No doubt about it, dirt roads, ripio, compressed gravel, whatever you dain to call it, the roads we have been running the last 600km over have been a mixed blessing – they bring us to the places less travelled, weaving though the most spectacular scenery on the planet, but at the cost of some bloody sore feet!! Forget barefoot running here.
But today with bright sunshine and fresh snow our running conditions are in for a change – the blessed sight of concrete. Never would you imagine two-ecologist adventure runners to be so elated at the presence of a dirty great concrete slab, but for once, selfishly, we are! Our trailer too will sigh at the smooth miles ahead, 60 of them until Coyhaique, a major reprovisioning stop; a town of 40000 people. The pass take us from 400m to 1200m (Englands tallest mountain is 980m, just for scale, but a handsome hill Scafell Pike is, no doubt) up hairpin bends with trailer heaving behind, across this Andean lump jutting out to the east, then down for 2 days into the town where we can take a break, do some education presentations to schools and laptop work on a table, a simple invention but one we miss, normally working crunched up in the tent – cheek by jowl. But too it will mark the end of the southern and most remote part of Chile, and so will be tinged with sadness. The last 4 weeks have been astonishing and breathtaking, and we wonder if in the year to come we will look back upon it as the highlight .. .. ..?
Better hit the road, perhaps some barefoot miles ahead we hope!
We humans need to care for the things we have before they’re gone. Like a table that becomes a slice of heaven, hope you get that one again soon.