did well.  Clint came one second faster on the three lap trial, possibly due to our added weight of that shared sandwich.  Sneaky devil. Great fun.
Now a fine hotel with a view of the cruise ship pier into which the Prince Albert crashed several years ago, with us aboard. Did I mention wind?  And more wind?  And cold?  The open car crews looked like a Blue Man Group reunion, upon arrival.
We take a 7am ferry in the morning, so I better get down to the bar now, for personal refueling.

No comments:

Post a Comment