Condors, evidence of pumas and over a 4300 feet pass….

[start] We left our friends Rafa and Loli in Llao Llao, near to Bariloche a couple of days ago. They had kindly stored some of our gear, including water filters etc for the north and now have our southern gear too. We can often find showers and water, but what we can’t always find are people like Loli and Rafa who opened their home to us and talked long into the night about Argentinian culture. We ran over Paso Cordova yesterday. Over 4300 ft, 22 miles with the trailer. Hard work! Hot now, so we’re running earlier. Although the thermometer read 3 degrees C this morning and there was a frost on the tent. Back to brewing a hot drink in the morning. The influence of Chile’s volcano which erupted near to Bariloche last year is everywhere- we’re still wading through ash. It sits on vegetation, the floor, coats leaves and branches and even the beetles. We camped under the shade of a Nirre southern beech tree, below the “Cathedral”- an incredible jagged outcrop of rock with resident Andean condors. We’re close to a little stream and with the caking of volcanic ash and dust on our legs, faces and arms from the gravel tracks we’re running on, even Dave managed to wash! We’re in puma territory, we found a guanaco carcass and fresh tracks in the ash last night- great record of passing animals. We strained our ears and left the a flap of the tent open during the night, we would love to hear/see a Puma, but likely our snores frightened any neighbours away! [end]

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