14 December 2012.
I think this has been the worst day yet, as Dave said, “From start to finish…..” We got ourselves into this and are determined to run ourselves out; but wow, this relentless beating wind just doesn’t stop.
We stayed on the only patch of grass in Barrancas (the canyons) Neuquen Province, Argentina, last night, after hobbling in just before dark from a howling Troman Volcano Pass- over 2,500 m. But it wasn’t the height of the pass that flattened our spirit, but the wind; which tossed Dave spread eagle into the gravel and dust after one particularly fierry gust.
It was useless speaking to one another, as our words were whipped from our mouths miles into the rocky distances. Gravel pelted at our legs; the force of the blasts was extraordinary as were the clouds that eerily formed like flying sauces. Then today, curtains of dust licked through the little village. We finally got away too late under a scorching sun and the terrain that was meant to be flat or at least gently down hill, turned into a relentless wind attack. Up, down, flat, anyway the endless road and baking earth took us, it just didn’t matter; the wind was king and thwarted any attempt at running. Yet it’s not just the wind that has quashed our spirit, it’s our injuries and the the land too. A land where the road between human life is 100s, not 10s of miles. Where thorny scrub, dust and gravel reign. Where we are alone in an eternal moonscape which is too big, too dry, too endless; fine for four wheels, but for four feet and two wheels; BAD!